The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) or BMSB continues to present one of the great biosecurity threats to New Zealand.
A symposium was hosted in late 2021 by the New Zealand Plant Protection Society to discuss and share details of some amazing work going on to stop BMSB from establishing in Aotearoa New Zealand and mitigate its impact if it does establish. Participants assessed past activity, identified gaps in current knowledge, prioritized future work, and confirmed and built new collaborations.
BMSB is native to East Asia but has invaded North and South America and Europe, where it is has become an insidious pest. It is intercepted frequently at New Zealand’s borders and could threaten a wide variety of valued plants, including taonga, in both productive and natural systems if it established. It is also a significant nuisance pest that invades dwellings over winter and stinks.
The threat of BMSB to New Zealand remains so it was timely to reflect on what has been done, what needs to be done and who should do it. It brought together biosecurity and bioprotection interests from the research, government, industry, and iwi communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. In addition, Dr Tracy Leskey (USA), Prof Claudio Loriatti (Italy), Prof Anne Nielson (USA) and Ilania Astorga (Chile), provided updates on the latest BMSB research and management initiatives in North and South America and Europe.
Symposium organising committee chairperson, Nicola Robertson (Biosecurity Manager, NZ Apples and Pears), noted the great turnout from research, government, industry and international representatives. “Symposium such as these, lead to a more integrated and ultimately successful approach to combating the important biosecurity challenges facing New Zealand” she said.
The symposium was sponsored by B3, Plant and Food Research, the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Readiness and Response, NZ Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, Zespri, NZ Apples and Pears and NZ Wine.