• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Index of figures and tables
 Abbreviations and definitions
 Map of the greater Caribbean...
 Executive summary
 Chapter summaries
 Summary of risk ratings by...
 Pathways of pest movement not addressed...
 Recommendations for improved...
 Introduction
 Human movement
 Airline passenger baggage
 International mail
 Maritime traffic
 Hitchhiker pests
 Wood packaging material
 Forestry-related pathways
 Plant propagative material
 Natural spread
 Acknowledgement
 Figures and tables
 Appendix
 Literature cited














Title: EVALUATION OF PATHWAYS FOR EXOTIC PLANT PEST MOVEMENT INTO AND WITHIN THE GREATER CARIBBEAN REGION
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Title: EVALUATION OF PATHWAYS FOR EXOTIC PLANT PEST MOVEMENT INTO AND WITHIN THE GREATER CARIBBEAN REGION
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Creator: Meissner, Heike
Publication Date: June 4, 2009
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
    Index of figures and tables
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Abbreviations and definitions
        Page vi
    Map of the greater Caribbean region
        Page 1
    Executive summary
        Page 2
    Chapter summaries
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Summary of risk ratings by pathway
        Page 11
    Pathways of pest movement not addressed in this analysis
        Page 12
    Recommendations for improved safeguarding
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Introduction
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Human movement
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Airline passenger baggage
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    International mail
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Maritime traffic
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Hitchhiker pests
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    Wood packaging material
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    Forestry-related pathways
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Plant propagative material
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
    Natural spread
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Acknowledgement
        Page 113
        Page 114
    Figures and tables
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
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    Appendix
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    Literature cited
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Full Text






EVALUATION OF PATHWAYS FOR EXOTIC PLANT

PEST MOVEMENT INTO AND WITHIN THE GREATER

CARIBBEAN REGION



January 9, 2009
Revised June 4, 2009

Caribbean Invasive Species Working Group (CISWG)
and
Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory (PERAL)
Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)






Authors:

Dr. Heike Meissner (project lead)
Andrea Lemay
Christie Bertone
Kimberly Schwartzburg
Dr. Lisa Ferguson
Leslie Newton








Contact address for all correspondence:

Dr. Heike Meissner
Risk Analyst
USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST-PERAL
1730 Varsity Drive
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
Phone: (919) 855-7538
E-mail: Heike.E.Meissner@aphis.usda.gov










Table of Contents

Index of Figures and T ables ............... ............................................ .......... ......... iii
A abbreviations and D definitions ........................................................................... ...................... vi
Executive Sum m ary ........................... ............. ............. .............. .......... .. .. 2
Chapter Sum m aries ............... ........ ....... ..... ............. ................. 3
Sum m ary of Risk R ratings by Pathw ay .................. ....................... .......................................... 11
Pathways of Pest Movement Not Addressed in this Analysis............ ......................... 12
Recommendations for Improved Safeguarding ......... ..................... .......................... 13
In tro d u ctio n ............................................................................................................ ............... ..... 2 7
Chapter 1: H um an M ovem ent................................................................... ..................... ...... 29
Chapter 2: A airline Passenger B baggage ................................................ ............................. 43
C chapter 3 : International M ail ............................................................................... ................... 5 1
C chapter 4 : M aritim e T raffic.. ................. ................................................................ ..................... 59
Chapter 5: Hitchhiker Pests .................................... ...... ......... .. ... ............... 66
Chapter 6: W ood Packaging M aterial...................... ....................................... .............. 76
Chapter 7: Forestry-related Pathw ays....................................................................... 84
Chapter 8: Plant Propagative M material ...................... .... ......... ......................... .............. 93
Chapter 9: N natural Spread.................... ......................................... .. ............ .. .............. 106
A know ledgem ents ....... .... ............. ....... .. .. ................. ..... ....... 113
Figures and Tables ............. ..... .. .. ........... ........................................... 115
Appendix...................................... ....... .............. 225
L literature C ited .................. ......... ................. ... ........................ .............. 245










Index of Figures and Tables


List of Figures
Figure 1.1 Origin of tourists to the insular Caribbean in 2006. 115
Figure 1.2 Tourist arrivals to the insular Caribbean by month in 2006. 116
Figure 2.1 95% binomial confidence intervals for plant quarantine material 121
approach rates in international airline passenger baggage at U.S. ports of entry:
by travel reason.
Figure 2.2 95% binomial confidence intervals for plant quarantine material 122
approach rates in international airline passenger baggage at U.S. ports of entry:
by passenger origin.
Figure 2.3 95% binomial confidence intervals for plant quarantine material 123
approach rates in international airline passenger baggage at U.S. ports of entry:
passengers from Caribbean origin.
Figure 2.4 Number of plant quarantine materials arriving at U.S. airports: by 124
country of origin.
Figure 2.5 Same as figure 2.4, but Canada not displayed to show data for the 125
other countries at a smaller scale.
Figure 2.6 95% binomial confidence intervals for the estimated number of airline 126
passengers groups with plant quarantine materials: tourists by country of origin.
Figure 4.1 Container traffic in the Greater Caribbean Region. 141
Figure 4.2 Origin of shipping containers arriving in the Caribbean and Central 141
America in 2006.
Figure 6.1 Percentage of maritime cargo (both agricultural and non-agricultural) 175
with wood packaging material imported into the United States.
Figure 6.2 Percentage of maritime agricultural cargo with wood packaging 176
material imported into the United States.
Figure 6.3 Percentage of maritime non-agricultural cargo with wood packaging 177
material imported into the United States.
Figure 6.4 Percentage of agricultural air cargo with wood packaging material 178
imported into the United States.
Figure 7.1 Potential for contamination during timber extraction process. 206
Figure 9.1 Prevailing wind patterns in the Greater Caribbean Region. 223
Figure 9.2 Areas and time of hurricane formation. 224









List of Tables
Table 1.1 Tourist arrivals by country or territory in 2006. 117
Table 1.2 Excursionist arrivals by country or territory in 2006. 118
Table 1.3 Pest interceptions on maritime baggage at U.S. ports of entry in the 119
U.S. Gulf States in 2007.
Table 1.4 Number of people moving across four major border crossings of the 120
Mexico-Guatemala border, June-December 2004.
Table 1.5 Influx of temporary farm workers from Guatemala into Chiapas, 120
Mexico.
Table 2.1 Results of Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Monitoring (AQIM) of 128
international air passengers arriving at U.S. airports during fiscal years 2005 and
2006.
Table 2.2 Number and percentage of travelers in the various travel reason 129
categories.
Table 2.3 Number of visitors arriving in Caribbean countries by airplane and 130
percentage of visitors that are tourists.
Table 3.1 Plant materials/pests intercepted in public and private mail of 131
worldwide origin during AQIM monitoring at 11 U.S. ports of entry, 2005-2007.
Table 3.2 Relative frequency of types of plant materials/plant pests intercepted in 133
public and private mail of worldwide origin during AQIM monitoring at 11 U.S.
ports of entry, 2005-2007.
Table 3.3 Inspection results for international public and private mail parcels 136
arriving in the United States, 2005-2007.
Table 3.4 Average number of international public mail packages received by 137
UPU member states in the Greater Caribbean Region between 2003 and 2005 and
estimated number of packages arriving with plant materials/plant pests.
Table 3.5 Pests (insects) intercepted from private mail packages between October 138
1, 2007 and September 30, 2008 in Miami, Florida.
Table 3.6 Pests (insects) intercepted from public (USPS) mail packages between 139
October 1, 2007 and September 30, 2008 in Miami, Florida.
Table 3.7 Categories of prohibited items seized in public and private mail 140
entering the United States (2000-2005) at the international mail facility, San
Francisco, CA.
Table 4.1 Rankings of individual ports in the Greater Caribbean Region against 142
ports worldwide in 2005.
Table 4.2 Container volumes handled at the major maritime ports in the Greater 143
Caribbean Region.
Table 4.3 Commodities carried by small vessels. 143
Table 4.4 Container traffic at maritime ports in the Caribbean region, 2003-2006. 144
Table 5.1 Reportable pests intercepted in aircraft cargo stores, quarters, or holds 150
at U.S. ports of entry between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2007.
Table 5.2 Aircraft arrivals in the Greater Caribbean Region. 155
Table 5.3 Live hitchhiking pests intercepted at U.S. maritime ports of entry 156
between January 1997 and December 2007 on ships, ship decks, ship holds, ship
stores, ship quarters, containers, and non-agricultural cargo.
Table 5.4 Number of maritime vessels arriving in the Greater Caribbean Region. 164









Table 5.5 Container traffic and estimated number of containers with hitchhiker 165
pests at ports of entry in the Greater Caribbean Region.
Table 6.1 Imports of wood packaging material into Caribbean Region (2006). 179
Table 6.2 Exports of wood packaging material from Caribbean Region (2006). 179
Table 6.3 Pest taxa intercepted on or in wood material at U.S. ports of entry 180
between July 5, 2006 and January 1, 2008.
Table 6.4 Species intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on or in wood material 181
between January, 1985 and May, 2007.
Table 6.5 Examples of insects with potential to be introduced into one or more 202
countries of the Greater Caribbean Region on or in wood packaging material.
Table 7.1 Extent of forest land in the Greater Caribbean Region and changes in 207
extent of forest land over recent years.
Table 7.2 Imports of raw wood products from the world into the Greater 208
Caribbean Region (2006; excluding U.S. Gulf States).
Table 7.3 Raw wood products trade within the Greater Caribbean Region (2006): 208
total imports reported.
Table 7.4 Relative quantities of raw wood products traded among countries of 209
the Greater Caribbean Region: reported imports, 2006.
Table 7.5 Exports of raw wood products from the Caribbean into the world in 210
2006.
Table 7.6 Raw wood products trade within the Greater Caribbean Region (2006): 210
total exports reported.
Table 7.7 Relative quantities of raw wood products traded among countries of 211
the Greater Caribbean Region: exports (2006).
Table 7.8 Invasive trees established in the Greater Caribbean Region. 212
Table 8.1 Imports of "bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, corms, crowns, and 214
rhizomes" into countries of the Greater Caribbean Region in 2007.
Table 8.2 Imports of "live plants (not otherwise specified) including their roots; 215
mushroom spawn" into countries of the Greater Caribbean Region in 2007.
Table 8.3 Imports of "trees, shrubs and bushes, of kinds which bear edible fruit 216
or nuts" into countries of the Greater Caribbean Region in 2007.
Table 8.4 Imports of "roses, including their roots" into countries of the Greater 217
Caribbean Region in 2007.
Table 8.5 Imports of "azaleas and rhododendrons, including their roots" into 217
countries of the Greater Caribbean Region in 2007.
Table 8.6 Imports of unrootedd cuttings and slips" into countries of the Greater 218
Caribbean Region in 2007.
Table 8.7 Number of shipments of propagative material imported into the United 218
States from countries in the Greater Caribbean Region in 2007.
Table 8.8 Reportable pests intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on shipments of 219
propagative material from countries in the Greater Caribbean Region in 2007.
Appendix Pests potentially associated with forest products and with the potential 225
to move into and within the Greater Caribbean Region.










Abbreviations and Definitions


Actionable pest


Approach rate



AQIM

APHIS
BTAG

CARICOM
CBP

CISWG
CRAG

CRISIS
CSI

DHS
Exotic pest
GCR



IPPC
ISPM
Pest

PPQ
QM
Reportable pest


Safeguarding



TEU
USDA
WADS
WPM


For the United States: a pest that triggers quarantine actions (e.g., treatment,
destruction or refusal of entry of commodity infested/infected with the pest)
when intercepted at a port of entry.
The percentage of randomly inspected sampling units that contained what the
search was targeting (e.g., percentage of packages containing plant materials).
The approach rate is usually given with a 95% binomial confidence limit (the
limit within which the true approach rate falls with a 95% likelihood).
Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Monitoring (randomized data collection at
U.S. ports of entry)
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (a branch of the USDA)
Biological Threat Advisory Group. A Miami-based interdisciplinary pest risk
discussion and analysis group
Caribbean Community and Common Market
Customs and Border Protection (a branch of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security, responsible for port-of-entry inspections)
Caribbean Invasive Species Working Group
Caribbean Risk Assessment Group. A Puerto Rico-based interdisciplinary pest
risk discussion and analysis group
Caribbean Regional Invasive Species Intervention Strategy
Caribbean Safeguarding Initiative of United States Department of Agriculture,
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
A pest not native to an area
Greater Caribbean Region: comprised of all countries bordering the Caribbean
Sea, plus the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, El Salvador, Suriname, Guyana,
and the U.S. Gulf States. Note: The pest risk to Mexico, Venezuela, and
Colombia is not addressed in this report.
International Plant Protection Convention
International Standard of Phytosanitary Measure
Any species of terrestrial arthropod, mollusk, weed, nematode, or plant
pathogen that is injurious to plants or plant products
Plant Protection and Quarantine (a branch of APHIS)
Quarantine material
For the United States: a pest that must be reported in the PestID database if
intercepted at port of entry because it belongs to a taxonomic group whose
members feed on plants. Not all reportable pests are actionable.
All activities aimed at preventing the entry of exotic species into a country.
Components of a safeguarding system may be: international risk management,
port-of-entry exclusion measures, permitting systems and legal framework,
domestic surveillance, and rapid response.
Twenty-foot equivalent unit (a unit of measurement for cargo containers)
United States Department of Agriculture
Work Accomplishment Data System
Wood packaging material




















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Executive Summary


This report is the result of a collaboration between the Caribbean Invasive Species Working
Group (CISWG) and the United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection and
Quarantine (USDA-PPQ). The objective of this report is to contribute to an improved
understanding of pathways of plant pest movement into and within the entire Greater Caribbean
Region (GCR), thereby helping CISWG to enhance its Caribbean Regional Invasive Species
Intervention Strategy (CRISIS) for preventing the introduction and spread of exotic pests.

The scope of this report includes all terrestrial, non-vertebrate plant pests, such as insects, mites,
plant pathogens, nematodes, mollusks, and weeds. For the purposes of this report, the Greater
Caribbean Region is defined as all countries bordering the Caribbean Sea, plus the Bahamas,
Turks and Caicos, El Salvador, Suriname, Guyana, and the U.S. Gulf States (Florida, Alabama,
Mississippi, Lousiana, and Texas). The pest risk to Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia is not
addressed in this report, though these countries are considered as sources of pest risk.

The pathways discussed are: human movement, airline passenger baggage, international mail,
maritime traffic, hitchhikers, wood packaging material, forestry, propagative materials, and
natural spread. The relative importance of each pathway was rated based on the available data,
and recommendations for improved safeguarding are provided.

The pest risk associated with human movement, hitchhikers, wood packaging materials, forestry,
and propagative materials was rated as very high. The pest risk associated with airline passenger
baggage, mail, and natural pest spread was rated as medium. None of the pathways assessed was
rated as low-risk. (See page 11 for a summary table of risk ratings.) Even though the pathways
are discussed separately, there is considerable overlap between them. This must be taken into
account in the development of mitigation measures.

Numerous specific recommendations for improved safeguarding are listed in this report. The
main focus for improvements should be:
Regional coordination, planning, and communication
Education and involvement of the public
Early warning, biosurveillance, and pest information systems
Preparedness and rapid response










Chapter Summaries


Chapter 1: Human Movement

Evidence exists in the scientific literature and in government data that people moving between
areas may contribute to the spread of plant pests in several different ways: by carrying the pest
on themselves, their clothing, or their shoes; by transporting the pest on objects brought to or
taken from an area (e.g., handicrafts made from plant parts), or by intentionally collecting the
pest to take it to a different location. The Greater Caribbean Region (GCR) is the most heavily-
toured region in the world (Padilla and McElroy, 2005) airline passengers exceed 30 million
per year (UNWTO, 2008). Thus, the GCR is exposed to the risk of pest spread mediated by the
movement of people.

Visitors to the GCR arrive by either air, water, or land, with air travel being the predominant
mode of transportation (UNWTO, 2006). Once in the GCR, it is not uncommon for visitors to
move between countries ("island-hop"), which is accomplished by regional flight, small boat,
ferry, or in most cases cruise ship (Garraway, 2006). Frequenting several climatically similar
destinations within a short time, cruise passengers may spread viable pests to new habitats within
the GCR, especially with the current trends of ecotourism and private island experience leading
to visitation of more natural and pristine areas. Cruise ship passengers are also likely to visit
local markets, where they may buy handicrafts or other items that could harbor plant pests.
Cruise ship, ferry, and small boat passengers are often not subject to phytosanitary inspections.
Inspection of airline passenger luggage is common (see Chapter 2), but cannot do justice to the
ever-increasing passenger volume.

Also of concern is the immense number of yachts and other small vessels moving around the
Caribbean Sea, commonly entering countries without being subject to inspection. These vessels
may be easily used to move quarantine materials (e.g., agricultural cargo, plants for planting,
souvenirs made of plant parts) between countries and may thus play an important role in
facilitating the spread of pests.

The Central and South American nations of the GCR each share land borders with at least two
other countries. These borders often can be crossed without agricultural inspection. Migrant farm
workers cross some of the land borders in large numbers and may facilitate the regional spread of
plant pests into agricultural areas. Local merchants and commuters also move back and forth
between adjacent countries on a regular basis.

The obvious potential of humans to facilitate pest spread, together with the immense number of
travelers into and within the GCR, and an overall insufficient level of phytosanitary safeguards
warrant the pest risk associated with this pathway to be rated as very high.









Chapter 2: Airline Passenger Baggage


The large majority of all visitors to the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR) arrive by air (UNWTO,
2006). Because passenger baggage may contain pests (e.g., snails, weed seeds) or items (e.g.,
fruits or vegetables) that are infested with pests, international air travel has long been considered
a pathway for the movement of pest organisms. This study quantifies the pest risk associated
with airline passenger baggage, based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data and explores how this data may be applicable to
other countries of the GCR.

The plant quarantine material (QM) approach rate is the percentage of passenger groups arriving
at the border with plant QMs in their luggage. We calculated an overall plant QM approach rate
of 3.75% (95% binomial confidence interval: 3.70-3.81%) for travelers to the United States and
estimated that there were some 1.7 million arrivals of plant QM to the United States during 2006.
We also estimated that only one quarter of these plant QMs were intercepted by phytosanitary
inspections, leaving about 1.3 million plant QMs entering the United States undetected.

The plant QM approach rate is not the same as the pest approach rate, because not all QMs are
infested with pests. We estimated that some 375,000 pest arrivals to the United States may have
escaped detection by phytosanitary inspection in 2006.

Plant QM approach rates were significantly different between travel reasons. The category "Visit
Family" was associated with the highest QM approach rates, followed by "Visit Friends".
"Tourists" had considerably lower approach rates than both of the preceding categories.

The ten most commonly intercepted QMs were (in decreasing order of interception frequency):
apples, mangoes, oranges, bananas, seeds, pears, unspecified fresh fruit, plums, yams, and plants.
High-risk QMs intercepted included seeds, plants, and bulbs.

Out of the 25 countries of origin with the highest plant QM approach rates, ten were GCR
countries: Haiti (approach rate: 21%), Bonaire (18%), St. Vincent (13%), Grenada (13%),
Guadeloupe (12%), St. Lucia (11%), Antigua (9%), Bahamas (9%), Jamaica (8%), and Dominica
(8%).

Even though the data was collected at U.S. ports of entry, it has applicability to other countries in
the GCR, given that they receive visitors from many of the same countries of origin. Most
travelers into the GCR countries are tourists, representing a comparatively low pest risk. Most
visitors to the GCR come from Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (The Royal
Geographical Society, 2004). The plant QM approach rates associated with these countries of
origin were 8%, 4%, 5%, and 4%, respectively. The QMs intercepted from these countries were
largely apples, bananas, and oranges. We estimated that over 1 million plant QMs arrivals
associated with airline passenger baggage may occur in the GCR annually; however, because
most visitors to the GCR are tourists from cooler-climate countries, and because the majority of
QMs found on this type of traveler were fruits for consumption, we rated the risk associated with
passenger baggage as medium.









Chapter 3: International Mail


Public and private postal services are an often overlooked pathway through which plants and
plant pests may move into and within the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR). Using data on
international mail entering the United States, we summarized the types of plant quarantine
materials (QM) and plant pests detected in both private and public mail and calculated the
corresponding QM approach rates.

Particularly common categories of high-risk items found in mail were: seeds, pods and other
propagative plant materials, soil, wood, and wood items. Propagative materials represented about
one third of the intercepted materials. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and other fresh plant parts,
presenting a lower pest risk than propagative materials, were also detected.

More international mail is sent to the United States through the public postal service than
through private mail. In other countries in the GCR, however, private postal services dominate
the parcel market.

Of packages sent to the United States by private mail from world-wide and GCR origins, 0.13%
and 1.6%, respectively, contained plant QMs. Of packages sent by public mail, 1.1% from
world-wide and 0.8% from GCR origins contained plant QMs.

We estimated that the GCR (excluding the United States) may annually receive between 13,876
and 14,943 mail packages containing plant materials or plant pests, with up to 4,000 of these
being propagative materials. International mail may be the pathway of choice for intentional
smuggling of high-risk items. We rated the pest risk associated with the mail pathway as
medium.


Chapter 4: Maritime Traffic

In the context of maritime traffic, there are several ways in which pests may be spread: with
commodities (both agricultural and non-agricultural); as hitchhikers on the vessels and
containers used for transport; and in the wood packaging material accompanying the
commodities.

The pest risk associated with both hitchhikers and wood packaging material is discussed in detail
in other chapters of this report. The pest risk associated with commodities, while very possibly
the most important threat, is difficult to characterize due to the immense number of different
commodities arriving from all over the world, each having a different level of pest risk
associated with it. Given that legally traded commodities already receive attention from
importing countries, and given that a general process for commodity pest risk assessment is in
place (IPPC, 2007) and must be commodity- and origin-specific to be meaningful, this chapter
does not focus on commodities.

Rather, this chapter gives a general overview of maritime traffic in the Greater Caribbean Region
(GCR), pointing out some issues of special concern and providing a general background to









complement the information laid out in other chapters of this report. Specifically, it compares
Caribbean ports with regard to cargo container volume handled and discusses small vessel
activity for select countries.

The GCR serves as a crossroads for international maritime trade. The region's location at the
intersection of maritime trade routes between North and South America and the Eastern and
Western hemispheres makes it an important area for facilitating trade.

Maritime traffic has been increasing in the GCR, and this trend is expected to continue. The
United States is a primary trading partner in the GCR, providing almost half of all container
traffic. However, trade with other countries, including those in Asia and Europe, has recently
expanded. At several ports, the establishment of transshipment services accounts for much of the
increase in sea container traffic. It is possible that transshipped containers can facilitate the
introduction of exotic pests, as pests have been known to contaminate the exterior and/or interior
of shipping containers (Gadgil et al., 2000, Gadgil et al., 2002).

Intra-Caribbean trade involves the movement of cargo within the GCR, either of products made
in the GCR or foreign products being transshipped from one Caribbean port to another. Tracking
of intra-Caribbean trade is difficult, with the level of regulation and record-keeping varying
greatly between countries. Boerne (1999) estimated the number of small ships (less than 150
gross tonnage (GRT)) operating throughout the insular Caribbean to be around 200; and the
United Nations estimated that around 400 to 500 small vessels (including vessels larger than 150
GRT) operated throughout the GCR (Boerne, 1999).


Chapter 5: Hitchhiker Pests

A hitchhiker pest is a plant pest that is moved, not on a host commodity, but either with a non-
host commodity directly or on/in the conveyance (airplane, maritime vessel, etc.) or shipping
container used for transport. This chapter examines the scientific literature and U.S. government
data to assess the likelihood that hitchhiker pests are present on a conveyance, the likelihood that
they survive transit, and the likelihood that they escape detection.

Hitchhiker pests may get into or onto a non-host commodity, conveyance, or container either by
chance (e.g., weed seeds that fall off shoes) or because they are attracted by certain physical or
chemical conditions. For example, flying insects may be attracted by lights during nighttime
loading (Caton, 2003b, Fowler et al., 2008) or insects or mollusks may find shelter on or in cargo
containers. Furthermore, pests that were originally associated with a host commodity shipment
may be left behind in a container or conveyance after unloading, thus becoming hitchhiker pests.

In the scientific literature, there are numerous accounts of pests being associated with cargo
containers or with the conveyance itself. In addition, hitchhiker pests are intercepted at U.S. ports
of entry on containers, aircraft, and maritime vessels. Based on a 23% approach rate estimated by
Gadgil et al. (2000), 1.6 million of the 7 million containers arriving annually at maritime ports in
the GCR may be contaminated with one or more plant pests. Locations in the GCR that may









receive more than 90,000 contaminated containers annually are: the Bahamas, Costa Rica,
Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Gulf Coast states.

Pest survival in or on conveyances and containers depends on the combined effects of various
environmental conditions and the duration of transport. Most insects, mollusks, weed seeds, and
plant pathogens are likely to survive modern transit conditions and are very likely to escape
detection. Several reports in the scientific literature strongly suggest that pests, such as Asian
gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), red imported fire ant, Solenopsis
invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), or terrestrial mollusks (Cowie and Robinson, 2003), have
been introduced into new areas as hitchhiker pests.

A controlled study by Dobbs and Brodel (2004) carried out in 1998-1999 resulted in an estimate
of 10% of all foreign cargo aircraft and 23% of cargo aircraft from Central American countries
arriving in MIA with live plant pests of quarantine significance.

Routine quarantine inspections are likely to miss a large portion of the arriving pests. Factors
impeding pest detection include: the level of available staff and resources compared to the
immense number of incoming conveyances and containers, the limited amount of time available
for inspection, and the large size and complex shape of conveyances.

Given the large number of conveyances and containers continuously circulating throughout the
GCR and the numerous impediments to intercepting hitchhiker pests, the hitchhiker pathway
should be considered a very high risk.


Chapter 6: Wood Packaging Material

Wood packaging material (WPM), used worldwide in shipments of both agricultural and non-
agricultural products, is believed to have been the pathway for several pest introductions
worldwide, including the pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Tylenchida:
Aphelenchoididae), in Portugal and the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis
(Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), in the United States (New York and Illinois). In this study, we use
U.S. government data to evaluate the potential role of WPM in the introduction of exotic pests
into the GCR.

WPM is usually produced from low-grade wood of various tree species, often with bark and
portions of the vascular cambium remaining (Clarke et al., 2001). Damaged or otherwise
unusable pallets are disassembled for the wood parts, which are then re-used to build or repair
pallets (Bush et al., 2002). Because WPM is routinely re-used and re-conditioned, the origin of
the WPM is not necessarily the same as the origin of the commodity with which it is being
imported.

To reduce the pest risk associated with WPM worldwide, the International Plant Protection
Convention (IPPC) developed ISPM #15 (IPPC, 2006), an international standard which
prescribes either fumigation or heat treatment for all WPM. Only a few countries of the GCR
require treatment of WPM in accordance with ISPM #15 (Foreign Agricultural Service, 2008).









These countries are: Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua, and the United States.

U.S. data on maritime and air cargo, collected between September 16, 2005 (start date for U.S.
enforcement of ISPM #15) and August 15, 2007, showed that 75% of maritime cargo shipments
(agricultural and non-agricultural combined) contained WPM. Several countries in the GCR
(Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic) had high percentages of export cargo with
WPM. New Zealand and several European countries had a high incidence of WPM in export
cargo, while shipments from China had the lowest incidence of WPM. For air cargo, WPM was
found in only 33% of shipments, with shipments from the Netherlands having by far the highest
incidence of WPM.

Live pests are entering with WPM in spite of full enforcement of ISPM #15, as demonstrated by
interceptions at U.S. ports of entry of wood-boring beetles of the families Curculionidae
(Scolytinae) and Cerambycidae, as well as a variety of other insect orders, weeds, and mollusks.
The presence of these pests in or on the WPM may be due to any one of the following reasons:
ineffectiveness of the required treatments, incorrectly applied treatments, re-infestation of the
wood after effective treatment, or fraudulent use of the stamp/seal. The majority of pests
associated with WPM are likely to go undetected due to the large amount of WPM entering, the
difficulty of inspecting WPM, and the fact that port-of-entry inspections of WPM often are
limited to a verification of the required seal, rather than a search for pests.

Numerous pests intercepted on or in WPM have already established in the GCR, but many still
have potential to spread further within the region. This chapter provides a list of WPM pests with
establishment potential in the GCR. Each new establishment of these or similar pests anywhere
in the world can increase the opportunities for further infestation of WPM and pest entry into the
GCR.

Due to the immense quantity of WPM moving in international trade, the impossibility of
determining the origin of the wood, and the difficulty of WPM inspections, we rated the pest risk
associated with this pathway as very high.


Chapter 7: Forestry-related Pathways

Trade of forest products is a vital industry for several countries in the Greater Caribbean Region
(GCR). The forests of the GCR, encompassing over 92 million hectares of land, have immense
ecological, economic, and social importance. The susceptibility of these forests to exotic pest
invasions is being increased through the effects of logging and other human activities.

Forests are at risk not only from pests introduced on forest products, but also from pests entering
with agricultural commodities or through other pathways. At the same time, pests originating in
forest areas may represent a threat not only to forests, but also to fruit plantations or agricultural
production.









Important pathways for the introduction and movement of exotic plant pests related to forestry
include wood products, non-wood forest products, and trees for planting (e.g., for reforestation or
in agroforestry systems).

Non-wood forest products include food products (e.g., nuts, berries, leaves, and edible fungi),
medicinals, bamboo, and craft products. Christmas trees have been a vehicle for the introduction
of exotic pests into the GCR, and dried bamboo has served as a pathway for insect pests from
China. Some of the trees introduced for use in commercial plantations become invasive species
(Richardson, 1998). An extensive list of pests associated with forestry products which have the
potential to move into and within the GCR is provided.

Due to the large number of pests associated with forest products, the fact that many of the most
serious invasive pests around the world are forest pests, and the difficulty of mitigating pest risk
on wood products we rated this pathway as very high risk.


Chapter 8: Plant Propagative Material

Plant propagative material, also referred to as nursery stock, is any plant material capable of and
intended for propagation, including plants for planting.

As a pathway, propagative material overlaps with the other pathways discussed in this report in
that propagative material may be transported by any of the available methods: airplane, cargo
vessel, small boat, truck, public or private mail, as well as in the baggage of ship, plane or bus
passengers, or in personal vehicles.

Reasons for importing propagative material include its use in commercial nursery and
horticulture production, uses in agriculture and forestry, "plant exploration" by botanical gardens
or researchers, or planting (e.g., as ornamentals or food plants) by private collectors or
homeowners.

The trade of propagative material is a multi-billion dollar industry. The United States, together
with Canada, Israel, and the Netherlands, are the major exporters of nursery products to the
Greater Caribbean Region (GCR) (UNComtrade, 2008).

Traded propagative material may present a phytosanitary risk in two ways: 1) by introducing
exotic plant pests, and 2) by becoming an invasive weed in the introduced range.

Based on the available information, it is obvious that pests, and especially plant pathogens, are
being spread between countries through both legal and illegal movement of propagative
materials. This is occurring on a global scale. Due to the relative ineffectiveness of inspection
and the unavailability of diagnostic tests for pathogens, there is no easy solution to this problem.

The propagative material pathway also allows invasive plants to enter the GCR, where they often
cause considerable economic and environmental damage. The large majority of invasive exotic
plant species in the GCR were introduced on purpose. There are almost no safeguards in place to









prevent this from happening, as none of the countries in the GCR requires weed risk assessments
as a condition for importation of propagative materials.

The propagative material pathway presents major safeguarding challenges, and the pest risk
associated with this pathway should be considered very high.


Chapter 9: Natural Spread

Given the close proximity of land masses in the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR), natural spread
of plant pests is a pathway for pest introduction. This chapter provides a review of the scientific
literature to answer the following questions: 1) Does natural spread of pests occur into and
within the GCR? 2) What are the prevailing spatial and temporal patterns of natural spread? 3)
What types of pests are most prone to disperse by natural spread?

A substantial level of wind-assisted dispersion and migration of plant pests between the various
islands and continents in the GCR is occurring on an on-going basis. Meteorological mechanisms
operate throughout the GCR to accomplish such movement, and many plant pathogens, plants,
and arthropods possess biological mechanisms for wind dispersal.

The Windward Islands form a gateway into the GCR. This is where the predominantly
westward-bound winds first hit land after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean (Richardson and
Nemeth, 1991). Some significant plant pathogens have been carried on the wind from Africa into
the GCR (Purdy et al., 1985), and swarms of locusts reached the Windward Islands from Africa
on at least one occasion (Richardson and Nemeth, 1991). The prevailing winds tend to carry
pests from the Windward Islands (the most southeasterly islands) to the Leeward Islands, the
Greater Antilles and on to the southeastern United States.

The months of June, July, and August are the most likely time for the movement of pests out of
the GCR and into the southeastern United States. Summer is the rainy season in many areas of
the GCR, resulting in higher plant pest densities. While the prevailing winds are favorable for
pest movement nearly year-round, tropical storms and hurricanes are more common in the
summer and early fall (Rogozinski, 1999) and could contribute to the spread of plants pests.

Hurricanes have played a role in the spread of the Asian citrus canker bacterium Xanthomonas
axonopodis pv. citri (Xanthomonadales) (Irey et al., 2006) and bean golden mosaic virus
(BGMV) in the GCR. Although hurricanes can be a factor in the dispersal of some insect groups
(Torres, 1992), the force of the storm would likely kill or injure most insects that are swept up.
Tropical storms with less intense wind strength may be a more likely mechanism for natural
movement of plant pests.

We rated the pest risk associated with this pathway as medium.









Summary of Risk Ratings by Pathway


1 Human movement very high ***** Overlap with 2, 5, and 8

2 Airline passenger baggage medium *** Overlap with 1 and 8

3 Mail medium *** Overlap with 5 and 8

4 Maritime trade (no rating) (no Overlap with 5, 6, 7, and 8
rating)
5 Hitchhikers very high ***** Overlap with 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8

6 Wood packaging material very high ***** Overlap with 4,5,7, and 8

7 Forestry-related pathways very high ***** Overlap with 5, 6, and 8

8 Propagative materials very high ***** Overlap with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7

9 Natural spread medium ***










Pathways of Pest Movement Not Addressed in this Analysis


Due to time constraints, we were not able to analyze every potential pathway of pest movement
in the GCR, but had to focus on those that seemed most significant and feasible. The following is
a list of pathways which were not addressed in this report, but which may nevertheless represent
a significant risk. These pathways may be explored in follow-up studies as resources become
available.

* Cut flowers entering Miami from the Caribbean. This pathway was addressed to some
degree in a series of CPHST documents in 2003-2005 (Caton, 2003c, d, e, a). Interesting
questions in connection with this pathway include: the risk posed by the garbage and residue
left over after cut flower inspection; the risk of flying insects escaping during inspection; the
effectiveness of cut flower inspection.

Air cargo. Most agricultural cargo in the GCR is transported by ship. Air transport seems to
be mainly used for very high-value or highly persishable commodities (e.g., green mangoes,
strawberries, propagative materials, cut flowers, etc.) and for mail. For cut flowers, see
above. Propagative materials and mail, as well as hitchhikers are covered in their own
chapters.

Garbage. Garbage arrives in connection with every type of transportation existing in the
GCR. Airplanes, cruise ships, cargo vessels, buses, ferries, yachts, etc. There are numerous
examples of animal pest and disease outbreaks around the world due to the mishandling of
garbage (Benoit, 2008). The risks may be similar for plant pests.

Live animals as a pathway for weed seeds. Weed seeds can be attached to the fur or wool
and can also be found in the digestive tract of live animals. Research found that sheep are
long-distance seed-dispersal vectors for seeds of any morphology, while cattle and deer
dispersed hooked or bristly seeds over long distances, but not smooth seeds (Mouissie et al.,
2005). Also, feed, bedding material, and cages moved in connection with live animal trade
can harbor weed seeds or other plant pests. Quarantine regulations for live animals vary
among countries of the GCR, and modem quarantine facilities are not always available.

Military. The movement of military equipment (ships, planes, tanks, cars, etc.) has been
suspected as the cause of pest introductions in other parts of the world. Its significance for
the spread of pest around the GCR is unknown.

Medicinal plants harvested from forests. Trade in medicinal plants is increasing and
includes whole plants, or parts such as bark, roots, stems, and leaves. Much of the plant
material is harvested from forest areas. Inofficial trade within the GCR is probably common.

Bonsai trees. A number of important pests have been intercepted on bonsai trees from
China, among them ., ii ia/hl i', dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), Aleurocanthus
spiniferus (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), and larvae of Cerambicidae (Brodel, 2003). Bonsai
trees from Asia may be a major pathway for host-associated pests (Brodel, 2003).










Recommendations for Improved Safeguarding
The recommendations with the highest expected cost-benefit ratio are preceded by a *.


General recommendations (not pathway-specific)

Create a regional, action-oriented group ("regional action group") to coordinate
and carry out region-wide exotic species efforts. This group may either be a
strengthened and more strongly supported CISWG or a new entity, such as the National
Plant Health Directors' group. All countries of the GCR, as well as not-for-profit
organizations and universities should actively participate in this group. Governments
should support this group by making available staff and other resources for projects and
committees. The role of this group should be to plan regional projects, obtain funding and
staffing, and oversee execution. Good project management practices should be employed.
Coordination with other groups working in the same area should be a priority.

Carry out a region-wide public awareness campaign on invasive species,
coordinated through the regional action group. Educating the public on the potential
consequences of exotic pest introductions and on ways to prevent them will increase
people's willingness to comply with the rules and will make it easier for them to do so.
Raised awareness will also make it more likely that exotic pest incursions are detected
and reported by members of the public, and it will help recruit volunteers for exotic
species prevention.
o Campaign should be region-wide with a consistent message.
o Effectiveness of materials should be evaluated by communication experts.
o Use a variety of media (e.g., brochures, videos, pens, postcards, websites, etc.)
o Distribute message through: local television and radio; videos at airports, in
airplanes, on cruise ships, etc.; travel agencies; schools and universities; volunteer
lecturers; tourist markets; post offices; and e-mail.
o Measure impact through surveys (e.g., of travelers at airports, cruise passengers,
regular people in the street).
o Consider using the public awareness campaign developed by Australia (Plant
Health Australia, 2008) as a starting point.
o Develop curricula on invasive species to be used in elementary school through
university.

Develop a web-based clearinghouse of information related to exotic species in the
GCR. For the effective coordination of regional activities information-sharing is
absolutely essential. Develop a web-portal containing, among other things: a listing of
organizations and groups active in exotic species management in the GCR, relevant
reports and publications, links to electronic journals of relevant content, listing of
relevant meetings and events, meeting minutes and proceedings, educational materials for
downloading (e.g., slide presentations with audio), codes of conduct, and access to
databases of relevant content. The Jamaica Clearing-House Mechanism, Jamaica's
Biodiversity Information Network (htpp://www.jamaica.org.jm), may serve as an









example. The development and maintenance of the portal should be coordinated through
the regional action group. The portal should be complementary to and integrated with the
International Phytosanitary Portal (https://www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.jsp).

. Develop surveillance systems for the early detection of pests. By itself, port-of-entry
inspection is not and can never be an effective safeguarding method. In the GCR, natural
spread of pests may be inevitable. Early detection is key in responding to new pest
introductions.
o Surveillance programs for the early detection of exotic species should be
implemented. This is one of the goals of the CISWG Caribbean Invasive Species
and Surveillance Program (CIS SIP), for which a detailed project proposal has
been developed but funding has not yet been obtained. Depending on the
likelihood that funding can be found, the CISSIP project plan may have to be
reconsidered in order to move forward.
o Decisions will need to be made regarding which pests to survey for and which
areas to survey. The USDA Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS)
Program has developed a process for making this kind of decisions using the
analytical hierarchy process. A Central America Pest Survey Program (CAPS-
CA) has been suggested for Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
o Involve the public in surveillance and diagnostics. Hobby entomologists and
botanists, gardeners, nursery professionals, etc., may be important and competent
contributors to a regional surveillance system. Some examples of initiatives that
collect distribution information through amateur biologists are: bugguide.net and
zipcodezoo.com.

. Develop an effective integrated biosurveillance and pest information system for the
entire GCR, also to be used as a mechanism for official pest reporting. Both
safeguarding against and responding to pest introductions depends strongly on current
pest information. Of special importance is information on distribution, host range,
trapping and identification tools, control methods, and port interception records. The
sheer amount of pest information available throughout the world and the fast pace at
which new information appears make it impossible for any individual to stay abreast of it.
The collection, analysis, dissemination, and storage of pest information must occur in an
efficient and organized manner. It would be most cost effectively done on a GCR-wide
basis. An on-line database is indispensable. One example of an existing biosurveillance
system is the Exotic Pest Information Collection and Analysis (EPICA) of USDA-
APHIS-PPQ; examples of initiatives that deal with pest information management are: the
Global Pest and Disease Database (GPDD) and the Off-Shore Pest Information Program
(OPIP) of USDA-APHIS, as well as the Biodiversity & Environmental Resource Data
System (BERDS) of Belize (March et al., 2008), the Global Invasive Species Database of
the Invasive Species Specialist Group, and the Invasive Species Compendium of CABI.
The potential usefulness and applicability of these and other projects for the GCR should
be evaluated and collaborations should be developed as appropriate.

* Hold a regional symposium on biosurveillance and pest information management
(in support of the previous recommendation). A special session at the Caribbean Food









Crops Society Meeting may also be a possibility. This event should be sponsored by the
regional action group.

** Develop effective mechanisms and procedures for translating information into
action. The most sophisticated pest information system is useless if the information does
not lead to action. Every country should have an effective process in place for ensuring
that incoming pest information is evaluated, action plans are developed, recommended
actions are carried out, their effectiveness is assessed, and this assessment is fed back into
the information system. Any processes implemented are not static, but have to be
continuously scutinized, refined, and updated. The regional action group may be
instrumental in coordinating the development of these processes where they do not yet
exist.

. Develop regional emergency action plans that are triggered as soon as a country reports
the introduction or interception of certain pests. These plans would include
communication, survey, and control strategies. This effort should be coordinated by the
regional action group.

. Establish a regional "New Pest Advisory Group". This would be a committee similar
to and collaborating with the USDA-APHIS-PPQ New Pest Advisory Group (NPAG) to
evaluate the expected impact of recently introduced pests and to recommend an
appropriate response. This committee should be comprised of experts from various
countries and should draw on additional expertise as needed in each case. The
applicability of NPAG procedures to a regional new pest advisory group should be
reviewed by a committee of the regional action action group.

. Do not attempt to develop a comprehensive list of pest threats to the entire GCR.
This undertaking would have a low chance of success due to its huge scale and ever-
changing information. Instead, implement a database system to record distribution data,
pest survey results, pest finds, and port-of-entry interceptions from all possible sources to
have the best possible and most current information on what pests are present in the
GCR. This information could be used to develop pest lists for surveys; e.g., if a pest is
detected in one country, it makes sense for other countries to start surveying for it. The
database should be coupled with a biosurveillance and notification system. Pest lists
should be seen less as permanent documents and more as dynamic and constantly
changing output from one large collection of information.

. Do not base risk estimates on port interception data alone. Often, decisions (e.g.,
what commodity to focus inspection on, what pathways to consider high or low risk, etc.)
are made using risk estimates based exclusively or mainly on pest interception records.
Port interception records are useful for exploring pest risk; however, it is erroneus to
assume that a low number of interceptions is equivalent to low risk. Of the 21 insect
species that were found to be established in Florida between 1997 and 1998, only five
had been intercepted more than once by PPQ at ports-of-entry in the 12 years prior to
their establishment (Brodel, 2003).









SStrive for transparency in all decisions and analyses. Most decisions concerning
safeguarding (e.g., level of inspection, inspection methodology, whether something
should be considered high- or low-risk, etc.) are made by some committee or group,
either formally or informally. All decisions have to be re-evaluated periodically as the
situation changes or new information becomes available. If the reasoning behind a
decision is not clearly documented, it becomes impossible to evaluate the decision's
validity. For the sake of continuous improvement and to reduce the possibility of errors,
the reasoning behind all decisions should therefore be clearly explained and documented,
and this information should be available within each government. No analysis or
recommendation should be accepted by any decisionmaker unless the reasoning behind it
is sufficiently clear and well-documented.

* Agree on a common terminology. A mutually understood terminology is a key
ingredient for any successful cooperation. It is very common for people in different
countries or even different groups within the same country to work off different
definitions for the same terms. This discrepancy is not always obvious and may not be
noticed immediately; however, it may in some cases severely affect the outcome of a
cooperative effort (Roberts, 2004). A common glossary of all relevant terms should be
compiled and maintained for the entire GCR. The regional action group should play a
coordinating role in this undertaking. The terminology should be consistent with ISPM
#5: Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms, and may possibly be used to amend it.

* Develop voluntary codes of conduct for regional groups involved in the dispersion of
exotic species (e.g., nursery trade, botanical gardens, importers/exporters, cruise ship
operators, producers/refurbishers of WPM, operators of small boats and yachts, etc.)
(March et al., 2008). These codes of conduct should be drafted/compiled by a regional
committee and shared throughout the GCR. For example, the National Invasive Species
Strategy of the Bahamas contains voluntary codes of conduct for the government,
botanical gardens, nursery professionals, the gardening public, farms, and other groups
(BEST, 2003).

** Increase the use of detector dogs wherever feasible. Resources will never allow a
thorough inspection of all pathways by human inspectors. Even in countries with
relatively abundant resources, inspection cannot keep up with the ever increasing volume
of incoming planes, ships, boats, mail, etc. Detector dogs make it possible to reliably scan
a larger number of items than humans given the same amount of time. Countries with
very limited resources may consider alternating a dog between pathways or even sharing
a dog with other countries. Periodic inspection of a pathway is preferable to no inspection
at all, as it has a deterrent effect and leads to the collection of valuable data.

. Leverage available resources and find low-cost approaches to achieve goals. Money
and time are always in short supply, and many good ideas never come to fruition because
of a lack of resources. It is therefore important to use available resources to the best
possible advantage. Some ideas for how to accomplish this may be:
o Involve the public. A lot of the work that needs to be done does not require
professional staff. Outreach and education efforts can be easily done by citizen









volunteers. Educational materials, such as brochures or videos may be produced
in a student competition at a minimal cost. Amateur naturalists can help with pest
surveys and report new detections. Farmers can check traps placed in their fields
and report results by phone or e-mail. Volunteer tourists even pay to be allowed to
work (Vountourism.org, 2008). Certain not-for-profit organizations (e.g., Partners
of the Americas) can provide highly qualified subject matter experts for short-
term assignments.
o Carry out projects on a regional rather than a country-by-country level to
save costs. For example, instead of developing a separate database for each
country, develop a single database and share the development costs. (This does
not necessarily mean that the data has to be shared among countries.) Instead of
creating educational materials separately for each country, develop one set of
materials that can be used by all countries in the GCR. In funding research
projects, avoid duplication of effort by coordinating research needs region-wide.
o Take advantage of existing projects and products. Sometimes the desired goal
has already been achieved, or at least partially achieved, by someone else. Always
explore possibilities to share into or build on the efforts of others for mutual gain.
One current example would be the UNEP project GFL/-2328-2740-4995
"Mitigating the threats of invasive alien species in the insular Caribbean".
o Form strong relationships with universities around the world. Get graduate
students involved in Caribbean research projects through internships and study-
abroad opportunities. Offer graduate thesis project ideas. Form agreements with
universities to ensure that students receive university credit for research work
done in the GCR.
o Break work up into feasible projects. While it is important to keep the big
picture in mind, it is usually more effective to break the work up into several
smaller projects rather than attempting one all-encompassing undertaking.
o Promote grass-roots efforts rather than managing large-scale initiatives from the
top-down. Top-down management of very complex projects that involve a high
degree of uncertainty is likely to fail because of large administrative overhead,
overwhelming complexity of decision-making, slow progress, and lack of
ownership by the people who have to carry out the work. Instead, set a clear goal,
establish basic guidelines, and allow the work to proceed from the bottom up.
o Minimize the number of groups working on similar issues in the GCR.
Commit to and invest in one or a small number of coordinating groups, rather
than forming more and more similar groups with largely overlapping agendas.
Too many independent groups cause confusion and dilute resources.

*Improve collection and accessibility of traffic data at ports of entry. All ports of entry
that do not currently report traffic data should start doing so. The availability of port
traffic data at an adequate level of detail is necessary for risk quantification and cost-
benefit analysis regarding potential phytosanitary measures. Data format and units of
measurement should be harmonized throughout the region. Relevant information
includes: number and type of conveyances (vessels, airplanes, trucks, etc.) arriving and
departing; number and size of containers arriving, departing, or re-exported and if they
are full or empty; origin of containers.










*Create and enforce phytosanitary regulations that allow the issuing of adequate fines
or other penalties for violations. Fines need to be sufficiently high in relation to the
benefit of the prohibited action to have a deterrent effect.


Recommendations related to: Human Movement

Post signs at marinas to educate visitors about the potential consequences of
transporting exotic pest species on their vessels.

Increase presence and visibility of inspectors at marinas, mainly as a deterrent
measure. Publicize interceptions as a warning to potential violators.

Post signs at eco-tourism sites describing acceptable behavior while visiting the site.
Visitors should be instructed to remain on marked paths and to neither bring into nor take
out of the area any plants, plant parts, or animals.

Instruct visitors to clean shoes and clothing when entering or leaving a natural or
agricultural area. Visitors should remove soil and plant seeds from shoes and clothing
and inspect cuffs and Velcro closures. (Where appropriate, consider the use of water
hoses, disinfectant foot baths, metal grates in ground for cleaning shoes, etc.).

o Work with tour-guides and other staff at natural or agricultural areas to educate
visitors on the potential environmental and economic effects of exotic species
introduction. For example, visitors to the El Yunque rainforest in San Juan are educated
on environmental considerations prior to taking a walking expedition (Johnson, 2006).

Educate international air travelers prior to departure and deplaning about the
potential consequences (economic, environmental, personal) of transporting
agricultural products. This could be achieved by on-flight announcements,
informational brochures, or on-flight or pre-flight educational videos.

Raise money by providing products such as postcards, calendars, or souvenirs to
visitors who give a donation (Johnson, 2006). Use the money towards the prevention of
exotic pest introductions. The products themselves can be educational by providing
information on exotic pests of concern, dispersal mechanisms, and possible preventative
actions.

Implement a user fee system for eco-tourist destinations. Funds raised through
ecotourism should go to exotic species prevention and management (Hypolite et al.,
2002).

Carry out biodiversity impact studies for ecotourism sites to anticipate environmental
and economic impacts of exotic species introduction.









Limit access to very sensitive sites by restricting the number of visitors, access for
vehicles, density of roads and trails, availability of accommodations, etc.


Recommendations related to: Airline Passenger Baggage

Educate international air travelers prior to departure and deplaning about the
potential consequences (economic, environmental, personal) of transporting
agricultural products. This could be achieved by on-flight announcements,
informational brochures, or on-flight or pre-flight educational videos.

: Remind plane passengers to consume or discard prohibited materials during flight.
o Announcements by the flight crew could remind travelers that they are not
allowed to take certain materials into the destination countries.
o When collecting trash before landing, the flight crew may specifically ask for
fruits, vegetables, seeds, plants, meats, or other prohibited items.

Expand the use of detector dogs for baggage inspection. This is a less intrusive and
faster method than opening of the luggage by human inspectors.

Invest in research on inspection technology (e.g., robotic nose, x-ray technology, etc.)

Develop targeting strategies for inspection of airline passenger baggage. Possible
targeting criteria include origin of passenger, seasonality, and holidays. In order for this
to be possible, a systematic data collection program has to be implemented.


Recommendations related to: International Mail

Post educational information at public and private mail facilities to inform senders of
the potential economic and environmental impact of exotic species introductions and to
increase public awareness of phytosanitary regulations as they pertain to mail.

Conduct periodic data collection efforts ("blitzes") at mail facilities. Carry out
statistically-sound data collection to answer specific questions. Consider region-wide
coordination and sharing of resources for carrying out blitzes. Share results region-wide.

Allow inspection of USPS first class mail in Puerto Rico before leaving to the United
States. The lack of authority to inspect first-class mail seriously undermines the
quarantine process. Establish a PPQ working group to devise a program that will permit
inspection of USPS first class mail in Puerto Rico before leaving to the United States.
Current regulations (7CFR318.13 and 7CFR318.58) allow for such actions. Hawaii has
developed a process for obtaining search warrants, allowing inspection of suspicious
first-class packages destined to the mainland United States. A detector dog is used to
establish probable cause.









o Foster collaboration between customs officials, agricultural officials, mail facility
staff, and any other groups involved in mail handling and inspection.

Establish mail inspection systems in countries where they do not yet exist. This is
obviously a big and long-term undertaking that may not be immediately feasible
everywhere.

Implement package tracking and tracing technology at mail facilities. Improve public
and private mail systems, in particular the ability to track and trace parcels.

Increase the man-hours spent inspecting mail packages for quarantine materials, even
if only periodically.

Use appropriate inspection technology (e.g., x-ray systems) at mail facilities.

Use detector dogs at the mail facility.

Record data on pest interceptions in mail. Collect and archive data on pest and
quarantine material interceptions in mail. Ideally, the database or at least the format of the
database should be region-wide.

Create a regional bulletin or newsletter to share information about noteworthy pest
interceptions in mail, mail inspection methodologies, relevant meetings, etc.

Conduct surveillance of commercial internet sites. Quarantine materials (especially
propagative materials) are being sold and often smuggled through mail order. USDA-
SITC has attempted a surveillance initiative ("AIMS") and may be able to offer some
insights.

Organize a regional mail handler's conference as a formum for sharing information,
ideas, strategies, technologies, etc. Hold mail inspector training meetings.


Recommendations related to: Maritime Traffic

Focus safeguarding efforts on the major transshipment ports for cargo from outside
of the GCR. The major transshipment ports (Colon, Panama; Kingston, Jamaica; Port-of-
Spain, Trinidad) are where most of the cargo arrives from all over the world to be
distributed within the GCR by small vessels. Focusing safeguarding efforts on these
locations would require dealing with fewer entities (ports, ships, etc.) and may thus be
easier and more efficient.

Monitor inter-island trade via small vessels. Little data is available on inter-island
trade, including the transshipment of cargo from one country to another via small vessels.
Determine what commodities are being shipped, as well as their quantity, country of
origin, country of destination, and the incidence of wood packaging material.










o Implement risk communication strategies to educate local residents and business
owners on the pest risks associated with trade. Suggest specific strategies they can
employ to reduce the risk of pest introduction.


Recommendations related to: Hitchhiker Pests

Encourage loading of vessels during times when the likelihood of pest entry is
lowest. For example, avoid nighttime loading because lights attract some major groups of
quarantine-significant insects.

o Clean containers and conveyances. Evaluate effectiveness of currently used or
available cleaning methods and make changes as appropriate.

Place traps on maritime vessels (commercial and cruise ships) to catch insects and
possibly mollusks present on vessels. Coordinate and share data throughout region.
Ensure that traps do not attract pests onto the ship (e.g., place lures/turn on trapping lights
etc. only after ship is far enough from land). CISWG could be instrumental in
coordinating the development of a trapping plan, possibly in cooperation with the U.S.
Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Program and risk advisory groups such as
BTAG and CRAG.

Monitor areas on and near the perimeter of the ports regularly for introduced pests
of particular interest (Robinson et al., 2008). To reduce costs, employ the help of amateur
taxonomists, university students, and qualified volunteers. Avoid attracting pests into the
area (e.g., through lures, lights, etc.).

** Inspect empty containers, as well as containers with cargo.

Minimize pest contamination on containers by:
o Minimizing time of container storage outdoors
o Avoiding container storage on soil and near vegetation
o Avoiding night-time lighting of outdoor storage areas
o Cleaning storage areas on a regular basis
o Cleaning inside and outside of containers after and before each use

*Support studies to increase our understanding of the prevalence of hitchhikers on
transshipped containers. Focus on major maritime ports and airports that receive cargo
from outside of the GCR. Evaluate likelihood of hitchhikers to be carried to final cargo
destination given the current cargo handling procedures.









Recommendations related to: Wood Packaging Material


Develop a strategy to ensure adequate inspection of WPM on all agricultural and
non-agricultural cargo. Simply checking for treatment seals is not a sufficient
inspection method. A certain percentage of WPM should be randomly selected and
thoroughly searched for pests, both on the surface and inside the wood. All pertinent
information (type of cargo, origin of cargo, presence of treatment seal, types and number
of pests found, etc.) should be recorded and shared region-wide.

** Make the declaration of WPM mandatory for all imports. The presence of WPM in a
shipment should be declared on the importation papers. In addition, there may be a
special mark (e.g., a sticker) placed on containers that have WPM in them. This will help
port staff more effectively target WPM for inspection.

Increase region-wide inspection and identification expertise on pests associated with
WPM. Educate inspectors on how to look for pests on WPM. Ensure that identifiers have
the expertise and the necessary reference material to identify the pests that are found.

** Carry out surveys to determine the distribution of pests commonly associated with
WPM outside of their native range. Collaborate with forest services, not-for-profit
organizations (e.g., CABI) and the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS)
Program. Involve the public. Use the help of hobby biologists. Do not exclude the
countries that are enforcing ISPM #15 from these survey efforts.

Allow entry of WPM only if bark-free.

Develop a communication network to share pest interception data, as well as
inspection and diagnostic techniques, training materials, etc.

Encourage research to assess the effectiveness of ISPM #15.


Recommendations related to: Forestry

o Hold an international congress on introduced and imminent forest pests in the
GCR. The conference may be coordinated by Carribean Invasive Species Working
Group (CISWG) and may be modeled after a similar conference held by FAO in 2003
(FAO-RAP, 2005). The main objectives of the conference should be to:
o increase awareness of the threats of invasive species to forests and forest
products;
o share information related to exotic forest pests; and
o develop action items for regional cooperation in addressing forest pests.

** Establish criteria for assessing invasive potential for exotic tree species that are
under consideration for agroforestry. The USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Center for Plant Health
Science and Technology may be able to provide expertise in weed risk assessment.










Exclude tree species with high invasive potential from agroforestry systems. Fast-
growing and readily reproducing tree species are often preferred for plantation planting.
However, these species also have a greater potential to become invasive. As much as
possible, promote the use of local tree species in agroforestry and reforestation.

Carry out surveys to determine the distribution of pests commonly associated with
wood and non-wood forest products outside of their native range. The efforts of
Kairo et al. (2003) would provide a useful foundation for this.

Establish Best Management Practices to reduce the potential movement of forest
pests. These could include:
o Sanitation procedures such as cleaning forest equipment after each use
o Prevent contamination of logs with soil or weeds
o Prevent hitchhiker pests
o Prevent new infestations of cut logs (protect stored logs)
o Limit the movement of untreated firewood


Recommendations related to: Propagative Material

Require a weed risk assessment for the importation of plant species. Prohibit the
importation of all plant species unless they have been deemed unlikely to become
invasive by a (predictive) weed risk assessment. Any country without this policy leaves a
weakness in its safeguarding system. (Exceptions may be made for plants that have been
historically imported at high volumes.) The Australian Weed Risk Assessment system is
the most widely known and tested system of its kind (Gordon et al., 2008).

Assess the invasiveness of plant species retrospectively (e.g., (Heffernan et al., 2001,
Fox et al., 2005, Randall et al., 2008). Retrospective assessments evaluate the
invasiveness of plants some time after they have been imported. Retrospective
assessments are important because a lag time may exist between species introduction and
onset of invasiveness, invasiveness may change due to environmental changes, or the
invasiveness potential of a species may have been misjudged in a predictive weed risk
assessment (Reichard and White, 2001).

Draft a voluntary code of conduct for nurseries and landscaping businesses to
promote the sale and use of native and non-invasive plants. This code of conduct should
stipulate that the businesses:
o ensure that their staff is knowledgeable on the subject of invasive plants
o help educate their customers about invasive plants
o refrain from selling or planting species that are known to be invasive
o clearly label native plants and foreign non-invasive plants
o immediately report any potentially exotic pest organisms found on imported
plants









. Draft a voluntary code of conduct for local governments, resorts, hotels, and other
entities that engage in large-scale landscaping. This code of conduct should stipulate
that the entities:
o plant only native species or foreign species known to be non-invasive
o remove plants that are becoming invasive
o help educate their customers/residents on invasive plants

. Draft a voluntary code of conduct for botanical gardens and arboreta. Conclusions
from the first World Botanic Gardens Congress state that "Botanic gardens and arboreta
have, and continue to, contribute to this problem by promoting actually and potentially
invasive plants. Botanic gardens and arboreta have a clear responsibility to adopt and
demonstrate to the public a strong environmental ethic" (BGCI 2000). Code of conduct
should stipulate that botanical gardens:
o conduct invasiveness studies prior to introducing a new plant into botanic
gardens, arboreta, and the landscape. Possibly model invasiveness evaluation after
systems already in place at some botanic gardens that currently have evaluation
systems in place (BGCI, 2000)
o re-evaluate current plant collections for invasiveness (BGCI, 2000)
o ..."engage and educate fellow botanic gardens and arboreta, the horticulture
industry, and the public about the importance of choosing and displaying
ecologically responsible plant collections." (BGCI, 2000)
o "support, contribute to, and share research that identifies problems and provides
solutions" related to invasive plant species." (BGCI, 2000)

. Develop an educational program on identification and potential impact of invasive
plant species in the GCR (Reichard and White, 2001, Waugh, 2008). This program
should target the general public, as well as businesses and governments throughout the
GCR. The program may be developed at universities, for example through graduate
student projects.

* Develop a certification process that allows any entity adhering to the above-mentioned
codes of contact to become a "Certified ambassador of invasive species prevention."

* Develop sampling protocol for mites and other small arthropods. "Visual inspection
for mite infestations on large numbers of plants is inadequate [...]... A sampling protocol
[...] would include a designated subsample of plants in a shipment. Use of either an 80%
ethanol wash or a specified concentration of detergent solution would be employed [...].
This assessment should be done for a minimum period of one year to identify trends and
seasonal patterns of different pest mite species (as well as other arthropods) and provide
assurance of compliance by foreign shippers." (Childers and Rodrigues 2005).

* Increase attention to plant pathogens. As much as feasible, increase the availability of
molecular diagnostics. Develop a list of common pathogens of economic importance for
which plant material should be tested on a regular basis. Share test results within the
GCR. Use early warning and bio-surveillance systems as inputs for decision making.









* Require phytosanitary certificates for all imports of propagative materials. The
phytosantairy certificates should indicate the species and, if applicable the variety, of the
imported plants and should provide some assurance that the plant material is free of pests
based on clearly specified inspection protocols.

* Evaluate adequacy and reliability of procedures for issuing phytosanitary
certificates. Can the phytosanitary certificates be generally trusted? Is the staff providing
the information qualified? What is the affiliation of the persons providing the information
(NPPO, industry, etc.)? Are specific inspection guidelines in place? Is there a mechanism
for error control? Is there effective communication between the importing and the
exporting country?

* Support the efforts of the IPPC to develop an international standard for plants for
planting. "International trade in plants for planting has a high potential for the
introduction of regulated pests. Current phytosanitary measures that rely mainly on
treatments and inspections are, in some cases, inadequate to mitigate the risks.
Harmonized procedures for phytosanitary security of traded plants for planting are
necessary to allow increased trade while minimizing phytosanitary risks and unnecessary
delays. The expert working group is tasked with drafting a standard that will outline the
main criteria for the identification and application of phytosanitary measures for the
production and international movement of plants for planting (excluding seeds), while
also providing guidance to help identify and categorize the risks." (IPPC, 2008)

* Record information on propagative material imported by plant species, with
information on variety, type of material (roots, cuttings, etc.), country of origin, growing
and inspection practices followed, date of importation, and amount imported in consistent
units.

* In the United States: Give strong priority to the improvement of "quarantine 37",
building on the recommendations of Tschanz and Lehtonen (2005). If necessary, divert
scientific, risk analysis, and regulatory resources away from fruit and vegetable towards
propagative material imports.

* Implement systematic data collection efforts to assess the pest risk associated with at
least the most common imports of propagative materials. These data collection efforts
should be based on a statistically sound sampling scheme (validated by a qualified
statistician) and should follow a clearly documented inspection protocol. This protocol
should describe in detail the inspection methods to be followed (e.g., detergent wash,
diagnostic tests for pathogens, use of hand lens, etc.). Consider making resources
available to fund this work as graduate student research. The advantages of this approach
over using port-of-entry personnel would include: lower cost, less diversion of inspectors,
more objectivity and reliability of research, and better distribution and documentation of
results through the scientific publication process.

* Implement a systems approach to reduce the pest risk associated with the propagative
materials that pose the highest risk of pest introduction. The systems approach should be









customized for each commodity and should be developed collaboratively by the
importing and the exporting countries. The systems approach may contain components
such as scouting, pesticide applications, biological control, reduction of fertilizer levels,
routine diagnostic tests for pathogens, basic sanitation practices (e.g., washing of shoes
and equipment, etc.), pre-shipment inspection, quarantine treatments, etc. The systems
approach developed for Costa Rican Dracaena plants for importation into the United
States may serve as one example of a potentially very successful and mutually beneficial
program.


Recommendations related to: Natural Spread

Conduct annual surveys to monitor the arrival of new pests in an area.

Use predictive modeling (e.g., degree-day models, etc.) for timing of surveys.

Use sterile insect technique (SIT). Base SIT programs on a target pest list.

Develop host-free zones for targeted pests.

Develop biological control methods for targeted pests.

Determine the origin of invasive pests in the GCR. Because most information about
the natural spread of pests is anecdotal, the knowledge of where a pest originated from
would be a useful start in understanding natural pest movement. Obviously, it is generally
very difficult and often not possible to determine the origin of a pest. Modern
technologies, such as trace element or DNA analysis may be useful in some cases.










Introduction


Like many other areas of the world, the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR) is suffering
considerable economic and environmental impacts due to the introduction of exotic plant pests.
Examples of some recently introduced pests include the pink hibiscus mealybug,
Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), from Asia, which spread throughout the
GCR in less than 10 years, causing crop losses in the millions. Similarly, the red palm mite,
Raoiella indica (Acari: Tenuipalpidae), is quickly expanding its range throughout the region
after being detected in Martinique in 2004 (Flechtmann and Etienne, 2004). Black Sigatoka,
Mycosphaerellafijiensis (Ascomycetes: Mycosphaerellales), the mango seed weevil,
Sternochetus mangiferae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and the giant African snail, Achatina
fulica (Gastropoda) are just a few more examples of economically significant pests introduced
into the GCR.

While we do not know exactly how many exotic species have already established in the GCR,
there is no doubt that their number is in the hundreds and is quickly growing. Frank and Thomas
(2004) estimated that every year about 10 new species become established in Florida alone.
Kairo et al. (2003) provide a list of over 550 exotic species in the insular Caribbean. Frank and
McCoy (1992) list over 270 exotic insects that have established in Florida since 1970. As the
land areas in and around the Caribbean share similar climates and vegetation, species that
become established in one part of the region are potentially able to invade most other parts.

The GCR is composed of a multitude of mostly small countries and territories with a diversity of
political systems. While a number of organizations with agricultural focus are active in the GCR,
no single regional plant protection organization exists (Kairo et al., 2003). Resources available
for the prevention and management of exotic pest introductions are limited and so is knowledge
about the relative importance of different pathways of introductions.

This report is the result of a collaboration between the Caribbean Invasive Species Working
Group (CISWG) and the United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection and
Quarantine (USDA-PPQ). Its objective is to contribute to an improved understanding of
pathways of plant pest movement as they pertain to the entire GCR, thereby helping CISWG to
enhance its Caribbean Regional Invasive Species Intervention Strategy (CRISIS) for preventing
the introduction and spread of exotic pests.

The scope of the report includes all terrestrial, non-vertebrate plant pests, such as insects, mites,
plant pathogens, nematodes, mollusks, and weeds. For the purposes of this report, the Greater
Caribbean Region is defined as all countries bordering the Caribbean Sea, plus the Bahamas,
Turks and Caicos, El Salvador, Guyana, Suriname, and the U.S. Gulf States. The pest risk to
Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia is not addressed in this report, though these countries were
considered as sources of pest risk.

This document is a collection of chapters, each of which explores a different pathway of pest
movement. Although the chapters can be read independently of each other, there is considerable
overlap between topics. The pathways discussed are: human movement, airline passenger









baggage, mail, maritime traffic, hitchhikers, wood packaging material, forestry, propagative
materials, and natural spread. A list of recommendations for improved safeguarding is provided
at the end of each chapter. The recommendations that have the highest expected cost-benefit
ratio are preceded by a o*.

The discussion focuses on pest movement and entry. The question of establishment, an important
topic in its own right, has been purposely omitted from the scope of this report.

This report does not make the claim to answer all questions, to solve all problems, or to even
discuss all possible pathways of pest movement; rather, it is meant to be a starting point for
discussion and further study. It is hoped that this report will foster dialog and collaboration
among the Caribbean nations and will lay the groundwork for other, similar projects.










Chapter 1: Human Movement


Introduction

The introduction of pests into new locations has been closely linked to the movement of humans.
For example, Lonsdale (1999), accounting for site size effects, showed that the number of exotic
weeds in a particular site increases with the number of visitors.

As the most heavily touristed region in the world (Padilla and McElroy, 2005), the GCR is faced
with the challenge of managing this risk of exotic pest introduction. In the insular Caribbean, the
travel industry is among the most important industries, comprising almost 15% of the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) and providing approximately 13% of total employment (WTTC, 2008).
In 2006, international tourist arrivals numbered 19.4 million, 7 million, and 18.7 million for the
Caribbean islands, Central America, and South America, respectively (UNWTO, 2008).

Travelers may arrive by one of three basic modes: air, water, or land. The GCR has almost 1,000
airports (Aircraft Charter World, 1998, James, 2008), and the majority of all travelers-both
from within and outside of the Caribbean-arrive by air (UNWTO, 2006). Cruise ships,
departing mainly from North America, also bring a substantial number of travelers into the GCR
(FCCA, 2008). Travelers may arrive by water on ferries or on personal or chartered boats or
yachts. Access across land borders is possible in the case of North, Central, and South American
countries, as well as the countries on the islands of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican
Republic) and Saint Martin (French Saint Martin and Dutch Saint Maarten). Once in the GCR, it
is common for tourists to move between countries ("island-hop") by regional flight, small boat,
ferry, or cruise ship.

In this chapter, we address each of the above-mentioned basic modes of human movement (air,
water, and land) into and within the GCR and discuss the potential of each to serve as pathways
for exotic pest introduction. The pest risk associated with airline passenger baggage is analyzed
in detail in its own chapter (see Chapter 2). The pest risk associated with hitchhiker pests on
vessels and airplanes is also discussed separately (see Chapter 5).


Discussion

Persons visiting an area may intentionally or unintentionally spread plant pests in several
different ways: they may be carrying the pest on themselves, their clothing, or their shoes; they
may unintentionally transport the pest on certain products such as handicrafts or plant parts
brought to or taken from the area; or they may intentionally collect the pest (e.g., insects, snails,
tree seeds, or whole plants) to take it to a different location.

Data on the frequency of such events is scarce. Given that clothing and shoes, as well as most
items picked up by travelers with the purpose of transporting them to a different location will
most likely be carried inside the travelers' baggage at some point during the trip, the quantitative









analysis of the risk associated with airline passenger baggage provided in a separate chapter of
this report is relevant here (see Chapter 2).

Apart from this, most of the available information is anecdotal and non-quantitative. For
example, the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum (Oomycetes, Pythiales), found in greater
incidence on hiking trails and public lands than in minimally disturbed areas, appears to be
distributed via human activities such as hiking (Cushman and Meentemeyer, 2008). Spores of the
fungus Puccinia striiformis f sp. tritici (Uredinales: Pucciniaceae) can remain viable on clothing
for at least one week (Wellings et al., 1987). Similarly, conidia of Colletotrichum acutatum
(Ascomycota) may remain viable for long periods of time in dry soil or on clothing (Norman and
Strandberg, 1997); and land snails and slugs are believed to have been accidentally introduced
into the Pacific Islands in soil on shoes (Cowie, 2001). DiThomaso (2000) points out the
possibility that travelers may carry noxious weed seeds in soil particles attached to shoes and
boots; and numerous pest fact sheets mention the possibility of spreading via clothing or shoes
plant pathogens such as:
Puccinia graminis f sp. tritici (Uredinales: Pucciniaceae), the causal agent of the wheat
stem rust Ug-99 (Grains Research and Development Corporation, 2008);
Moniliophthora roreri (Agaricales: Marasmiaceae), causal agent of frosty pod rot (CABI,
2008);
Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) (Ferguson, 2001);
Xanthomonas axonopodis (Xanthomonadales: Xanthomonadaceae), causal agent of citrus
canker (Telford, 2008);
Puccinia horiana (Uredinales: Pucciniaceae), causal agent of chrysanthemum white rust
(Callahan, 2003);
Phakopsorapachyrhizi (Uredinales: Phakopsoraceae), causal agent of soybean rust
(USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2003); or
Nematodes (Crow and Dunn, 2005).

Many plants have evolved special adaptations enabling their seeds to adhere to the fur of animals
(Bullock and Primack, 1977), and these same adaptations will make the seeds adhere to human
clothing as well. Lonsdale (1999) showed that the number of exotic weeds in a particular site
increases with the number of visitors. Several weed species in Mexico have been shown to be
dispersed on human clothing (Vibrans, 1999). In a study by Whinam et al. (2005), inspection of
expeditionary equipment revealed that viable seeds were carried on clothing to overseas
locations. A total of 981 propagules (seeds and fruits) and five moss shoots were collected from
the clothing and equipment of 44 expeditioners. These propagules comprised 90 species from 15
families. Outdoor equipment and equipment cases (particularly daypacks) were found with seeds
on or in them. Pockets, seams, and cuffs of outdoor clothing such as gaiters, jackets, and socks
also collected propagules. Seeds were found under the tongue, innersole, and in the tread of
walking boots. Clothing and outdoor items with Velcro fasteners were identified as the highest-
risk items.

Also of concern is the deliberate movement of organisms or objects which are pests or may
harbor pests. Based on our personal experience, it is not uncommon for travelers to actively
collect or purchase viable plants or plant parts, live insects or snails, or pieces of wood or small
quantities of soil that may contain pest organisms. Seeds, plants, and flower bulbs have been









intercepted in airline passenger baggage (USDA, 2008d), showing that these items are indeed
being carried by travelers. Rare orchids and endangered cycads from Asia, Australia, and Africa
have been smuggled into the United States for resale (Stokes, 2001). Given the diversity and
beauty of tropical plants and animals, it seems likely that many travelers would be tempted to
take along plant parts or small animals as souvenirs. If these travelers visit multiple locations in
the GCR, which is common especially among cruise ship passengers, there is a chance that pests
could spread from one location to the next. Residents of the GCR may be tempted to take plants
or seeds from visited locations with similar climates either within or outside of the GCR for
planting in their own yards.

Handicrafts sold at markets throughout the
GCR may also present a pest risk. For
example, at a tourist market in Old San Juan,
Puerto Rico, baskets and animals made out of
palm leaves were offered for sale (Image 1.1).
These items have the potential to harbor plant
pests, as evidenced by the detection of live red
palm mites, Raoiella indica (Acari:
Tenuipalpidae), in palm frond hats made in
the Dominican Republic and brought by cruise
ship passengers to Palm Beach, Florida
(Apgar, 2007, Welbourn, 2007). Hats are of
special concern, because people wear them as
Image 1.1 Handicrafts made of palm leaves for t e al a eea het
sale in Puerto Rico. they walk about, and they are at a height
where contact with vegetation is easily
possible. But it is not only Caribbean products that present a pest risk. People from other
countries visiting friends or relatives in the GCR are likely to purchase local handicrafts as gifts.
Furthermore, many of the handicrafts sold as souvenirs in Caribbean countries are actually made
in China, India, or other Asian countries (personal observation), and some of them (e.g., baskets,
wood carvings, etc.) could conceivably present a pest risk. Similarly, wooden products such as
bonsai trees, artificial Christmas trees, and bamboo stakes may be vehicles for the movement of
wood-boring pests (Haugen and lede, 2001).

While we do not have sufficient information to quantify the likelihood of pest introduction per
traveler, it is obvious that the frequency of traveler-related pest introduction into an area is a
direct function of the number of travelers entering per unit of time. In 2006, the Caribbean
islands documented 19.4 million international tourist arrivals, Central American countries
reported almost 7 million, and those for South America numbered 18.7 million (UNWTO, 2008).
Experts project a 3.3% annual growth of tourist numbers for the next 10 years (WTTC, 2008).

Table 1.1 shows tourist arrivals for 2006. Tourist data captures arrivals of visitors staying more
than 24 hours. The Dominican Republic reported the greatest number of tourist arrivals (almost 4
million), followed by Florida (3.5 million) and Cuba (2.2 million).

In 2006, the United States provided the largest source of tourists traveling to the insular
Caribbean, with well over five million arrivals (Figure 1.1) (CTO, 2007). European tourists









represented about a quarter of all tourist arrivals, followed by Canada, with almost 1.5 million
arrivals (CTO, 2007).

Pattullo (1996a) pointed out that different nationalities have preferences for different
destinations. U.S. travelers tend to visit Puerto Rico (27% of U.S. tourists in 2004), the Bahamas
(12%), Jamaica (9%), the Dominican Republic (8%), Aruba (5%), and the U.S. Virgin Islands
(5%), with the remaining tourists visiting Mexico (15%) or other destinations in the GCR (19%)
(CTO, 2006). British travelers generally prefer the former British colonies (Jamaica, Barbados,
Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, and the Bahamas) (Pattullo, 1996a), while Germans favor the
Dominican Republic and Cuba, and French visitors prefer the French territories of Martinique
and Guadeloupe in addition to Cuba and the Dominican Republic (Pattullo, 1996a).

The origin and destination preferences of travelers may be useful for determining which pests
could be introduced via human movement. For example, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas may
prefer to focus on pests present in the United States (and vice versa), while the Dominican
Republic and Cuba should look to Germany and France (and vice versa) when seeking to
identify potential pest threats.

Another factor impacting the likelihood of travelers to introduce pests is travel reason. A
quantitative analysis of the pest risk associated with airline passengers entering the United States
showed that persons visiting family, and-to a lesser extent-persons visiting friends, have a
higher likelihood of carrying quarantine materials (QMs) than either vacationers or business
travelers (see Chapter 2). However, this may not be the case for other countries of destination in
the GCR. Given that the United States is an immigration country, travelers to the United States in
the "visit friends" and "visit family" categories would likely be either persons from foreign
countries visiting relatives who live in the United States, or U.S. residents of foreign origin
returning from family/friend visits in their home country. In either case, they are likely to bring
QMs such as fruits and vegetables (possibly home-grown) from a foreign country into the United
States. On the other hand, most of the other countries in the GCR are sources of emigration to the
United States, Canada, and the European Union (United Nations, 2005). Thus, travelers in the
"visit family" and "visit friends" categories who enter these Caribbean countries would not be as
likely to bring in QMs; rather, they may be expected to bring electronics, clothing, and other
types of gifts that are more inexpensive or more easily available in the immigration countries.

Data available for the insular Caribbean, Guyana, and Suriname show that the majority of all
visitors to these countries (approximately 80%) travel for leisure, which includes activities such
as recreation, holiday, shopping, sports and cultural events, and visiting family and/or friends
(CTO, 2006). Business travel, including mission trips, meetings, and paid study and research,
accounts for approximately 10% of all visitor arrivals, and the remaining 10% comprises all
other travel reasons (including health treatment, religious pilgrimage, and aircraft and ship crew
arrivals) (CTO, 2006).

During 2006, the peak numbers of visitors were recorded in March and July, while May and
September represented dips in tourist numbers (Figure 1.2). This is consistent with trends
observed in 2003 and 2004 (CTO, 2006). The high numbers of arrivals in March and July
coincide with school vacations in the United States and other countries. With a large percentage









of visitors to the Caribbean traveling from the United States (CTO, 2007), it is not surprising to
see this seasonal trend. The arrival of large numbers of visitors in these months may mean
increased pest risk during these times, especially in July, when pest activity in the United States
is at its highest.

Three relatively recent trends emerging in the Caribbean tourism industry are ecotourism, sports
tourism, and the "private island" experience. Ecotourism seeks to unite the traveler with the
natural environment and may offer such experiences as visits to ancient ruins and historic cities,
wildlife tours, river tubing, mountain biking, and hiking (Johnson, 2006). Noting that there is a
largely untapped market for sports tourism, a number of individuals in the tourism sector are
encouraging sports education and further development of the sports tourism sector in the GCR
(Holder, 2003, Sinclair, 2005). Cruise ship operators have begun to promote the private island
experience; remote island destinations offer visitors a secluded environment and an experience
quite different from traditional stops at large ports-of-call (Wilkinson, 2006).

The development of each of these niche markets may lead to increased tourism. For example, the
English-speaking areas of the GCR experienced an economic boost as a result of the 2007
Cricket World Cup taking place in the West Indies (CCAA, 2007). Ecotourism worldwide has
grown by 20-34% annually (Mastny, 2001, TIES, 2006) since its beginnings in the 1990s, and a
growing trend may also be expected for the Caribbean.

Not only would increased tourism cause the risk of exotic pest introductions to grow, but
ecotourism, private island experiences, and certain types of outdoor sports may exacerbate the
impact of exotic pest introductions by bringing people into closer contact with the natural
environment and with pristine ecosystems. Tourist activities, such as the use of all-terrain
vehicles or mountain-bikes, may disturb fragile ecosystems (Johnson, 2006) and create an
environment that is more favorable to the establishment of non-native species. The kind of
tourist who is fond of nature may be likely to collect living plants, seeds, insects, or snails as
souvenirs and either inadvertently or intentionally spread them to other locations within the
GCR.


Pathway: Air Travel

The Caribbean's tourism industry is largely dependent on air transportation (Bertrand, 2007). Its
international airports primarily receive travelers from outside the GCR (Pattullo, 1996c), while
regional airports facilitate travel within the region. The GCR has almost 1,000 airports1 (Aircraft
Charter World, 1998, James, 2008), the vast majority of which are located in the U.S. states
bordering the Gulf of Mexico (Aircraft Charter World, 1998). The insular Caribbean has 53
airports, including approximately 20 international airports, which are widely distributed
throughout the region (James, 2008).

In a study of interceptions occurring over a 17-year period at U.S. ports of entry, McCullough et
al. (2006) found that 62% of intercepted pests were associated with baggage. The authors
identified Mexico, Central and South America, the insular Caribbean, and Asia as common

1 Includes public, private, and military airports.









origins for the pest interceptions (McCullough et al., 2006). In 2007, baggage inspections at
airports in U.S. states located in the GCR (Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas)
resulted in 126,136 plant QM interceptions, 374 soil interceptions (USDA, 2008f), and 4,049
pest interceptions (3,620 of them U.S. quarantine pests) (USDA, 2008d).

The level of airline passenger inspection varies among Caribbean countries and even among the
different airports of the same country. In the United States, CBP subjects airline passengers to
agricultural inspection; however, the level of scrutiny varies between flights, depending on the
origin of the flight, the time it lands, the origin of other flights landing at the same time, the
number of inspectors available, and other factors. For the most part, inspection of international
airline passengers traveling to the United States takes place at U.S. airports, but there are also
preclearance operations at airports in Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, and Ireland (CBP,
2006). The luggage of air passengers traveling from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or
Hawaii to the U.S. mainland or one of the previously mentioned locations is inspected prior to
departure. However, in some cases inspection levels have not been able to keep up with growing
passenger numbers. While the number of passengers traveling from Aguadilla, Mayaguez and
Ponce, Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland increased by 65% from 2.5 million in 2005 to 3.8
million in 2007, the number of passengers inspected grew by only 50% during the same time
period (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008e). Travelers from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico or the
U.S. Virgin Islands are not subject to agricultural inspections by CBP. Regarding airline
passenger baggage, it may therefore be more likely for pests to be carried from the U.S.
mainland to the Caribbean rather than the other way around.

Martinique regulations prohibit the importation of any kind of plants or unprocessed plant
products by airline passengers from any origin (lotti, 2008). Inspections focus mainly on flights
from South America, which have been identified as high-risk. Twice per month, flights are
inspected at a 100% inspection rate, passing bags through x-ray scanners, then interviewing
travelers and inspecting baggage contents as necessary. Flights originating in France are not
inspected. Customs officers collaborate closely with the plant protection organization by alerting
them of detections of agricultural interest (Ferguson and Schwartzburg, 2008). Flights from
Guayana and Guadeloupe seem to be regarded as presenting the highest phytosanitary risk (lotti,
2008). A propensity of the inhabitants of Martinique to bring rare plants onto the island for
planting in their gardens has been noted (lotti, 2008).

The island of Trinidad has a much better developed quarantine service than the island of Tobago,
which has recently started receiving direct international flights. Previously, all international
flights landed in Trinidad. There are no agricultural inspections between the islands of Trinidad
and Tobago (Bertone and Gutierrez, 2008).

Several experts we interviewed in Jamaica thought that airline passenger baggage was a major
pathway for pest introduction. The culprits were usually believed to be Jamaicans returning from
abroad. The opinion was also that these travelers were not aware of the potential consequences of
species introductions (Schwartzburg and Robertson, 2008).









Pathway: Cruise Ships


In 2007, the cruise industry carried a record 12.6 million passengers worldwide, a 4.1% increase
over 2006 (FCCA, 2008)2. This growth trend is expected to continue (Wilkinson, 2006).

Over 10 million cruise passengers departed from North America in 2007. Almost half (61%
during October through March; 23% during April through September) of all North American
cruise itineraries are headed to the Caribbean (FCCA, 2008).

Three companies dominate the worldwide cruise market: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Star
Group (Norwegian Cruise Line) (Johnson, 2002, Wilkinson, 2006, MARAD, 2007). In 2006,
these companies accounted for 95% of passenger nights3, with Carnival accounting for over half
of passenger nights for the year (MARAD, 2007).

Miami, Florida dominates as the departure port supporting the most passengers (1.89 million
passengers or 19% of all North American passengers) (MARAD, 2007). Also in the top five in
terms of departing cruise passengers are: Cape Canaveral, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida;
Galveston, Texas; and Los Angeles, California.

The destinations in the GCR most visited by North American cruise passengers in 2006 were:
Western Caribbean4 32% of passengers,
Bahamas 15% of passengers,
Eastern Caribbean 14% of passengers, and
Southern Caribbean6 8% of passengers (MARAD, 2007).

Table 1.2 shows excursionist7 arrivals for 2006. While excursionist arrival data may include
maritime passengers arriving on small boats or ferries, it primarily represents arrivals of cruise
ship passengers. The Bahamas reported the greatest number of excursionist arrivals
(approximately 3 million). The Cayman Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Netherlands
Antilles each reported close to 2 million excursionist arrivals.

Similar to airline passengers, cruise ship passengers have the potential to carry weed seeds, plant
pathogens, or small insects on their shoes or clothing. The majority of multi-destination visitors
in the Caribbean are cruise passengers (Garraway, 2006), and because these visits to climatically
similar destinations occur within a short time frame, it is quite possible that cruise passengers
may carry viable plant pests to a new location that is suitable for survival of the pest, especially
with future trends (e.g., ecotourism, private island experience, etc.) leading to more natural and

2Cruise passenger numbers for 2007 reported from this source are based on third quarter 2007 results and fourth
quarter 2007 estimates.
30ne passenger night is equivalent to one passenger spending one night on a cruise ship; one passenger spending
four nights would equal four passenger nights.
4 Western Caribbean: west of Haiti; includes ports in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. Note that Mexico is
not included in this analysis.
5 Eastern Caribbean: as far south as Saint Martin and as far west as Haiti.
6 Southern Caribbean: south of Saint Martin to northern coast of South America as far as Aruba. Note that
Venezuela is not included in this analysis.
7 Excursionist: visitor who stays for less than 24 hours and does not stay overnight.









pristine areas being visited by cruise passengers. Cruise ship passengers are also likely to visit
local markets where they may buy certain handicrafts or other items that could harbor plant
pests.

As cruise ships offer an abundance of food, cruise passengers are unlikely to bring food items
such as fresh fruits or vegetables with them on board for consumption. For customer satisfaction,
the cruise line must provide fresh food products throughout the cruise. The majority of the food
served on the cruise ship is bought from suppliers at the home port (Erkoc et al., 2005). While
cruise lines may occasionally make additional food purchases from local markets at ports-of-call,
they usually try to avoid such purchases to minimize costs. For obvious reasons, the cruise ship
company has a strong interest in purchasing only produce that is free of pests.

While passengers may conceivably take fresh produce from the ship to eat during an excursion
and may dispose of the fruit before re-entering the ship, this would not occur very frequently and
involve only small amounts of produce that would be unlikely to harbor pests.

Ports routinely utilized by cruise ships have many street vendors who sell fresh produce (fruit,
nuts, and vegetables). Although signs clearly posted in secure ship boarding areas indicate that
agricultural products need to be declared, in general, inspections do not appear to target
agricultural violations (Neeley, 2008). If the cruise passenger disposes of the local produce at
another port-of-call or at their country of origin, then there may be a (probably very small)
chance of pest introduction into the new area.

Inspection procedures for cruise ship passengers vary among GCR countries. In the United
States, rules state: "passengers and baggage on cruise ships with Caribbean, Mexico or Bermuda
itineraries are not routinely inspected by CBP. CBP/APHIS will periodically monitor the
clearance of passengers and baggage to evaluate the risk of prohibited agricultural articles that
may be associated with passengers and baggage." and "Officials of the cruise ship are
responsible for educating passengers and crew members concerning the requirements for
bringing agricultural articles off the ship at the U.S. Port of Entry. Information should be
provided using signs at all exits from the vessel, audio and/or video presentations, and amnesty
bins. Information provided to passengers and crew must be approved by CBP/APHIS prior to
distribution". These rules are laid out in a compliance agreement with the cruise ship. The
agreement may be revoked by CBP at any time for noncompliance (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008d).

The ports of Quetzal and San Jose, Guatemala receive over 50 cruise ships per year, mainly
during the month of January. Passenger baggage is not inspected. Inspections are performed on
hulls, food provisions, and garbage. Usually, no quarantine materials are found (Meissner and
Schwartzburg, 2008). Cruise ships often dock in Fort-de-France, Martinique for a few hours stay,
and passengers are not subject to agricultural inspection at arrival or departure (Ferguson and
Schwartzburg, 2008).

U.S. port of entry inspections of maritime passenger baggage in 2007 yielded 22,259 plant QM
interceptions and six soil interceptions at marine ports located in U.S. states in the GCR (Florida,
Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) (USDA, 2008f). In the same year, 35 pest
interceptions-19 of them quarantine pests for the United States-were documented at these









same ports from maritime (primarily cruise ships) baggage (USDA, 2008d) (Table 1.3). The
majority of these pest interceptions were associated with leaves of the coconut palm, Cocos
nucifera, presumably in the form of handicrafts. At least 28 of the 35 pest interceptions were
from vessels originating in the GCR or Mexico (USDA, 2008d). These interceptions of plant
QMs and of plant pests indicate that maritime passenger baggage is an important pathway for the
movement of pests. It should be noted that these interceptions were the result of special blitzes
targeting red palm mite; routine inspections result in fewer interceptions, i.e., lower interception
numbers during other time periods do not necessarily indicate lower approach rates.


Pathway: Private Boats and Small Commercial Vessels

Private yachts and small commercial vessels travel constantly between nations of the GCR
(Pattullo, 1996b) and nearby countries. In many cases, inspection of these vessels is not feasible,
which means that private vessels often return to marinas and private docks without any contact
with an agricultural inspector. For example, at the Marina Puerto del Rey, the largest private
marina in the Caribbean, arriving vessels are often cleared by radio and are not boarded by an
inspector (Ruiz, 2007). The same is true in Florida (Lemay et al., 2008), Guatemala (Meissner
and Schwartzburg, 2008) and presumably in other locations throughout the Caribbean, as well.

Visitors traveling by yacht depend on local markets for provisions, and farmers often supply
agricultural products directly to sailors at marinas (Pattullo, 1996b). In some cases, sales to
sailors are a primary source of income (Pattullo, 1996b).

Small vessels are also frequently used to transport agricultural commodities, including
propagative materials for commerce (Boerne, 1999). There is a chance that these agricultural
products may be infested with pests, which may thus be transported to new locations. New pests
establish in the GCR on a constant basis and are unlikely to be detected by local farmers--and
even the scientific community--unless they cause noticeable crop damage.

For example, between Trinidad and Venezuela, there is frequent informal trade involving foods,
fruits, vegetables, as well as live animals. It is suspected that Mycospharellafijiensis, the causal
agent of the black Sigatoka disease entered Trinidad via this pathway, and there is concern that
Moniliophthora roreri, the causal agent of frosty pod of cocoa may spread to Trinidad in the
same manner (Bertone and Gutierrez, 2008).

Officials in Martinique pointed out the impossibility of controlling the traffic of small boats
between the Caribbean islands. These boats often carry plant materials, either for personal use of
for small-scale trading. At the Fisherman's Harbor in Fort-de-France all fishing boats are
inspected once a week. They often carry crates of produce. Typical items carried for small-scale
commerce with loal merchants are rrot crops like yams or taro, or fruits, like avocados. One
concern is that fishermen often wrap their fish in banana leaves for transport between islands.
This represents a risk of introducing black sigatoga into Martinique, where bananas are the major
agricultural crop (Ferguson and Schwartzburg, 2008).

'The datasource (USDA 2008) does not specify vessel type; however, in many cases a ship name is listed, providing
some indication of the identity of the vessel.










Private boats and other small vessels may also transport plants or propagative material. Often,
private vessels return to marinas and private docks without any contact with an agricultural
inspector. Pests in association with plants and propagative material will have the best chance of
surviving in their new environment. Therefore, this pathway is of great concern.


Pathway: Land Borders

In the Insular Caribbean, only the islands of Hispaniola and Saint Martin are home to more than
one country and can be accessed via land borders. On the other hand, all of the Central and South
American countries included in the scope of this report share land borders with at least two other
countries. In the following, we describe the situation at some of these borders and discuss the
pest risk they present.

Land borders in the Insular Caribbean. Haiti and the Dominican Republic are connected by a
360 km land border that is frequently crossed by migrant workers from Haiti (CIA, 2008).
Haitian and Dominican officials estimated that several hundred Haitians crossed the border daily
(Navarro, 1999). As many as 8,000 Haitians cross into the Dominican Republic twice-weekly for
market days held in the border town ofDajabon (Navarro, 1999). On the other hand, movement
of tourists across this border is almost non-existent. Haiti sees few tourists other than the cruise
passengers who visit a locked and guarded beach compound (Anonymous, 2008b). Pest
movement across the Haitian/Dominican Republic border would be expected to occur primarily
through migrant workers who may carry plants or plant products with them across the border or
by natural spread.

The island of Saint Martin holds the distinction of being the smallest landmass in the world
shared by two countries (CIA, 2008). French Saint Martin (northern region) and Dutch Saint
Maarten (southern region) share a border that is only 15 km long (CIA, 2008). Given the small
size of the island and the fact that human movement across the border is free and easy (Chase,
1996), pests are expected to move just as easily across this border.

Mexico-Guatemala border. The border between Mexico and Guatemala is approximately
1,000 km long. About 36 border crossings have been identified; however, only eight of them are
regulated (Solis, 2005). Many of the border crossings, such as the Puente Binacional connecting
Ciudad Hidalgo to Tecun Uman, facilitate an abundant circulation of travelers and merchandise,
both of which are often transported on tricycles. There is a vivid commercial interchange
between the people of both countries, of basic agricultural items and handicrafts (Nuiiez, 2007).
A large number of Mexicans and Guatemalans cross the border legally on a daily basis, but there
is also a great amount of illegal human movement, mainly from south to north. The National
Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migraci6n INM) estimates that approximately two
million crossings occur annually on the Mexico-Guatemala border. In addition, there is a number
of legal and illegal agricultural day workers, as well as day visitors crossing the border for
shopping purposes (Solis, 2005).









Table 1.4 illustrates the dynamics at four major border crossings. More than three times as many
people move from Guatemala into Mexico than from Mexico to Guatemala. However, a large
number also enter Mexico to work in the agricultural sector (Table 1.5). Originally, they were
employed mainly on the coffee plantations of Chiapas, but in more recent years, there has also
been a growing demand in banana, sugarcane, and mango plantations (Solis, 2005).

Belize's borders with Mexico and Guatemala. English-speaking Belize serves as a transit
country for a small percentage of Central Americans headed north (the majority transit via
Mexico) (Mahler and Ugrina, 2006). Land borders with Guatemala and Mexico are 266 km and
250 km long, respectively (CIA, 2008). Belize, despite not sharing a land border with Honduras,
regularly receives temporary workers from Honduras who help to harvest sugarcane and coffee
(Caniz, 2008). Temporary workers who enter Guatemala through official ports of entry are
subjected to agricultural inspections. Of more concern are the temporary workers who come
ashore at docks other than official ports of entry. In these cases, there is speculation that these
workers enter Belize with infested fruit fly host material, thus introducing the unwanted Medfly,
Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), and prompting emergency eradication efforts (Caniz,
2008).

The border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. A large number of immigrants from
Nicaragua, attracted by the availability of more jobs and better salaries than in their home
country, have entered Costa Rica over the past decade. Immigrants from Nicaragua presently
constitute approximately six to eight percent of all inhabitants of Costa Rica (Marquette, 2006).
Most of the immigrants reside permanently in Costa Rica, but there may be as many as 100,000
seasonal migrants at peak harvest times. In addition, illegal immigration is believed to be
common, although there are no official statistics confirming this (Marquette, 2006).
Approximately one quarter of the Nicaraguan immigrants in Costa Rica are employed in the
agricultural sector (Marquette, 2006), which brings them into close contact with plants and soil
and with plant pests such as pathogens, weed seeds, nematodes, and insects. For example, at the
Del Oro citrus farm located about 10 miles from the Nicaraguan border in Santa Cruz, Costa
Rica, farm workers are almost exclusively from Nicaragua (Bertone and Meissner, 2008b).
Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica regularly travel to their home country-often by bus-to visit
family and friends, especially during the holiday seasons. This leads to an ongoing interchange
of items, some of them of agricultural quarantine significance, between the two countries.

The Costa Rican Department of Agriculture (MAG) inspects cars, trucks, buses, and pedestrians
entering Costa Rica from Nicaragua, working very closely with other agencies such as the border
police. Interceptions of agricultural quarantine materials are very common. The coffee berry
borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), a serious agricultural pest,
is believed to have been inadvertently introduced into Costa Rica by pedestrians crossing the
border from Nicaragua in 1983 (Bertone and Meissner, 2008b).

Other land borders in Central America. Other land borders in Central America are the borders
between Guatemala and Honduras (256 km), Guatemala and El Salvador (203 km), El Salvador
and Honduras (342 km), Honduras and Nicaragua (922 km), Costa Rica and Panama (330 km),
and Panama and Colombia (225 km) (CIA, 2008)









Crossing land borders connecting Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua is very easy
for citizens of any of the four countries, as well as U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign
nationals legally entering any of the four countries. Under the Central America-4 (CA-4) Border
Control Agreement, citizens and visitors meeting the above requirements may cross land borders
without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints (USCS, 2007). Also,
throughout Central America, inspections at land borders are generally limited to immigration and
customs checks and do not include agricultural inspections (Caniz, 2008). Human movement
across land borders in Central America is not limited to migrants and visitors from Central
American countries. Starting in the 1980s, Central America became a geographic bridge to North
America for migrants from South America seeking to enter the United States (Mahler and
Ugrina, 2006). In terms of pest risk, this may mean that the flow of pest introductions due to
human movement may follow a northern course, with pests from South America moving into
Central America and North America and pests from Central America moving into North
America.

Land borders in South America. Information on human movement across land borders in
South America is scarce. Venezuela and Guyana have 743 km of shared border (CIA, 2008), yet
there are no official border crossings between the two countries (Kuiper, 2005). Movement of
people across the mountainous border is unimpeded. One known crossing point is near
Eteringbang, on the junction of the Cuyuni River (Kuiper, 2005). The movement of people
across the border and lack of inspection checkpoints likely results in an exchange of plants and
plant products between the two countries.

The same is the case for the other borders that are relevant in the context of this analysis:
between Guyana and Suriname (600 km), Suriname and French Guiana (510 km), Suriname and
Brazil (593 km), and Guyana and Brazil (1,606 km) (CIA, 2008).


Pathway: Ferries

Travel by ferry is common between some countries or islands of the GCR. The ferry Caribbean
Express carried 145,000 passengers, 16,000 vehicles and 13,000 containers between Puerto Rico
and the Dominican Republic in 2006 (Dominican Today, 2007). In Puerto Rico, seven CBP staff
inspect all luggage, vehicles, and containers coming off the ferry, as well as part of the ship's
interior. In the past, an agricultural sniffing dog was available to help with the inspections, but
presently no dogs are being used. According to officers in Puerto Rico, ferry inspection
procedures on the Dominican Republic side are more lenient, and the ferry's garbage is usually
disposed of in the Dominican Republic because of less stringent regulations (Bertone and
Meissner, 2008a). In April of 2007, various groups of the U.S. government joined forces in a
blitz operation targeting Caribbean Express (Caribbean Risk Assessment Group, 2008). A total
of 2,071 passengers and 198 personal vehicles were inspected over the course of 3 days,
resulting in 68 plant QM and 7 pest interceptions. Assuming that the inspections detected every
QM and pest present, this would translate into about 5,000 plant QMs and 500 pests per year
arriving in Puerto Rico via Caribbean Express (not counting the cargo containers being
transported on the ferry). Only a fraction of these pests would be intercepted by routine
agricultural inspections. What percentage of these pests would be exotic to Puerto Rico is









difficult to estimate. The pests intercepted during the blitz were identified as: Planococcus citri,
Dysmicoccus brevipes, Cucujidae sp., Anastrepha sp., and Melanagromyza sp., only the latter
two of which are considered actionable by the USDA. However, a number of exotic pests
established in Puerto Rico are believed to have originated in the Dominican Republic (Caribbean
Risk Assessment Group, 2008), and almost any pest may potentially be carried by ferry
passengers. This pathway should thus be considered high risk, a conclusion which also reached
by the Caribbean Risk Assessment Group.

There is also a regular ferry service between Belize and both Honduras and Guatemala
(Travour.com, 2008). Ferries and high-speed catamarans are an important means of
transportation between Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent, and Guadeloupe;
and there is potential for movement of plant products via this pathway. Catamaran passenger
baggage is randomly selected for agricultural inspection twice a month (Ferguson and
Schwartzburg, 2008).
A twice-daily ferry operates between the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Given that they are
traveling within the country, the passengers of this ferry are not subject to agricultural inspection.


Summary

Pest interception data related to human movement into or within the GCR is scarce; however, it
is obvious that the number of travelers is immense. Most travelers arrive by air, but small vessels
and cruise ships also carry large numbers of people. Movement across land borders in the GCR
is not well-documented and is often overlooked; however, the associated pest risk may be
considerable. The same is true for movement of yachts and other small vessels. For all modes of
travel the level of phytosanitary inspection is generally insufficient to mitigate pest risk.


Recommendations

** Post signs at marinas to educate visitors about the potential consequences of
transporting exotic pest species on their vessels.

Increase presence and visibility of inspectors at marinas, mainly as a deterrent
measure. Publicize interceptions as a warning to potential violators.

Post signs at eco-tourism sites describing acceptable behavior while visiting the site.
Visitors should be instructed to remain on marked paths and to neither bring into nor take
out of the area any plants, plant parts, or animals.

Instruct visitors to clean shoes and clothing when entering or leaving a natural or
agricultural area. Visitors should remove soil and plant seeds from shoes and clothing
and inspect cuffs and Velcro closures. (Where appropriate, consider the use of water
hoses, disinfectant foot baths, metal grates in ground for cleaning shoes, etc.).









o Work with tour-guides and other staff at natural or agricultural areas to educate
visitors on the potential environmental and economic effects of exotic species
introduction. For example, visitors to the El Yunque rainforest in San Juan are educated
on environmental considerations prior to taking a walking expedition (Johnson, 2006).

* Educate international air travelers prior to departure and deplaning about the
potential consequences (economic, environmental, personal) of transporting
agricultural products. This could be achieved by on-flight announcements,
informational brochures, or on-flight or pre-flight educational videos.

* Raise money by providing products such as postcards, calendars, or souvenirs to
visitors who give a donation (Johnson, 2006). Use the money towards the prevention of
exotic pest introductions. The products themselves can be educational by providing
information on exotic pests of concern, dispersal mechanisms, and possible preventative
actions.

* Implement a user fee system for eco-tourist destinations. Funds raised through
ecotourism should go to exotic species prevention and management (Hypolite et al.,
2002).

* Carry out biodiversity impact studies for ecotourism sites to anticipate environmental
and economic impacts of exotic species introduction.

* Limit access to very sensitive sites by restricting the number of visitors, access for
vehicles, density of roads and trails, availability of accommodations, etc.










Chapter 2: Airline Passenger Baggage


Introduction

During the 20th century, air travel became the most important means of international people
movement. On the Caribbean islands alone, there are over 50 airports (James, 2008), and the
majority of all visitors to the islands-both from within and outside of the Caribbean-arrive by
air (UNWTO, 2006).

International air travel has long been considered a significant means of moving pest species
(NRC, 2002, Liebhold et al., 2006). For example, Laird (1951) pointed out that aircraft are a
pathway for insect introductions. Evans et al. (1963) found significant numbers of mosquitoes
and other arthropods in both baggage compartments and passenger cabins of international
aircraft. Russell (1987) determined that insects in the wheel bays of a Boeing 747 aircraft were
likely to survive international flights of several hours' duration. Takahashi (1984) reported finds
of insect vectors of human diseases in airplane cabins, and Takeishi (1992) found 5% of the fresh
fruits carried illegally by airplane passengers from Thailand to Japan to be infested with fruit
flies. Liebhold et al. (2006) suggested that fruit in airline passenger baggage may play an
important role in introducing exotic pest species into the United States. Brodel (2003) pointed
out that of 21 insect species that were found to have established in Florida between 1997 and
1998, only five were intercepted by PPQ prior to their establishment; four of them were
intercepted on baggage (among other pathways).

The objectives of our study were to: a) use data collected by the U.S. federal government to
estimate plant quarantine material (QM) approach rates (the percentage of sampling units
containing QMs) and the annual number of plant QMs entering the United States in airline
passenger baggage; b) discuss how plant QM approach rates relate to pest risk; and c) to explore
how this data may be applicable to other countries of the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR). We
hope that the thoughts outlined in this chapter may lead to more research and discussion and will
provide a basis for coordinated decision-making towards phytosanitary improvements related to
airline passengers.


Materials and Methods

We used Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Monitoring (AQIM) data collected by the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) branch to
estimate approach rates of plant QMs associated with international airline passenger baggage
arriving in the United States. Plant QMs are any plants or plant parts that are prohibited from
entering the United States. This prohibition is in most cases based on a determination that the
plant material presents a significant risk of harboring exotic pest organisms. If sampling
procedures are followed correctly, AQIM data is collected through a very detailed inspection of
randomly selected sampling units. This means that, in contrast to regular (non-AQIM) passenger
inspections at airports, which are targeted at high-risk groups, AQIM data is unbiased. Data









collected through AQIM activities is therefore suitable for risk quantification. AQIM data on
airline passengers contains information about passenger origin, number of people traveling
together, date of travel, airport of inspection, airline, numbers and types of QMs found, and a
host of other data elements. However, AQIM data does not include useable information on pest
interceptions. Details on AQIM data sets and sampling protocols are documented in the USDA
AQIM Handbook (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008b).

The AQIM data used in this study were collected at 30 U.S. airports in 21 U.S. states between
January 1, 2005 and August 22, 2007. The plant QM approach rate is defined as the percentage
of sampling units in which plant QMs are found. The sampling unit in this case was the group of
airline passengers (one to many individuals) traveling together under one U.S. customs
declaration. To express the level of uncertainty associated with QM approach rate estimates,
estimates are presented as 95% binomial confidence intervals (i.e., the limits within which the
actual approach rates lie with 95% certainty) (Steel et al., 1997). For small sample sizes, the
uncertainty associated with the approach rate estimate is large (i.e., the binomial confidence
intervals become wide). A sample size of 30 is considered the minimum meaningful sample size
for estimating proportions (Cochran, 1977); treatment groups with sample sizes under 30 were
therefore not considered for this analysis.

We calculated approach rates by country of passenger origin and by reason for travel using the
RELIABILITY, MEANS, TABULATE, and SQL procedures in SAS 9.1.3 (SAS Institute,
2007). To estimate the annual number of passenger groups entering the United States with plant
QMs, approach rates were then multiplied by the average number of passenger groups that
entered during 2006. This last number was calculated by dividing the annual number of visitors
(obtained from the U.S. Department of Commerce) during 2006 by the average passenger group
size as indicated by AQIM data. This AQIM-based estimate of the number of QMs arriving
annually in the United States was then compared to the number of QMs that were actually
intercepted during routine (non-AQIM) passenger inspections at airports in 2006 (USDA,
2008f). The ratio of the number actually intercepted to the estimated number to have entered is
used as a measure of the interception efficiency of routine air baggage inspections.

Information on pest interceptions was obtained from the USDA-APHIS-PPQ PestID database,
which contains records of all pest interceptions made by PPQ or CBP at U.S. ports of entry since
1985 (USDA, 2008d). For this analysis, a pest is defined as a species of arthropod, mollusk,
weed, nematode, or plant pathogen that is injurious to plants or plant products.









Results and Discussion


Risk to the United States

Because AQIM data are collected at U.S. ports of entry, they primarily are a reflection of the
phytosanitary risk faced by the United States. Thus, risk is discussed from the standpoint of the
United States first; the applicability of the data to other countries of the GCR is explored later.

In total, almost 52 million international visitors came to the United States in 2006 (OTTI,
2007b). With an average group size of 1.4 (AQIM data), this is equivalent to 37 million visitor
groups. Using AQIM data, the overall plant QM approach rate was calculated at 3.75% (95%
binomial confidence interval: 3.70-3.81%). Given 37 million visitor groups, an estimated 1.4
million visitor groups arrive with plant QMs in their luggage at U.S. airports per year (Table
2.1). Each group carried on average 1.2 different plant QM types (e.g., apples, oranges, mangoes,
etc.), leading us to an estimate of 1.7 million instances of QM arrivals (1.4 million visitor groups
with QMs multiplied by 1.2 QM types per group) during 2006. Each of these instances involved
one or more individual QM units (e.g., five apples).

The USDA Work Accomplishment Data System (WADS) (USDA, 2008f) records, among other
data elements, the monthly total number of QM interceptions by U.S. port of entry; each QM
type found per inspection is counted as one interception (e.g., if five oranges, three apples, and
20 mangoes are found on one sampling unit, this would be recorded as three interceptions). For
the 2006 calendar year, a total of 407,000 plant QM interceptions were recorded in WADS.
Comparing this to the AQIM-based estimate of 1.7 million instances of QM arrivals, we
conclude that around 24% of all arriving plant QMs were intercepted by CBP, leaving about 1.3
million plant QMs that entered the United States undetected in 2006. This interception efficiency
is similar to those estimated in other studies, e.g., 31-42% for international airline passenger
baggage into Hawaii (Culliney et al., 2007), 8% for personal vehicles entering across the
Mexican border (Meissner et al., 2003), and 27% for pedestrians entering across the Mexican
border (Meissner et al., 2003).

What does this mean in terms of pest risk? Not all QMs intercepted will be infested or are even
likely to be infested with pests. For example, bananas-a QM frequently intercepted on airline
passengers-are generally considered a low phytosanitary risk to the United States and are, in
cargo shipments, permissible from most countries. However, when found on airline passengers,
the origin of the fruit cannot be verified anymore, and the fruit may therefore be seized, adding a
QM interception to the database.

Translating plant QM approach rate estimates into pest approach rate estimates is not trivial.
AQIM data does not provide reliable information on the frequency of pests in airline passenger
baggage because, in contradiction to the AQIM sampling guidelines (USDA-APHIS-PPQ,
2008b), searching for pests is rarely performed during AQIM data collection (Pasek, 2007).

It is safe to assume that the pest detection efficiency of routine passenger inspections is lower
than the QM interception efficiency, because there is a considerable chance that pests may not be
detected on intercepted plant QMs. Pests may go undetected because they are minute or hidden









(e.g., mites, internal feeders). Due to time pressure, U.S. inspecting officers frequently discard
intercepted plant QMs without looking for pests. For procedural reasons, pest categories such as
viruses, bacteria, phytoplasmas, and nematodes are almost never identified and recorded. If we
assume that during port inspections one of every 10 infested plant QMs is identified as being
infested (Rogers, 2008), given our estimate that 24% of arriving QMs are intercepted, only 2.4%
of all infested QMs arriving in air passenger baggage are intercepted and identified as infested.
These resulting pest finds are recorded in the PPQ PestID database (USDA, 2008d). For the
calendar year 2006, 12,282 interceptions of reportable pests in international airline passenger
baggage, involving at least 1,500 pest species of quarantine significance to the United States,
were recorded in PestID. If that number was 2.4% of what actually arrived, then over half a
million instances of reportable pest arrivals, each potentially involving several pest organisms or
reproductive units, may have occurred in 2006. With a 24% QM interception efficiency, over
375,000 of these pest arrivals escaped detection by baggage inspections. (We are using the QM
interception efficiency as opposed to pest detection efficiency here because any associated pests
would be destroyed together with the intercepted QMs. Therefore, the risk associated with these
pests is mitigated.)


By Reason for Travel

The following reasons for travel were compared in terms of plant QM approach rates:
Business/Work, Visit Family, Visit Friends, Military, Tourist, Uniformed Crew, and Other. For
each of these categories, QM approach rates were significantly different from zero. The category
"Visit Family" was associated with the highest QM approach rates (Figure 2.1) and was
statistically different from all other categories. This finding corroborates the intuitive assumption
that international passengers visiting family are more likely than tourists or business travelers to
carry plant QMs because they tend to bring ethnic food items (fresh fruits, vegetables, or plant
materials) as gifts. We assume that it does not matter whether the traveler is a foreign national
visiting a relative in the United States or is a foreign-born U.S. resident returning from a family
visit in another country. In the former scenario, the traveler would bring ethnic food items as
gifts to the family in the United States. In the latter case, the traveler would return to United
States with similar items from his/her family. The second-highest approach rates were associated
with the category "Visit Friends," which was also statistically different from all other categories.
The QM approach rate of the category "Tourism" was significantly lower than those of "Visit
Family" and "Visit Friends", but significantly higher than those of the categories
"Business/Work," "Military," and "Uniformed Crew".

The only information we have available to determine the percentage of visitors in each of the
travel reason categories is AQIM data. Based on that (Table 2.2), approximately one-third of the
travelers were tourists, one-third were visiting family, and about one-fifth were on work- or
business-related travel. The remaining categories accounted for only a small percentage of the
visitors.

Not all QMs represent the same level of risk. Across all travel reasons, the 10 most commonly
intercepted QMs were (in decreasing order of interception frequency): apples, mangoes, oranges,
bananas, seeds, pears, unspecified fresh fruit, plums, yams, and plants. Apples, oranges, and









bananas are fruits that are often packed by travelers for consumption along the way as they are
popular, easy to carry, and easy to eat. These items present a low risk for introduction of exotic
plant pests. In contrast, seeds, potato and yam tubers, flower bulbs, and other items suitable for
propagation are high-risk QMs. For more information on the risk of the propagative material
pathway, see Chapter 8.

The diversity of QM was higher for travelers visiting family than for tourists. More than a
hundred QM types were intercepted on travelers visiting family but not on tourists, and only 17
QM types were intercepted on tourists but not on travelers visiting family.


By Origin

A total of 237 countries of origin were represented in the AQIM data set. Of these, 164 had
sample sizes of 30 or higher and are included in the following analysis. Twenty-nine countries of
origin with sample sizes of 30 or higher are located in the GCR. Plant QM approach rate
estimates for the countries of origin range between zero (lowest lower CL) and 62% (highest
upper CL). Figure 2.2 shows the 25 countries with the highest plant QM approach rates. In some
cases, the 95% binomial confidence intervals were large, due to relatively small sample sizes.
For Angola, Botswana, French Guyana, Georgia, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Oman, Samoa, and
Sudan, binomial confidence intervals include zero (i.e., the plant QM approach rates are not
significantly different from zero). Out of the 25 countries with the highest approach rates, 10
were Caribbean countries: Haiti (21%), Bonaire (18%), St. Vincent (13%), Grenada (13%),
Guadeloupe (12%), St. Lucia (11%), Antigua (9%), Bahamas (9%), Jamaica (8%), and Dominica
(8%). The plant QM approach rates for all available Caribbean countries of origin are depicted in
Figure 2.3.

The annual number of plant QMs entering the United States from each country of origin is equal
to the plant QM approach rate for the country of origin multiplied by the average number of
QMs per declaration (1.2), multiplied by the annual number of visitor groups arriving to the
United States by air from that country. Canada is the origin of the highest number of air travelers
to the United States, over 5.5 million visitor groups annually. The estimated plant QM approach
rate for Canada is 4.7% (95% CL: 3.5-6.2%), which is significantly lower than the rates of the
following, relatively small, number of countries: Trinidad, Antigua, Syria, Peru, Jamaica, St.
Vincent, Ecuador, St. Lucia, Bolivia, Grenada, Bangladesh, Bonaire, Iran, Haiti, and Palau.
Multiplied by the large number of visitors arriving from Canada, this QM approach rate
translated into by far the highest number of plant QMs entering the United States from any
country (Figure 2.4). Approximately 135,000-240,000 plant QMs from Canada and over 30,000
each from Japan and Germany are estimated to enter the United States per year. Other countries
that almost certainly supply more than 10,000 plant QMs per year are: Argentina, Bolivia,
Ecuador, France, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and the Netherlands. A large number of countries
are the source of smaller numbers of QMs. The quarantine materials intercepted from Canada,
Japan, and Germany were largely apples, bananas, oranges and some other common fruits, such
as grapes. However, among the interceptions from Germany were also bulbs, seeds, wood, pine
cones, soil, and plants. From Japan, seeds, bulbs, and leaves were also intercepted.










Risk to Other Caribbean Nations


Although AQIM data is collected at U.S. ports of entry, the data is likely to be valuable to other
countries in the GCR, given that they receive visitors from many of the same countries of origin.
With well over 30 million9 airline passengers (20 million passenger groups), mostly tourists,
visiting the GCR annually and a plant QM approach rate of perhaps 5-10%, over 1 million plant
QMs may be entering the GCR in airline passenger baggage every year.
However, what the United States considers a QM would not necessarily be a QM to other
countries. Secondly, specific food items and propagative material carried by people visiting
friends and family will vary somewhat between countries. The United States is an immigration
country; thus, travelers to the United States in the "visit friends" and "visit family" categories
would likely be either persons from foreign countries visiting relatives who live in the United
States, or U.S. residents of foreign origin returning from family/friend visits in their home
country. In either case, they are likely to bring QMs such as typical fruits and vegetables
(possibly home-grown) from a foreign country into the United States. On the other hand, most of
the other countries in the GCR are sources of emigration to the United States, Canada, and the
European Union (United Nations, 2005). Thus, travelers in the visit family/friends categories
who enter these Caribbean countries would not be as likely to be bringing in QMs; rather, they
may be expected to be bringing electronics, clothing, and other types of gifts that are less
expensive or more easily available in the immigration countries.

Country of destination is presumably a less important factor for travelers in the "tourist"
category, as it may be assumed that a tourist brings along similar kinds of QMs regardless of
his/her destination. One third of all travelers to the GCR cited tourism as their reason for travel
(Table 2.2), a higher percentage than for any of the other travel reasons. Approximately 85% of
the tourists originated in Europe, and North America (The Royal Geographical Society, 2004). In
the following section, we provide approach rate data by country of origin for the tourist category
only.


Tourists Only

A total of 215 different countries were represented in the data set; of these, 110 had sample sizes
of 30 or higher for the tourist category and are included in the following analysis. Twenty-seven
countries of origin with sample sizes of 30 or higher are located in the GCR. QM approach rate
estimates for the countries of origin range between zero and 40%. In some cases, the 95%
binomial confidence intervals are large, due to relatively small sample sizes. For Ethiopia,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Cuba, Nepal, and Zambia, binomial confidence intervals
include zero (i.e., the approach rates are not significantly different from zero). Out of the 10
countries with the highest approach rates, seven are located in the GCR: Bonaire (20%), Guyana
(20%), Guadeloupe (12%), Grenada (11%), St. Vincent (10%), British Virgin Islands (9%), St.
Kitts and Nevis (9%); the others were Malta (10%), Estonia (9%), and Iran (9%) (Figure 2.6).
Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are among the countries where most of the


9 This estimate is based on data from a large number of official databases and country reports









visitors to the Caribbean originate (The Royal Geographical Society, 2004). The approach rates
associated with these countries of origin are 8%, 4%, 5%, and 4%, respectively.


Conclusions

International airline passenger baggage may be an important pathway for exotic species
movement. For most countries, the pest risk is not comparable to that posed by some other
pathways; however, the risk associated with passenger baggage is not negligible.

In the case of the United States, the highest risk from international airline passenger baggage can
be attributed to travelers who are visiting family or friends (about one-third of the travelers). In
contrast, tourists or business travelers do not represent a great risk to the United States. For most
other countries in the GCR, the majority of all visitors are tourists, and even visitors in the "visit
family" and "visit friends" categories may not present a high level of risk. However, as this
analysis has shown, there is a large amount of plant QMs moving in international airline
passenger baggage. Since the worldwide air transportation network quickly connects
geographically distant, but climatically similar regions (Tatem and Hay, 2007), the plant QMs
that do move may very well carry exotic plant pests that can easily adapt to the new
environment. Thus, it is important to consider mitigation options for this pathway.

Given the relatively low interception efficiency of port inspections, it is unlikely that the existing
pest risk associated with the airline passenger pathways can be mitigated effectively by
inspection alone. It may be possible to improve inspection efficiency to some degree by
increasing the numbers of inspectors and by providing them with more adequate inspection
equipment and facilities. However, additional ways of preventing exotic species introduction will
have to be pursued.


Recommendations

Educate international air travelers prior to departure and deplaning about the
potential consequences (economic, environmental, personal) of transporting
agricultural products. This could be achieved by on-flight announcements,
informational brochures, or on-flight or pre-flight educational videos.

Remind plane passengers to consume or discard prohibited materials during the
flight.
o Announcements by the flight crew could remind travelers that they are not
allowed to take certain materials into the destination countries.
o When collecting trash before landing, the flight crew may specifically ask for
fruits, vegetables, seeds, plants, meats, or other prohibited items.

Expand the use of detector dogs for baggage inspection. This is a less intrusive and
faster method than opening of the luggage by human inspectors.









* Invest in research on inspection technology (e.g., robotic nose, x-ray technology, etc.)

* Develop targeting strategies for inspection of airline passenger baggage. Possible
targeting criteria include origin of passenger, seasonality, and holidays. In order for this
to be possible, a systematic data collection program has to be implemented.










Chapter 3: International Mail


Definitions

The following definitions apply to mail-related terminology used throughout this chapter:

Mail: Any material, such as letters, information, tangible objects, written documents,
remittances, parcels, or packages, sent or carried in the postal service to domestic or international
destinations.

Postal Service: An organization which handles, sorts, and transports mail.

Public Postal Service: A government or ministerial department or agency, sometimes semi-
privately operated or operated as a public corporation which handles the transmission of mail. It
also may be referred to as a National Postal Service. These public or national systems may also
offer overnight or express mail services.

Private Postal Service: A private company that handles, sorts, and transports mail, primarily in
the form of parcels. The emphasis in most of these businesses is on rapid overnight or express
mail movement. Some well-known private postal services include Airborne Express, DHL
Worldwide Express, Federal Express, and United Parcel Service (UPS), among other companies.

Approach rate: The percentage of randomly inspected packages that contained what the search
was targeting (e.g., plant materials). The approach rate is usually given as a percentage with a
95% binomial confidence limit. This confidence limit is the limit within which we can say the
true approach rate falls with 95% confidence.


Introduction

Among the many potential pathways for pest movement, mail, carried by both public and private
postal services, is often overlooked.

Like people everywhere, inhabitants of the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR) use public and
private postal services to send and receive items from friends and family abroad and to purchase
mail-order goods. Increasing opportunities for online shopping have spurred a demand for more
packages to be delivered by mail in recent years (Vargas, 2004, Thomson Reuters, 2008). Private
postal services such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL have experienced growth due to the active parcel
service market (Morlok et al., 2000).

Almost anything can be sent by mail-either legally or illegally-and controlling mail contents
presents an immense challenge to any country. Various data collection efforts in the United
States have shown that live plants and plant pests are being shipped by mail, often in connection
with a mail-order purchase (Keller and Lodge, 2007, Zhuikov, 2008). For example, plant seeds









purchased online, including anthurium, tropical jackfruit, American oil palm, papaya, oleander,
and sour orange were intercepted in separate foreign mail shipments from Belize to southern
Florida. The USDA also intercepted citrus cuttings infected with citrus canker (Hoffman, 2004).

It seems likely that similar avenues of trade in plants or plant pests occur throughout the GCR,
placing the region at risk of pest introductions. The objective of this chapter was to gather and
interpret available information to evaluate the risk of pest movement associated with the mail
pathway. Specifically, we examine the types of quarantine materials (QMs) transported by mail
and provide recommendations for improved safeguarding in connection with the mail pathway.


Discussion

During Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Monitoring (USDA, 2008f) carried out by the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security from 2005 through 2007 at 11 U.S. ports of entry, a large
variety of plant materials and a few insect pests were intercepted in both public and private
international mail entering the United States (Table 3.1). These items included fresh and dried
fruits and vegetables, leaves, spices, whole plants, and cut flowers. Some of the intercepted items
were considered items of U.S. quarantine significance. The remaining items were released after
inspection because they were not considered to present a pest risk to the United States; however,
if entering other countries within the GCR, some of the same items may very well pose a
phytosanitary threat.

The proportion of the various item types intercepted was very similar in public compared to
private mail of worldwide origin (Table 3.2). In both cases, seeds and pods, potentially very
high-risk items, were the most frequently shipped category. In public mail, the category "herbs,
spices, and flowers, dried or processed" was shipped more frequently than in private mail.
Conversely, in private mail, wood items were represented more frequently. When looking at mail
of GCR origin only, again, wood items were much more likely to be found in private compared
to public mail. Also, coffee or tea was found in 30% of the private mail packages versus only 9%
of the public mail packages. We suspect that people choose between public versus private mail
based, in part, on the weight and value of the items shipped. Because private mail carriers are
generally considered more reliable and offer better tracking of the shipment, higher-value items
would be more likely to be shipped by private mail.

A total of 76,132 public mail packages were selected randomly for inspection and opened. Of
these, 855 contained plant quarantine materials or pests, representing an approach rate of 1.15%
(95% binomial confidence interval: 1.1-1.2%) (Table 3.3).

In the case of private mail, a total of 18,455 packages were opened, leading to the interception of
1,042 plant materials/plant pests, only 24 of which were considered U.S. quarantine materials. In
15 of the cases, insects were found, 12 of them live butterflies, though not agricultural pest
species. The approach rates for plant materials/plant pests and plant materials/plant pests of U.S.
quarantine significance were 5.6% (95% binomial confidence interval: 5.3-6.0%) and 0.13%
(95% binomial confidence interval: 0.08-0.19%), respectively (Table 3.3).









It is curious that in private mail, the approach rate for plant materials/plant pests was twice as
high as for public mail, but the approach rate for plant material/plant pest items of U.S.
quarantine significance was 10 times as high in public compared to private mail. One possible
explanation for this may be that commercially produced, higher-priced items, which are more
likely to be free of pests may also be more likely to be sent by private mail, whereas home-
grown items, which are more likely to be infested/infected with pests may be more likely to be
sent by public mail, which costs less. However, this is mere speculation.

When looking only at packages originating in countries of the GCR (excluding the United
States), of 2,414 public mail packages that were inspected, 77 contained plant materials/plant
pests, and 18 contained plant materials/plant pests of U.S. quarantine significance. The approach
rates for plant materials/plant pests and plant materials/plant pests of U.S. quarantine
significance were 3.2% (95% binomial confidence interval: 2.5-4.0%) and 0.8% (95% binomial
confidence interval: 0.4-1.2%), respectively (Table 3.3).

Of 374 private mail packages originating in the GCR that were inspected, six contained plant
materials/plant pests of U.S. quarantine significance, representing an approach rate of 1.6 (95%
binomial confidence interval: 0.6-3.6%) (Table 3.3).

The number of packages arriving with plant materials/plant pests is the approach rate multiplied
by the total number of packages arriving. We estimate countries of the GCR receive
approximately half a million packages in the public mail per year (Universal Postal Union,
2008). (This estimate does not include those Caribbean countries which did not provide postal
statistics, and the United States, for which we did not have state-level mail statistics.) Table 3.4
lists the number of packages arriving in public mail by country and provides an estimate of the
total number of packages arriving with plant materials/plant pests based on the approach rate of
2.7% (95% binomial confidence interval: 2.6-2.8%) calculated above (Table 3.3). We estimated
that the GCR (excluding the United States) may annually receive between 13,876 and 14,943
mail packages containing plant materials or plant pests, with up to 4,000 of these being
propagative materials. Whether these plant materials/plant pests constitute a threat would vary
from case to case, depending on the materials and the country of destination. It also needs to be
kept in mind that the postal statistics provided pertains to public mail only. Market studies
suggest that only 10% of parcel mail is moved by public postal services in the Caribbean region,
while 80% of parcels are moved by private postal services such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL
(Universal Postal Union, 2007). Furthermore, the statistics pertain to packages only. While most
materials we are concerned about would have to be sent in packages, some may also be mailed as
letters. This is especially a concern in the case of seeds.

While AQIM data is the most statistically useful data for risk estimates, there are various other
data available that may provide some additional insights.

Routine port-of-entry inspection of private mail in Miami was started in 2000 and is now a
component of the Foreign Mail Center Work Unit. Three inspectors and a detector dog are
dedicated to this activity. Packages are selected for inspection based on the manifest and certain
risk factors. Packages where no products of agricultural significance are listed on the manifest
are thus likely to escape inspection. During the fiscal year 2007 about 1.5 million packages were









received; a little over 68,000 of them were scanned, and 4,280 of these were opened. A total of
4,780 kg of plant QM, 29 shipments with non-compliant WPM, and 33 restricted soil shipments
were intercepted (Lemay et al., 2008). No pest interceptions were recorded for this time period,
but we do not know to what degree intercepted QMs were inspected for pests. In comparison,
during the fiscal year 2008 only 1,622 private mail packages were opened, resulting in 106 plant
QM interceptions (USDA, 2008f). Fourteen pest interceptions are recorded, seven of which were
from the GCR. Among the intercepted pests are a number of insects capable of flight imported
on cut flowers (Table 3.5), for which the likelihood of escaping into the environment is
relatively high.

Routine port-of-entry inspections of public mail in Miami resulted in 132 plant QM interceptions
from 1,483 packages opened during the fiscal year 2008 (USDA, 2008f). Forty-four pests were
intercepted, 11 of them from the GCR (Table 3.6).

In a collaborative data collection effort in Puerto Rico of the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security-Customs and Border Protection (DHS-CBP) and the USDA Smuggling Interdiction and
Trade Compliance (SITC), inspectors x-rayed 19,096 USPS packages sent from the U.S. Virgin
Islands to Puerto Rico, ultimately destined for the United States mainland (USDA-APHIS-SITC,
2006), between November and December, 2006. Based on the x-ray screening, 2,525 packages
were referred to inspection, which resulted in the detection of 579 packages containing
agriculture-related items. The following types of items were found: 30% seeds, many of weeds
or quarantine plants; 16% fresh fruit, such as apples, oranges, mangoes, olives, pears, peaches,
bananas, limes, loquats, bitter melons, avocados, berries, and tomatoes; 9% leaves, presumably
for tea or other food ingredients; 8% live plants, presumably for propagation, of which 20% were
weeds and 8% were bulbs for planting; and 29% other items (roots, unknown plants, etc.). Of the
packages from which items were intercepted, 46 packages (0.002% of all packages screened)
contained plant materials or plant pests of U.S. quarantine significance.

Similar data collection efforts of DHS-CBP and SITC targeted mail of Chinese origin arriving in
New Jersey during the time preceding the Chinese New Year (CBP and SITC, 2008). Most
prohibited items found during these inspections were destined for personal consumption, but a
few items were meant for commerce, such as restaurant supplies. In 2007, 44 of 2,847 (1.5%)
inspected packages contained plant materials/plant pests of U.S. quarantine significance; and in
2008, 48 of 7,188 (0.7%) inspected packages contained plant materials/plant pests of U.S.
quarantine significance. These approach rates are within the same range as the ones derived
through AQIM data collection. Prohibited plant-related items in mail in 2007 and 2008 included:
seeds, pods, entire plants, and other propagative materials (seed millet, yams, unspecified plants
and seeds for planting, citrus seeds, cucurbit seeds, roots, vegetable seeds, fava beans, coconut,
and wild rice); fresh fruits (plums, stone fruit, citrus, jujube, dates, Szechuan pepper (Rutaceae),
tomatoes, litchi, and unspecified fruits); nuts which may also be propagative (chestnuts, walnuts,
fresh peanuts, acorns, and tree nuts); other fresh plant materials (unspecified vines, leaves, grass,
curry leaves, branches with leaves, fresh herbs); wood, wood chips, and bark; processed products
(corn products, citrus peel); soil; and insect larvae in wooden crates.

SITC data collection at JFK International Airport in New York targeted private mail (e.g., DHL,
FedEx, and TNT) from India and Southeast Asia (USDA-APHIS-SITC, 2007). Canine teams









were used to screen shipments. Of the 3,682 items inspected, only two packages were found with
plant QMs, one containing limes and the other tubers ofAmorphophallus sp. propagativee
material).

SITC international mail interceptions were reported from the San Francisco International Mail
Center (SFIMC) Mail Interception Notice (MIN) database which contains over 11,000 records
from 2000 to 2005 (USDA-APHIS-SITC, 2005). There were records of 189 international
packages containing a total of 199 different plant materials/plant pests of U.S. quarantine
significance (Table 3.7). While this data set contains no interceptions from the GCR, it provides
information about the kinds of prohibited items likely to move in international mail. Seeds were
intercepted most frequently (56 interceptions) and included primarily vegetable and grass seeds.
Fresh fruits were found 56 times, including Chinese olives, olive, citrus, loquats, persimmons,
mango, Szechuan pepper (Rutaceae), pears, and other tropical fruit. Propagative materials other
than seeds (tubers, seedlings, whole plants) were the next most commonly found items, but
included a broad array of plants, Brassica sp., noxious weeds, sugarcane, grasses, orchids,
flowers, sweet potatoes, bulbs, and bamboo (32 items). Propagative materials, including seeds,
were overall the most commonly intercepted prohibited agricultural items, emphasizing that mail
is an especially important pathway for propagative materials.

Items moved in mail worldwide that may present clear threats to the Greater Caribbean are those
related to the major crop, landscape, or forest plants in the region. For example packages
carrying any palm products (fruit, plants, leaves, shoots, seeds, coconuts, untreated handicrafts
(wooden or fronds)) would present a risk of introducing palm pests, such as the recently
introduced red palm mite, or the exotic phytoplasma palm lethal yellowing, to a region where
palms of various kinds are extremely important in the landscape, tourism, and agriculture.
Sugarcane and bananas are also extremely important crops in the region, and importation of
these plants or commodities increases risk of entry of new pests, like exotic sugarcane pests or
black Sigatoka of banana which are still absent in some areas of the Caribbean. Importation of
seeds, entire plants, or roots and tubers (cassava, dasheen, sweet potatoes, yams) that can be used
for propagation present the risk of introducing pests together with a suitable host plant and of
becoming invasive plants (Kairo et al., 2003). Movement of unroasted coffee beans within the
GCR could exacerbate problems with already established pests such as the coffee berry borer,
Hypothenemus hampei (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) (Cruz and Segarra, 1996,
Caribbean National Weekly News, 2007), or result in the establishment of new pests or
pathogens.

Brodel (2003) reported that of 21 insect species that were found to have established in Florida
between 1997 and 1998, only five were intercepted by USDA-APHIS-PPQ prior to their
establishment; two of them were intercepted on mail.









To a large degree, the mailing of materials that present a phytosanitary risk is probably
inadvertent, given that people are often unaware of regulations or do not understand why certain
items are prohibited. When SITC tracked down a person who had made an on-line purchase of
several giant African snails and walking stick insects from a seller in the United Kingdom, the
customer, a high school biology teacher, stated that she was not aware of any risk associated with
importing these organisms (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008c). However, there are cases where
prohibited items are clearly smuggled by mislabeling customs forms on packages. For example,
19 potted Crocosmia plants from the United Kingdom were detected in a package labeled as
"cappucino machine and cups/saucers" and a subsequent investigation revealed additional
smuggling activities by the same customer (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008c). People regard the mail
as private communication and do not expect scrutiny of the contents.

Available inspection technologies and methods are often not effective when used as the only
method. For example, x-ray technology is not effective for detecting dry items such as twigs,
leaves, or seeds, although it works well to detect items with high water content, such as fruit.
Similarly, detector dogs can be very good at finding hidden items, but they detect only those
materials for which they have been specifically trained, and they get tired after a certain amount
of time. The performance of human inspectors, as well, is not always reliable and tends to vary
considerably between individuals, time of day, and other factors.

The degree to which mail is inspected varies widely within the GCR. A few countries, such as
Jamaica (Schwartzburg and Robertson, 2008), the Dominican Republic (personal comm. Colmar
Serra), and Trinidad and Tobago (Bertone and Gutierrez, 2008) open and inspect virtually every
package that arrives. Jamaica also scans all outgoing packages (Schwartzburg and Robertson,
2008). At the international mail facility in Miami, Florida the only packages opened are those
that are suspect (based on x-ray or manual examination) or are considered high-risk based on
certain criteria. X-ray machines and detector dogs are often used (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008d).
Martinique has lost the use of its mail sorting facility in Fort-de-France due to an earthquake in
November of 2007. The current replacement facility is a semi-open warehouse with rolling carts
for sorting packages. No x-ray machines are available for scanning packages (Ferguson and
Schwartzburg, 2008). In most countries, many quarantine items undoubtedly pass through the
mail without being intercepted. Mail from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands entering the
United States is treated as domestic mail. Due to differences in CBP procedures, postal facility
procedures, and local practices, methods of inspecting mail may vary from port to port. Search
warrants are mandatory for opening domestic mail (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008d), but are not
necessary for international mail.

Compared to some other pathways like the commercial importation of agricultural cargo, and
especially nursery stock, the mail pathway may pose a lesser phytosanitary risk. However, this
determination is based on very limited data, and more research is needed to adequately determine
the risk posed by the mail pathway. In the meantime, international mail is definitely not a
pathway that should be ignored.









Recommendations


* Post educational information at public and private mail facilities to inform senders of
the potential economic and environmental impact of exotic species introductions and to
increase public awareness of phytosanitary regulations as they pertain to mail.

* Conduct periodic data collection efforts ("blitzes") at mail facilities. Carry out
statistically-sound data collection to answer specific questions. Consider region-wide
coordination and sharing of resources for carrying out blitzes. Share results region-wide.

. Allow inspection of USPS first class mail in Puerto Rico before leaving to the United
States. The lack of authority to inspect first-class mail seriously undermines the
quarantine process. Establish a PPQ working group to devise a program that will permit
inspection of USPS first class mail in Puerto Rico before leaving to the United States.
Current regulations (7CFR318.13 and 7CFR318.58) allow for such actions. Hawaii has
developed a process for obtaining search warrants, allowing inspection of suspicious
first-class packages destined to the mainland United States. A detector dog is used to
establish probable cause.

* Foster collaboration between customs officials, agricultural officials, mail facility
staff, and any other groups involved in mail handling and inspection.

* Establish mail inspection systems in countries where they do not yet exist. This is
obviously a big and long-term undertaking that may not be immediately feasible
everywhere.

* Implement package tracking and tracing technology at mail facilities. Improve public
and private mail systems, in particular the ability to track and trace parcels.

* Increase the man-hours spent inspecting mail packages for quarantine materials, even
if only periodically.

* Use appropriate inspection technology (e.g., x-ray systems) at mail facilities.

* Use detector dogs at the mail facility.

* Record data on pest interceptions in mail. Collect and archive data on pest and
quarantine material interceptions in mail. Ideally, the database or at least the format of the
database should be region-wide.

* Create a regional bulletin or newsletter to share information about noteworthy pest
interceptions in mail, mail inspection methodologies, relevant meetings, etc.

* Conduct surveillance of commercial internet sites. Quarantine materials (especially
propagative materials) are being sold and often smuggled through mail order. USDA-
SITC has attempted a surveillance initiative ("AIMS") and may be able to offer some









insights.


*Organize a regional mail handler's conference as a formum for sharing information,
ideas, strategies, technologies, etc. Hold mail inspector training meetings.










Chapter 4: Maritime Traffic


Introduction

In a region composed largely of island nations, maritime traffic obviously plays an important
role in transportation and may thus also be expected to play an important role in the spread of
exotic pests.

In the context of maritime traffic, there are several ways in which pests may be disseminated:
with commodities (both agricultural and non-agricultural); as hitchhikers on the vessels and
containers used for transport; and in the wood packaging material (WPM) accompanying the
commodities.

The pest risk associated with both hitchhikers and WPM is discussed in detail in other chapters
of this report.

The pest risks associated with commodities, while very possibly the most important threat, are
extremely hard to characterize due to the immense number of different commodities arriving
from all areas of the world, each likely to be associated with different pest species. Given that
legally traded commodities already receive attention from importing countries, and given that a
general process for commodity pest risk assessment is in place (IPPC, 2007) and must be
commodity- and origin-specific to be meaningful, we will not focus on commodities in this
chapter. Rather, we attempt here to give a general overview of maritime trade as it pertains to the
Greater Caribbean Region (GCR), pointing out some issues of special concern and providing a
general background to complement the information laid out in later chapters of this report.
Specifically, we will discuss the importance of the GCR as a "crossroads" of international trade
and the significance of undocumented "inter-island" trade.


Discussion

The GCR as a Crossroads of International Trade

The Caribbean Basin, bordered by 33 countries and located at the intersection of maritime trade
routes between North and South America and between the Eastern and Western hemispheres, is
an important location for facilitating world trade. By providing a connection between the Pacific
and the Atlantic, the Panama Canal plays an important role in funneling maritime traffic through
the Caribbean Sea.

Several maritime ports in the GCR are among the busiest ports in the world. The ports of San
Juan, Puerto Rico; Freeport in the Bahamas; Kingston, Jamaica; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida
and Jacksonville, Florida in the United States; and Manzanillo and Coco Solo in Panama ranked
among the top 100 ports worldwide for highest container traffic in 2005 (Table 4.1) (Degerlund,
2007). As countries (or territories), the Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras,









Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela are among the top 60 worldwide in terms of
container traffic handled (Table 4.2) (Degerlund, 2007).

The movement of cargo via maritime containers has steadily increased worldwide. Between
1995 and 2005, container traffic more than doubled in the GCR, reaching over 13 million
TEUso1 in 2005 (Ocean Shipping Consultants, 2006). Of these containers, about half were
handled by ports of the Caribbean islands, 40% by the other ports in the GCR, and about 7% by
ports on Central America's Pacific seaboard. Figure 4.1 depicts container traffic between the
Caribbean and other regions of the world, showing a general increase in the number of containers
moving into and out of the GCR (Frankel, 2002). Several studies have predicted further positive
growth (De Monie et al., 1998, Ocean Shipping Consultants, 2006).

While the United States remains one of the main trading partners for the GCR, trade relations
between the Caribbean and other regions of the world have expanded. The importance of Asian-
Pacific imports grew for El Salvador, Panama, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago (Devlin et
al., 2008). The average annual growth rate for imports into Central America between 1990 and
2003 was approximately 37% for China, 10% for Korea, 7% for Japan, and 14% from Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand combined (Devlin et al., 2008). There
has also been a 25% increase in value of imports from Asian-Pacific countries into Belize,
Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican
Republic. The majority of the exports from Asian-Pacific countries were manufactured goods.
Trade between South America, Central America, and the Caribbean island countries also
experienced growth between 1990 and 2003 (Devlin et al., 2008).

Maritime ports in several Caribbean countries are integral to the trade network, not necessarily
because they import or export a significant amount, but because they facilitate transshipment of
commodities. Transshipment refers to a process whereby cargo enters a port from one country, is
transferred to another conveyance, and then exits the port destined for another country.
Transshipment is practiced for various logistic and economic reasons. Many Caribbean ports
have neither the capability to receive large cargo vessels nor the trade volume that would make it
economical for large vessels to call. Also, transshipment is strategic in improving delivery times
of cargo, consolidating and deconsolidating cargo, enabling customization of cargo, rerouting of
cargo, and circumventing various country regulations (Frankel, 2002). Thus, small feeder vessels
pick up the cargo from a large ship at a hub port and distribute it from there ("hub-and-spoke
schema") (De Monie et al., 1998). These feeder vessels are often managed by local and regional
carriers which transport a mix of containers and non-containerized goods, providing flexible
service to small ports (McCalla et al., 2005). Transshipment services are an important business
to many Caribbean ports.

Transshipment traffic accounted for 40% of total container throughput in the GCR in 2005 and is
expected to increase from around 8 million TEU in 2005 to 12 million TEU by 2010 (Ocean
Shipping Consultants, 2006).

From a standpoint of pest risk, transshipment activity is important in that it leads to much larger
numbers of vessels and cargo containers entering certain ports than would be the case for imports

10 Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) = the equivalent of a twenty-foot cargo container









alone. Even though the commodities themselves are not entering the country of the hub port,
containers are unloaded from vessels and are often stored at the port for a certain amount of time.
This provides external hitchhiker pests with an opportunity to either leave from or attach
themselves to containers, or to move from one container to another. The risk is especially high if
container yards are not paved and if vegetation is close by. Lights at container yards are bound to
attract flying insects which may then end up on containers destined for a foreign country. Vessels
being loaded and unloaded at the port may also be bringing in and taking out hitchhiker pests.
The topic of hitchhiker pests is addressed in detail in a separate chapter of this report.

The following seven ports in the GCR have become major hubs for transshipment activity,
forming what is referred to as the Caribbean Transshipment Triangle (Hoffmann, 2001, McCalla
et al., 2005):

Colon (including the ports of Manzanillo, Coco Solo, and Balboa), Panama services the
Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. In 2002, over 75% of the traffic at this port was attributed
to transshipments (McCalla et al., 2005). Together with the port of Kingston, Jamaica, this
port handles the majority of transshipment cargo related to Central America, especially since
there is no dedicated shipping service between Central America and the countries of the
Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM, comprised of Antigua and
Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat,
St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and
Tobago) (Harding and Hoffmann, 2003, UNCTAD, 2005). Container traffic grew five-fold
between 1994 and 2002, increasing from 255 thousand TEU to 1.45 million TEU (McCalla et
al., 2005).

Freeport, Bahamas. Located near the East-West trade routes, including those that pass
through the Panama Canal between Europe and the east coast of the United States (Frankel,
2002, McCalla et al., 2005), this port is almost exclusively a transshipment facility (De
Monie et al., 1998, McCalla et al., 2005). The port transfers containers between mega
container ships to Panamax container ships (the largest vessel that can pass through the
Panama Canal) (Frankel, 2002). The port also handles cargo passing along the Central and
South American trade routes (Frankel, 2002) and some of the cargo passing between Central
America and CARICOM countries (Harding and Hoffmann, 2003). As of 2002, the port was
directly linked to 13 other Caribbean ports (McCalla et al., 2005).

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad intersects the north-south route, handling trade coming from the
east coast of South America. The port also handles cargo passing between Central American
countries and CARICOM countries (Harding and Hoffmann, 2003). Container traffic
increased from 129,000 TEU in 1994 to 290,000 TEU in 2004 (McCalla et al., 2005).
Around 51% of the containers arriving at the port are transshipped (McCalla et al., 2005).

Kingston, Jamaica. Located in the center of the GCR and close to the main shipping lines
(McCalla et al., 2005), the port of Kingston is the dominant hub port in the central Caribbean
and is dependent on transshipments as a source of business (McCalla et al., 2005). The port
of Kingston (along with ports along the Atlantic side of Panama) handles a majority of
transshipment cargo related to Central America (Harding and Hoffmann, 2003, UNCTAD,









2005). In 1997, the transshipment of containers at the port of Kingston accounted for
approximately 80-90% of the container movements at the port (De Monie et al., 1998).
Container throughput at the port of Kingston increased from 339 thousand TEU in 1994 to
1.065 million TEU in 2002 (McCalla et al., 2005).

Rio Haina, Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic, located in the center of the
GCR, is in the vicinity of the main shipping lines (McCalla et al., 2005). The port of Rio
Haina is less dependent on transshipments as a source of business than other countries in the
GCR. The port handles transshipment cargo from Central America but tends to facilitate
movements to smaller CARICOM countries (Harding and Hoffmann, 2003). In 2005,
container traffic volume was reported at 268,000 TEU (Degerlund, 2007).

In addition, some emerging transshipment ports in the GCR are the Port of Caucedo, Dominican
Republic, and the Port of the Americas, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Several other ports in the region
handle a relatively small number of transshipments. If U.S. restrictions on Cuba are withdrawn, it
is speculated that ports in Cuba will emerge as important transshipment ports (McCalla et al.,
2005).

Table 4.4 shows the number of vessels arriving in Caribbean countries. Unfortunately, we were
not able to obtain data for all countries, nor was it possible to determine how many of the ships
were carrying transshipment cargo or what the types and sizes of the ships were.


Involvement of Small Vessels in Intra-Caribbean Trade

Intra-Caribbean trade is the movement of cargo between countries of the GCR. The shipped
commodities may either have been produced within the GCR, or may be products of other
countries transshipped from the first port of entry in the Caribbean to another Caribbean port.
Regardless of size, the majority of small vessels are involved in carrying fruits, vegetables and
individuals' packages (Table 4.3).

"Inter-island transport is the province of an informal maritime transport sector, which is subject
to few regulations which are variably enforced by port authorities" (Boeme, 1999). In a survey,
77% of the vessel operators interviewed were using shipping agents to handle customs processes
and payments (Boeme, 1999). However, trade of fruits and vegetables often occurs without a
shipping agent. Instead, farmers sell their produce directly to an individual who then transports
the produce by small vessel to neighboring islands and sells it at the local market (Boeme, 1999).
While small vessels tend to operate in a particular trade, they are rarely limited to one particular
product. The length of the voyage is dictated by the type of trade rather than by the size of the
vessel (Boerne, 1999).

Small ships (less than 150 gross tonnage (GRT)), "on average [have a] maximum cargo capacity
of approximately 34.29 tons" and "the average cargo weight...of small vessels varies from 4.8
tons to 100 tons" (Boerne, 1999). For vessels under 150 GRT, between one and five TEUs can
be carried, depending on vessel size (Boerne, 1999). The exact number of small ships operating
in the Caribbean is not known; in fact, it is even difficult to estimate. Boerne (1999) estimated









the number of small ships (less than 150 GRT) operating throughout the insular Caribbean to be
around 200. The United Nations estimated around 400 to 500 small vessels operated throughout
the Caribbean region; however, this estimate included vessels larger than 150 GRT (Boerne,
1999). Insufficient records and the spatial arrangement of maritime authorities in insular
countries contribute to the shortage of data on inter-island vessel movement.


Characterization of Small Vessel Activity in Select Countries

Trinidad has a major transshipment operation, accepting cargo from throughout the world,
which is then transferred to smaller vessels for distribution to other Caribbean countries. In fact,
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, is one of the most important small vessel ports in the region (Boeme,
1999). Shipments are mostly comprised of manufactured goods, including products
manufactured in Trinidad. Vessel movement (at least in 1999) is primarily to Grenada and St.
Vincent, but vessels have been reported to travel as far north as St. Maarten (Boeme, 1999).
Upon return, small vessels bear agricultural commodities, such as fresh fruit and vegetables,
spices, and even shipments of timber from Guyana (Boerne, 1999). Small vessels arrive at Port-
of-Spain from St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Guyana, Barbados, and especially Grenada (Bertone and
Gutierrez, 2008). Tobago receives small cargo vessels twice a day from Trinidad and no
quarantine checks exist between Trinidad and Tobago (Bertone and Gutierrez, 2008). In 1999,
exports to Jamaica ranked the highest at 1.4 million tons of cargo (not necessarily limited to
small vessels) (CEPAL/ECLAC, 2001). The packaging of shipments arriving with small vessels
varies greatly from loose boxes to palletized cargo (Bertone and Gutierrez, 2008). Reshipment of
pallets from Jamaica and Bahamas requires fumigation prior to entry into Trinidad (Bertone and
Gutierrez, 2008). Illegal trade with Venezuela is considered to be a pathway for the introduction
of invasive species and a difficult pathway to control given the close proximity of the country to
Trinidad (Bertone and Gutierrez, 2008). It is speculated that the fungus Mycosphaerellafijiensis
(Ascomycetes: Mycosphaerellales), which causes black Sigatoka disease on banana, was
introduced to Trinidad from Venezuela through illegal trade via small vessels (Bertone and
Gutierrez, 2008). In the past, restrictions have been placed on cargo imported from Caribbean
islands into Trinidad via small vessels due to quarantine pests (Boerne, 1999).

St. Maarten re-exports manufactured goods, such as electrical items from the United States and
Europe, with islands to the south via small vessels. St. Maarten has a large tourist industry, and
given its lack of natural resources, such as water, it is necessary to import fruits and vegetables,
among other things, to sustain human activity. It is estimated that 48% of the small vessels
operating between the Caribbean islands stop at St. Maarten (Boeme, 1999). The Port of
Phillipsburg, St. Maarten (Netherlands Antilles) handles approximately 1,600 tons of cargo per
month from (on average) 40 small vessels making call. Cargo includes primarily perishable
products, such as fruits and vegetables. Small vessels commonly arrive from St. Vincent and the
islands under United Kingdom authority (in the immediate vicinity this includes Anguilla,
Montserrat, and U.K. Virgin Islands; further away is Turks and Caicos) (Boerne, 1999).

Saint Martin (French). The Port of Galisbay at Marigot is the main shipping port. On average,
60 small vessels make call per month and transport approximately 750 tons of cargo. Most of the









small vessels arrive from islands under United Kingdom authority. Cargo includes perishable
food products, electronic equipment, and manufactured goods (Boerne, 1999).

St. Kitts. The Port of Basseterre at St. Christopher receives about 225 tons of cargo per month
from (on average) 28 small vessels. Imports include fruit from Dominica, general cargo from
Puerto Rico, and electronics and other general cargo from St. Maarten. The island exports around
475 tons per month via small vessels, mostly concrete blocks and dairy products to Anguilla and
Statia, and gas to Antigua.

Dominica. The Ports of Roseau and Portsmouth combined receive 60 small vessel calls per
month. The amount of cargo handled by these vessels is not recorded, but estimates suggest that
1,110 tons are exported and 150 tons imported per month. Imports are mainly manufactured
goods and electrical items (Boeme, 1999).

St. Lucia. The Ports of Castries and Vieux Fort are used by small vessels. In 1997, 750 tons of
cargo, mainly fruits and vegetables, were shipped per month (it wasn't clear if this was the value
of imports only or included exports) via (on average) 23 small vessels (Boerne, 1999).

Barbados. Small vessels call at the Port in Bridgetown. It is estimated that approximately 20
small vessels call, carrying approximately 700 tons per month of both imports and exports
(Boerne, 1999). Details on the imports and exports were not provided.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Port of Kingstown receives approximately 1,000 tons of
cargo and exports approximately 150 tons of cargo per month. On average, 20 small vessels call
per month. Small vessel transport is essential to this country, since it is comprised of nine
islands. Fruits and vegetables are the principal exports. Imports are primarily comprised of
manufactured goods, building materials, and processed food products (Boerne, 1999).

Grenada. The Port of St. George's and the Port in Carricou received approximately 1,200 tons
of cargo per month in 1997, transported by small vessels. Around 51 small vessels call at
Grenada per month, servicing ports that are unable to handle large vessels. Small vessels were
responsible for carrying 4% of the total imports into Grenada; likewise, they were responsible for
carrying 3% of the total exports. Imports were comprised of manufactured goods, building
materials, and processed food products. Exports were comprised of fruits and vegetables, spices,
and seafood (Boerne, 1999).

Guatemala. At the Port of Quetzal (Pacific side), small boats and private vessels are not
inspected. They are only checked by port authority and immigration (Customs). Small boats can
dispose of garbage at the port only if they provide sufficient advance notice; otherwise, they are
not permitted to unload garbage (Meissner and Schwartzburg, 2008).


Summary

Maritime traffic is increasing in the GCR and is expected to continue to increase. The United
States is a primary trading partner in the region; however, trade with other countries, including









those in Asia and Europe, has expanded. At several ports, the establishment of transshipment
services accounts for much of the increase in sea container traffic.

Tracking of intra-Caribbean trade is difficult and the level of regulation and record keeping
varies greatly from country to country. It is possible that the movement of commodities between
island countries through smaller vessels may be a means of moving pests between these
countries.

Agricultural and non-agricultural shipments, cargo containers, and vessels themselves have been
reported to be pathways for the movement of pests, pathogens, and weeds. Soil contaminants
may also harbor unwanted organisms. The exact correlation between the increase in maritime
and container traffic into and within the GCR and the introduction rate of pests, pathogens,
weeds, and soil contaminants is not known.


Recommendations

Focus safeguarding efforts on the major transshipment ports for cargo from outside
of the GCR. The major transshipment ports (Colon, Panama; Kingston, Jamaica; Port-of-
Spain, Trinidad) are where most of the cargo arrives from all over the world to be
distributed within the GCR by small vessels. Focusing safeguarding efforts on these
locations would require dealing with fewer entities (ports, ships, etc.) and may thus be
easier and more efficient.

Monitor inter-island trade via small vessels. Little data is available on inter-island
trade, including the transshipment of cargo from one country to another via small vessels.
Determine what commodities are being shipped, as well as their quantity, country of
origin, country of destination, and the incidence of wood packaging material.

Implement risk communication strategies to educate local residents and business
owners on the pest risks associated with trade. Suggest specific strategies they can
employ to reduce the risk of pest introduction.









Chapter 5: Hitchhiker Pests


Introduction

In the context of this document, we define a hitchhiker pest as an agricultural plant pest (insect,
pathogen, mollusk, plant, etc.) which is moved to a different location not in association with a
host commodity, but either in a commodity that is not a host, or on/in the conveyance (airplane,
maritime vessel, etc.) or shipping container used for transport. This definition is different from
the one provided in the glossary of phytosanitary terms of the International Plant Protection
Convention (IPPC, 2007), which considers "hitchhiker" synonymous with "contaminating pest"
but includes in this definition only pests carried by commodities, without providing a term for
pests being carried directly on a conveyance or container.

Hitchhiker pests may arrive in or on a non-host commodity, conveyance, or container either by
pure chance (e.g., weed seeds that fall off of shoes) or, more commonly, because they are
attracted by certain physical or chemical conditions. For example, flying insects may be attracted
by lights during nighttime loading (Caton, 2003b, Fowler et al., 2008); insects or mollusks may
find shelter on or in cargo containers; etc. Pests that were originally associated with a host
commodity may be left behind in a container or conveyance after unloading, thus becoming
hitchhiker pests.

The scientific literature mentions numerous cases of hitchhiker pests that have arrived in new
areas in cargo holds, aircraft cabins, maritime vessels, or shipping containers. For example, four
species of Noctuidae and several species of Coleoptera and Homoptera are thought to have
arrived in Guam in aircraft holds or cabins (Schreiner, 1991); the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera
dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae), is believed to have been brought to Hawaii in military aircraft
(Swain, 1952); the psyllid Heteropsylla cubana (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) was carried to Hawaii in
the holds of cargo planes (Schreiner, 1991); and the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta
(Hymenoptera: Formicidae), was introduced into the United States in ship ballast (USDA,
2008a).

Sea cargo containers are suspected as the pathway of introduction for the painted apple moth,
Teia anartoides (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), the southern saltmarsh mosquito, Ochlerotatus
camptorhynchus (Diptera: Culicidae), and the varroa bee mite, Varroajacobsoni (Acari:
Varroidae), into New Zealand (MAF, 2003). The giant African snail, Achatinafulica
(Pulmonata: Achatinidae), and Asian gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera:
Lymantriidae), as well as snakes, have also been found associated with sea containers entering
New Zealand ports (MAF, 2003).

The objective of this chapter is to discuss the likelihood of exotic hitchhiker pest movement into
and within the GCR. Specifically, it addresses the following questions a) How common is the
presence of hitchhiker pests? b) How likely are hitchhiker pests to survive transport? and c) How
likely are hitchhiker pests to escape detection?









Discussion


Prevalence of Hitchhiker Pests

Aircraft. A number of scientific publications report interceptions of live pests in aircraft cabins
and cargo holds. Goh et al. (1985) found that of 330 aircraft cabins examined at Changi
International Airport, Singapore, 56 (17%) harbored insects. In a five-year study at the Manila
International Airport in the Philippines, Basie et al. (1970) inspected over 14,000 airplanes,
detecting 700 insects, the majority of which were dead mosquitoes. Evans et al. (1963) inspected
the cabins and baggage compartments of over 1,800 aircraft entering Miami, Florida and found
1,700 arthropod specimens belonging to 68 families and 12 orders. The average number of
arthropods per aircraft was 0.02 for baggage compartments, and 0.81 for cabins. A large
proportion of the arthropods collected were species attracted to light. Rainwater (1963) found
live agricultural pests on 0.6% of aircraft arriving in Hawaii from foreign countries. Table 5.1
lists reportable pests intercepted in aircraft cargo holds at U.S. ports of entry between January 1,
1997 and December 31, 2007.

In a 1998-99 controlled study conducted at the Miami International Airport (MIA), inspections
of the cockpit, galleys, exterior of palletized cargo, and cargo holds of 730 randomly selected
cargo aircraft from foreign origins resulted in the detection of 151 live hitchhiking insects from
33 families in five orders, along with one plant pathogen (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri)
(Dobbs and Brodel, 2004). The study provides approach rates by country of origin, as well as
estimates of about 10% of all foreign cargo aircraft and 23% of cargo aircraft from Central
American countries arriving at MIA with live hitchhiking pests of quarantine significance.

In another study, Caton (2003b) reported an average of two flights daily arriving at MIA from
Central and South America with quarantine pests in their cargo holds, estimating that one pest
species per year may become established in Florida as a result of this pathway.

While the studies listed above provide some general indication of the pest risk associated with
airplanes, they do not give us precise approach rates to estimate the number of annual pest
introductions for the GCR overall or for specific locations within the region (with the exception
of MIA). Approach rates are almost certainly different for cargo planes versus passenger planes.
Approach rates should vary between countries of origin; as the proportion of countries of origin
differs between destination airports, it follows that approach rates should be different for
different destinations as well.

Another factor determining the number of airplane-related hitchhiker introductions is the number
of airplanes arriving. Unfortunately, this information is very difficult to obtain. Table 5.2 lists
the number of arrivals for those Caribbean nations for which data was available; it does not
distinguish between passenger and cargo planes.

Maritime vessels. Like airplanes, maritime vessels-both cargo and cruise ships-can harbor
hitchhiker pests. Ship decks, holds, and stores have been found contaminated with live pest
organisms, including species of Miridae, Cerambycidae, Curculionidae, Flatidae, and
Scarabaeidae (Table 5.3) (USDA, 2008d). In 2007, some 15,000 ship inspections conducted at









marine ports in the U.S. states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas resulted in
over 4,000 plant quarantine material interceptions from ship stores and quarters (USDA, 2008f).
Our team of analysts was able to observe insects and soil contaminations on a small vessel from
Haiti moving up the Miami River (Lemay et al., 2008). Experts also reported that "ship decks are
sometimes covered with pests." PPQ no longer fumigates ship decks, and this pathway is thought
by some experts to present a significant risk (Lemay et al., 2008). Due to the immense size of
maritime vessels and the time constraints under which phytosanitary inspections take place, it is
very unlikely that hitchhiker pests on vessels will be detected. Therefore, we cannot quantify the
frequency of hitchhiker pests occurring on ships, nor do we know whether certain vessel types
are more prone to pest contamination than others.

Data is equally scarce regarding statistics of maritime vessel movement. Table 5.4 lists available
information on the number of vessel arrivals by country. Panama and the United States reported
by far the most vessel calls. Port statistics often do not separate vessel types (i.e., container
vessels, break bulk cargo vessels, petroleum-carrying vessels) all reported in the same category.
Container vessels often make numerous port calls, loading and unloading containers. It is not
known if multiple port calls increase the risk of pest contamination for vessels or if vessels that
make numerous port calls are more likely to play a role in the distribution of pests between
countries.

Shipping containers. Like conveyances,
shipping containers may harbor
hitchhikers. Shipping containers vary in
size and shape and may be composed of
plastic, metal, or a composite of materials.
The type of shipping container used
depends on the mode of transportation.
Standard twenty- and forty-foot containers
(Image 5.1) are used in maritime
shipping. Air cargo containers can be
specialized to fit a particular type of
aircraft and are typically smaller and Image 5.1 Twenty- and forty-foot commercial
lighter in weight (Image 5.2); however, shipping containers (image source:
S Gallmeister Internationale Spedition,
some aircraft can accommodate standard http://www.ingo-gallmeister.de).
twenty- or forty-foot containers. Pests,
including arthropods, mollusks, and weeds, have been found on the outside and inside of
shipping containers (Gadgil et al., 2000, Stanaway et al., 2001, Gadgil et al., 2002, MAF, 2003).
Soil, which can harbor fungi, nematodes, seeds, etc., has also been detected on containers
(Gadgil et al., 2000). The risk of containers being internally or externally contaminated varies
with the country of origin, time of shipping, storage and handling of containers, and other factors
(MAF, 2003).















21a 2 5) 225

(317.5 an) ('23s" S(15 )
Image 5.2 Examples of air cargo containers. Air shipping containers differ in size and shape (left
and center) and may not be completely enclosed (right) (image source: United Postal Service,
http://www.ups.com).


In a four-sided (excluding the tops and bottoms), external survey of sea cargo containers arriving
in New Zealand, soil was the main external contaminant and was found on an estimated 3.6% of
loaded and 1.3% of empty containers (MAF, 2003).

Gadgil et al. (2000) inspected the exterior of 3,681 shipping containers arriving at New Zealand
maritime ports and found soil on 31% of the containers, mostly on the underside of the
containers. Of the containers contaminated with soil, 63% carried a low amount (10-50 g), 29% a
medium amount (50-500 g), and 8% a large amount (>500 g) of soil. Fungi of taxa containing
plant pathogens were isolated from 83% of the soil samples; species of Fusarium were
commonly isolated. Nematodes were isolated from 81% of the soil samples. Foliage and woody
material were the next most common contaminant. Egg masses of the Asian gypsy moth,
Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), were found on two of the shipping containers. In
another study, species of Pseudomonas were isolated from soil collected from sea cargo
containers entering New Zealand (Godfrey and Marshall, 2002). Gadgil et al. (2000) estimated
that containers from South Africa had the highest rate of contamination (50%), followed by the
Pacific Islands (47.5%). Containers from the Far East, Japan, and East Asia had a contamination
rate of 13%.

Internal contamination of soil, seeds, live insects/spiders, and/or plant material was found in
approximately 21% of loaded and 18% of empty sea cargo containers arriving in New Zealand.
Viable insects were present in 14.8% of loaded and 6.5% of empty containers (MAF, 2003).

In a different study involving sea cargo containers arriving at Australian ports, Stanaway et al.
(2001) surveyed wooden components of the containers for pests, in particular timber-infesting
insects. A total of 7,861 arthropods (1,339 of which were alive and were found in 6% of the
containers) were found during the inspection of 3,001 containers. Although no live exotic
timber-feeding insects were found in the wooden floors, insects with the potential to infest
timber were found in just over 3% of the containers, suggesting that timber dunnage was the
source of the infestation. In addition, 11% of the containers were contaminated with insects
considered to be stored-product pests. The authors concluded that the risk associated with
untreated wooden components of containers is not negligible because of the high volume of
container traffic and the frequency with which containers come in contact with timber pests.









Air cargo containers arriving at airports in New Zealand were inspected by Gadgil et al. (2002),
who found that the exterior, including the bottom, of the containers was generally clean (only
0.8% of the containers had external contamination), whereas on the inside, they found
contaminants, mostly fresh leaves and twigs (24% of the cases). Fungi were found in soil
contaminations on 3% of the examined containers. The detection of fresh plant material
containing pests, coupled with the fact that newly introduced pests have been found in close
vicinity to airports, led the authors to conclude that air cargo containers may provide a pathway
by which exotic organisms can become established.

In the United States, pests of agricultural significance, including insects, mollusks, and weeds,
have been intercepted on or in cargo containers (Table 5.3), regardless of the containers'
contents. Taxa of agricultural significance intercepted on or in containers include crickets
(Orthoptera: Gryllidae), which tend to be polyphagous, with some species being important
agricultural pests (CABI, 2007). Several lepidopteran families have also been detected on
containers, including Pyralidae, Gelechiidae, Limacodidae, and Pieridae. Several genera of
Limacodidae are pests of coconut (Cocos nucifera), cocoa (Theobroma cacao), and banana
(Musa sp.), which are commodities of economic importance in the GCR (CABI, 2007). The
family Pieridae also contains many important crop pests. The cabbage caterpillar, Pieris
brassicae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae), which was intercepted on a container, is not reported to be
present in the GCR. This pest feeds on cruciferous crops and has been reported to cause
significant damage during years of high population buildup. Migrations have been reported to
occur (CABI, 2007). Also, intercepted on containers were chrysomelid beetles, which tend to be
good fliers and often are agricultural pests. For example, the intercepted species Aulacophora
indica (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is not known to occur in the GCR and has caused melon
crop failures in Indonesia (CABI, 2007). Beetles belonging to the families Scarabaeidae and
Curculionidae (including Scolytid beetles), both of which contain devastating pest species, have
also been found on containers.

Ants are of extreme concern. Tramp ant species, such as the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis
invicta, or the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), are ideally suited
to spread as hitchhikers, being able to move their colonies easily and swiftly, to tolerate a wide
range of environmental conditions, and to colonize new areas with amazing success.

Terrestrial mollusks are frequently
intercepted hitchhikers at U.S. ports of
entry (Image 5.3). They are typically
polyphagous and many have been
classified as general agricultural pests. In
November of 2007, four species of
mollusks were detected on a single
shipment of ceramic ties from Spain at
the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico (CBP,
2007). Examples of mollusks intercepted
on containers that are not known to be Image 5.3 Snails on containers at the port of
established or are of limited distribution Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. Source:
in the GCR are: (Robinson et al., 2008).
in the GCR are:









Species of Candidula, including C. intersecta (Hygromiidae)
Calcisuccinea sp. (Succineidae)
Cathaicafasciola (Bradybaenidae)
Species of Cernuella, including C. cisalpina and C. virgata (Hygromiidae)
Species of Cochlicella, including C. acuta (Cochlicellidae)
Species of Deroceras, including D. panormitanum (Agriolimacidae)
Granodomus lima (Pleurodontidae)
Species ofHelicopsis (Hygromiidae)
Species of Helix (H. lucorum is a synonym ofH. aspersa, which is reported in the U.S.
states of Texas and Louisiana, and Haiti (CABI, 2007)
Microxeromagna armillata (Hygromiidae)
Species of Monacha, including M. cartusiana and M. syriaca (Hygromiidae)
Species of Otala, including O. punctata (Helicidae) (suspected to be present in the U.S.
state of Florida (Mienis, 1999))
Prietocella barbara (Cochlicellidae)
Thebapisana (Helicidae)
Species of Trochoidea, including T pyramidata (Hygromiidae)
Xerolenta obvia (Hygromiidae)
Species of Xeropicta, including X derbentina (Hygromiidae)
Species of Xerosecta, including X cespinum (Hygromiidae)
Xerotricha apicina, X conspurcata (Hygromiidae)

In 2005, the GCR handled over 17 million twenty-foot equivalents (TEU)11 of containers, loaded
or empty, arriving or departing, at its maritime ports (Table 5.5). This is a rough estimate
because not all locations reported TEU movement12. Unfortunately, not all ports report arriving
and departing containers as separate categories,
nor is it usually specified if the containers are
being transshipped.

Transshipped containers enter a country through
one port, are then loaded onto a different vessel,
and exit for their final destination in a different
country. The logistics of maritime trade in the
Caribbean make transshipment a very common
occurrence. Hitchhiker pest introduction may
conceivably be facilitated by transshipment if
containers are unloaded and stored at a port Image 5.4 Container yard in Costa Rica.
between vessel transports, as this would give

11 TEU stands for twenty foot/feet equivalent units and is used to quantify containers, i.e., 1 x 40 feet = 2 TEU; 1 x
20 feet = 1 TEU.
12 Countries where container traffic data for 2005 was not available for one or more ports: Belize, Bonaire,
Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Maartin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Turks
and Caicos Islands. For those countries where data for 2005 was missing, data from the most recent year was used as
an estimate. These countries are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Guyana, Martinique, St.
Kitts and Nevis, and U.S. Virgin Islands.









external hitchhikers an opportunity to leave the container and encounter favorable habitat.

Gadgil et al. (2000) estimated an approach rate of 23.4% (95% binomial confidence interval of
21.7 24.3%) for sea cargo containers arriving at New Zealand ports with external
contamination of plant pests, pathogens, or soil containing plant pests or pathogens. In another
study, 24.4% of loaded containers and 18.9% of empty containers entered New Zealand with
contamination on the exterior or interior of the containers (MAF, 2003). Based on the approach
rate estimated by Gadgil et al. (2000) and data on container movement, we calculated the
expected number of contaminated sea cargo containers entering countries within the GCR (Table
5.5). Since most ports in the GCR report container traffic in the number of twenty-foot-
equivalent units (TEUs) rather than number of containers, we had to convert TEUs to actual
numbers of containers. We assumed an 80:20 ratio of number of forty-foot to number of twenty-
foot containers, based on data provided by those ports which reported the number of arriving
twenty- and forty-foot containers separately (Panama: Chiriqui Grande Terminal, Colon
Container Terminal, Cristobal, and Manzanillo International Terminal; Guadeloupe; Nicaragua:
Corinto; and St. Lucia: Port Castries and Port Vieux-Fort).

All other factors being equal, ports receiving a higher number of containers are at a higher risk of
hitchhiker pest introduction. Overall, an annual 7 million containers are entering ports of the
GCR, and we estimate 1.6 million of them to be contaminated with plant pests or pathogens
(Table 5.5). Even though this is by no means an exact number, it nevertheless provides a general
idea of the extent of the pest risk posed by maritime containers alone, regardless of their
contents.

In summary, pest interception records at ports of entry in the United States, as well as controlled
research studies, show that live hitchhiker pests are found on containers and conveyances.
Several reports in the scientific literature have strongly implicated that pests, such as Asian
gypsy moth, red imported fire ant, or land mollusks (Cowie and Robinson, 2003), have been
introduced into new areas as hitchhiker pests.


Survival of Hitchhiker Pests During Transport

Pest survival in conveyances and containers depends on the combined effects of various
environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and relative humidity) and the duration of transport.

In modern commercial aircraft, cargo holds are pressurized and heated, generally maintaining a
temperature of about 15C (600F) (Mikolajczak and Moore, 2001, Anonymous, 2007) with a
normal temperature range of-l1C to 210C (300F to 700F) (Anonymous, 2008a). Even when the
temperature is not actively controlled, the hold temperatures after about 8 hours of flying at
altitude are approximately 70C (450F) in some types of planes (Anonymous, 2007). Aircraft
cargo holds may be cooled to accommodate perishable cargo, such as fruits, vegetables, and live
plants, but these temperatures would not be lethal to most plant pests. Cargo holds of aircraft
parked in freezing or hot weather will be subject to cold or heat conditions (Anonymous, 2008a).









A study by Russell (1987) reported very high survival rates of mosquitoes, Culex
quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae), house flies, Musca domestic (Diptera: Muscidae), and
flour beetles, Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in unpressurized wheel bays of
modern Boeing 747B at altitudes greater than 10,500 m. The study found that the temperature in
the wheel bays ranged from 80C to 250C, even though the outside temperature was between
-420C and -540C. Aircraft disinfection, while employed by some countries to reduce the spread
of mosquitoes and other human disease vectors (CDC, 2007), is not uniformly performed. For
example, the United States does not disinfect arriving aircraft (Kosciuk, 2007).

Pests located in outdoor areas of maritime vessels (e.g., on ship decks), are exposed to the
environmental and climatic conditions experienced at sea, including sea spray. However, pests
may be protected by crevices and other sheltered areas. Certain life stages of the pest, such as
insect pupae, plant seeds, encapsulated nematodes, etc., tend to exhibit much higher tolerance of
environmental conditions than active life stages. Transit duration is especially likely to play a
role in pest survival for pests hitchhiking on the outside of unsheltered sea cargo containers or
ship surfaces. The environmental conditions found in temperature-controlled cargo holds of
maritime vessels or refrigerated containers that transport fresh fruits or vegetables or live plants
would be above freezing to prevent damage to the commodity contained within. Transit times
tend to be relatively short, ranging between a few hours for air transport to two weeks for longer-
distance maritime transport. For example, maritime transit from the port of Limon in Costa Rica
takes two-three days to Florida, five days to New Jersey or Canada and 12 days to Europe.
Added to this must be the length of time the commodity is stored prior to shipment to the
maritime port, transit time to the maritime port, and storage times at the port prior to vessel
loading. In most cases, fresh agricultural commodities would be refrigerated during the entire
duration of transit to ensure good quality of the product. However, most insects, plant pathogens,
and mollusks would be able to survive this length of time at the prevailing storage temperatures
of 3-70C. In comparison, USDA-approved cold treatment schedules against fruit flies prescribe
2C or lower for 14-22 days, depending on fruit fly species and commodity involved. Cold
treatment against the pecan weevil, Curculio caryae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), requires 0C
for seven days (USDA, 2008g).

The fact that numerous interceptions of live hitchhiker pests have been recorded at U.S. ports of
entry demonstrates that many arthropods, mollusks, weed seeds, and plant pathogens are able to
survive the prevailing transit conditions on or in aircraft, maritime vessels, and containers.


Detection of Hitchhiker Pests

According to data of the U.S. federal government (USDA, 2008d), 38,059 commercial cargo
aircraft inspections were carried out at MIA during 2005-07, resulting in 677 interceptions of
live plant pests of U.S. quarantine significance. This means that quarantine pests were found in at
most 2% of the inspected airplanes. These inspections were routine port-of-entry inspections
with no clear guidelines on inspection procedures. It is unclear what parts of the airplanes
(underbellies, cabins, etc.) were inspected. In contrast, the controlled 1998-99 study by Dobbs
and Brodel (2004) mentioned above resulted in an estimate of 10% of all foreign aircraft arriving
in MIA with live plant pests of quarantine significance. Even though there is a nearly ten-year









difference between these data sets, the discrepancy between these numbers may be a sign that
phytosanitary inspections miss a large portion of the pests present.

There are several different reasons for this: First, the level of available staff and resources often
is not sufficient for inspecting the immense number of incoming conveyances and containers,
requiring ports of entry to focus on items considered as high-risk (Lemay et al., 2008). Second,
the amount of time available for inspection is often very short, as seen with some cruise ships
that dock in the morning to depart again in the afternoon (Lemay et al., 2008). Third, the large
size and complex shape of airplanes and ships makes it very easy for pests to remain hidden and
makes inspections very difficult. The task of inspecting a container vessel with a carrying
capacity of over 8,000 containers is clearly very daunting. Furthermore, there are logistical
challenges. For example, thorough inspection of the interior of a container entails removing all
the cargo from the container and storing it during inspection. Given the perishable nature of
some cargo, temperature-regulated storage facilities may be required. Access to the bottom of
containers is restricted when equipment to lift the container is not available. It is not surprising
that tailgate or door inspection comprises the majority of the inspections carried out at U.S. ports
of entry (Lemay et al., 2003, Meissner et al., 2003, Lemay et al., 2008). A study conducted at
ports in New Zealand found that one-fifth of containers where tailgate inspection did not result in
pest detection were found to be contaminated with pests upon more detailed inspection (MAF,
2003). The authors concluded that tailgate inspection only detected a small percentage of the
containers arriving with live organisms (MAF, 2003). The same study also found that 15% of
container contaminations occurred on the undersides of containers and will therefore not be
detected with only a four-sided inspection (MAF, 2003).

Other factors impeding pest detection include:
the size of the pest (minute pests are extremely likely to escape detection);
quality and availability of inspection facilities and equipment;
training level of the inspectors;
competing work priorities for inspectors (e.g., having to choose between focusing
inspections on drugs versus pests); and
human factors (e.g., fatigue, lack of motivation, poor eyesight).

For procedural reasons, certain pest categories such as plant pathogenic bacteria and viruses, and
nematodes are almost never identified and recorded at U.S. ports of entry.

Given the numerous impediments to intercepting hitchhiker pests, it is likely that a large portion
of the pests arriving regularly on conveyances and containers at ports of entry in the GCR escape
detection.


Recommendations

Encourage loading of vessels during times when the likelihood of pest entry is
lowest. For example, avoid nighttime loading because lights attract some major groups of
quarantine-significant insects.









o Clean containers and conveyances. Evaluate effectiveness of currently used or
available cleaning methods and make changes as appropriate.

* Place traps on maritime vessels (commercial and cruise ships) to catch insects and
possibly mollusks present on vessels. Coordinate and share data throughout region.
Ensure that traps do not attract pests onto the ship (e.g., place lures/turn on trapping lights
etc. only after ship is far enough from land). CISWG could be instrumental in
coordinating the development of a trapping plan, possibly in cooperation with the U.S.
Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Program and risk advisory groups such as
BTAG and CRAG.

. Monitor areas on and near the perimeter of the ports regularly for introduced pests
of particular interest (Robinson et al., 2008). To reduce costs, employ the help of amateur
taxonomists, university students, and qualified volunteers. Avoid attracting pests into the
area (e.g., through lures, lights, etc.).

. Inspect empty containers, as well as containers with cargo.

* Minimize pest contamination on containers by:
o Minimizing time of container storage outdoors
o Avoiding container storage on soil and near vegetation
o Avoiding night-time lighting of outdoor storage areas
o Cleaning storage areas on a regular basis
o Cleaning inside and outside of containers after and before each use

*Support studies to increase our understanding of the prevalence of hitchhikers on
transshipped containers. Focus on major maritime ports and airports that receive cargo
from outside of the GCR. Evaluate likelihood of hitchhiker to be carried to final cargo
destination given the current cargo handling procedures.










Chapter 6: Wood Packaging Material


Introduction

Wood packaging material (WPM) is used worldwide in shipments of both agricultural and non-
agricultural products and includes dunnage, crating, pallets, packing blocks, drums, cases, and
skids. WPM has been recognized as an important pathway for exotic species introductions
(Pasek, 2000, Allen and Humble, 2002). Pests intercepted on WPM at U.S. ports of entry over
the past 20 years include Anoplophora chinensis and A. glabripennis (Coleoptera:
Cerambycidae), Ips typographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), Hylastes ater
(Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), Monochamus sp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae),
Trichoferus campestris (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) (USDA, 2008d), Agrilus planipennis
(Coleoptera: Buprestidae) (McCullough et al., 2007), and Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera:
Cucurlionidae: Scolytinae) (Fraedrich et al., 2007). In a recent study in China, various species of
plant pathogenic nematodes of the genus Bursaphelenchus (Nematoda: Aphelenchoididae),
including the pine wood nematode, B. xylophilus, were detected in WPM from 25 countries (Gu
et al., 2006).

WPM is believed to have been the pathway for several exotic pest introductions worldwide,
including the pine wood nematode in Portugal, the wood boring beetles Sinoxylon anale and S.
senegalensis (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) in Brazil (Teixera et al., 2002), the pine shoot beetle,
Tomicuspiniperda (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in eastern North America (Haack,
2001), and the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera; Cerambycidae)
in New York and Chicago (Bugwood, 1998). An African species of Bostrichidae, Sinoxylon
conigerum, which was found to be present on teak and mango trees in Brazil in 2006, had been
previously intercepted in Sweden in 2002 on wood pallets imported from Brazil (Filho et al.,
2006).

There are no regulations specifying the type of wood to use for WPM, and it is common to use
low-grade or scrap wood to reduce cost (Pasek, 2000). Some bark and portions of the vascular
cambium often remain on scrap lumber, providing a suitable habitat for bark beetles and their
symbionts. Each piece of WPM may consist of one or more of any woody plant species and may
be made from fresh-cut or seasoned lumber. Clark et al. (2001) list over 80 tree species as being
used as raw material for pallets in the United States. Bush et al. (2002) report that hardwood
species accounted for about two-thirds of the total wood used for pallets during the 1990s. Of
these, about half were an unsorted mix of hardwood species, one-third were species of oak, and
yellow poplar accounted for approximately 10%. Of the softwood used by the U.S. pallet
industry, nearly half were southern pine; hemlock and Douglas fir accounted for about 10% each,
and a mixture of spruce, pine, and fir for about a quarter of all softwood. Wood (e.g., radiata pine
and eucalyptus) for pallets may also be imported-often at a lower cost than domestic species-
from countries such as New Zealand, Brazil, and Chile (Bush et al., 2002).

WPM is frequently reused and reconditioned. Damaged or otherwise unusable pallets are
disassembled for the wood parts, which are then used to either repair damaged pallets or to build









reassembled pallets. In 1995, 18% of old pallets were recycled in this way (Clarke et al., 2001).
In 1995, recovered wood accounted for close to 27% of total wood use (both new and
recovered). By 1999, recovered wood use had grown to 36% of total use (Bush et al., 2002).

Because WPM is routinely reused and reconditioned (Bush et al., 1997), the origin of the WPM
is not necessarily the same as the origin of the commodity with which it is being imported (e.g.,
WPM in a shipment from Canada may have originated in Australia). In one study, the pine wood
nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, was detected not only in WPM from countries where it
is known to occur, but also from countries considered free of this pest, and the global circulation
of WPM was cited as the most likely explanation for this (Gu et al., 2006).

In the United States, as in most other countries, it is not mandatory for importers to indicate the
presence of WPM on the shipping manifest. This means that port quarantine officers have to rely
almost exclusively on random checks and on their experience when selecting shipments for
WPM inspection (Meissner et al., 2003).

To reduce the pest risk associated with WPM worldwide, the International Plant Protection
Organization (IPPC) developed the standard ISPM #15, "Guidelines for Regulating Wood
Packaging Material in International Trade" (IPPC, 2006), which prescribes either fumigation or
heat treatment for all WPM. WPM subjected to these approved measures is required to display a
specified mark to facilitate the verification of compliance at ports of entry. The United States
began enforcing ISPM #15 on September 16, 2005, with full enforcement for all types of WPM
going into effect on July 5, 2006. From that date on, either fumigation or heat treatment became
required for all WPM entering the United States from any country. Only a few countries of the
GCR require treatment of WPM in accordance with ISPM #15 (Foreign Agricultural Service,
2008). These countries are: Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana,
Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the United States (Foreign Agricultural Service, 2008). In
addition, Costa Rica requires a mark for heat treatment and another mark for methyl bromide
fumigation. Guatemala's regulation is reciprocal, based on the exporting country's requirements
(Foreign Agricultural Service, 2008).

While ISPM #15 undoubtedly reduces the pest risk posed by the movement of WPM, the degree
of its effectiveness is not known. The ISPM #15-approved heat treatment requires a minimum
core temperature of 56C for 30 minutes. However, Qi et al. (2005) demonstrated that this
treatment is not effective against the pine wood nematode, which was able to survive at a core
temperature of 56C for more than four hours and at a core temperature of 600C for 3.5 hours.
During the period of 1998 to 1999 alone, China recorded 44 and 28 cases of WPM contaminated
with the pinewood nematode from the United States and Japan, respectively (Gu et al., 2006).
Between 2000 and 2005, batches of WPM imported into China from Japan, the United States,
Korea, and the European Union showed infestations with various species of nematode averaging
21%, 21%, 17%, 24%, and 17%, respectively (Gu et al., 2006). A study evaluating the
effectiveness of ISPM #15 in Chile reported that several important quarantine species were
intercepted on or in treated WPM, including Sinoxylon anale, S. conigerum, Monochamus
alternatus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), Pissodes castaneus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae),
Tomicus piniperda, Heterobostrychus aequalis (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae), and Sirex noctilio









(Hymenoptera: Siricidae), as well as Ips spp. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) and other
Pissodes spp. (Sanchez Salinas, 2007).

In one study, bark- and wood-boring insects (mainly Curculiondiae: Scolytinae and
Cerambycidae) were able to colonize and reproduce in logs that had been subjected to heat
treatment (56C for 30 minutes) and then placed in the field for one month or longer. The same
was true for heat-treated wooden boards if they had any amount of bark on them (Haack et al.,
2006).

Ray and Deomano (2007) carried out a survey of U.S. and Canadian pallets and found that about
20% of them had bark on them, in spite of the fact that 88% of the pallets had been manufactured
from de-barked raw material. The incidence of bark was approximately the same for all three
bark-producing regions that were included in the study: U.S. West Coast, U.S. East Coast, and
Ontario, Canada. It was also very similar for all pallet categories examined: stacked pallets,
production pallets, hardwood pallets, softwood pallets, treated pallets, and non-treated pallets.

Surveys carried out at various U.S. ports of entry in the summer of 2006 revealed that
approximately 10% of all WPM that arrived with an ISPM #15 mark (i.e., had been treated
according to ISPM #15) had some amount of bark on it, and about 0.1% harbored live wood-
borers. The wood inspected in these surveys came from 50 different countries (Haack et al.,
2006).

The objective of this document is to discuss the potential role of WPM in commercial cargo in
the introduction of exotic insect species into the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR).


Methods

Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Monitoring (AQIM) data on maritime and air cargo, which
were collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) between September 16, 2005 and August 15, 2007, were used to estimate the
proportion of maritime and air cargo shipments that contain WPM. The data were collected at
several ports throughout the United States based on the instructions in the USDA Agricultural
Quarantine Inspection Monitoring (AQIM) Handbook (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008b). Maritime
shipments containing commercial cargo were selected randomly, and the presence or absence of
WPM was recorded. The samples were divided into two categories: a) perishable, agricultural
cargo, and b) non-agricultural (excluding Italian tiles). Regarding air shipments, samples were
randomly collected from perishable, agricultural cargo, including cut flowers. Commodities
specifically excluded from both air and maritime cargo sampling were:
commodities which were pre-cleared at foreign sites;
commodities admissible under the National Agricultural Release Program;
frozen commodities;
commodities which undergo some type of mandatory treatment other than cold treatment
(e.g., fumigation, irradiation, hot water treatment) at work locations; and
oil, salt, iron ore, coal, and similar bulk materials.









The USDA PestID database was consulted for pest interception records at U.S. ports of entry for
the corresponding dates.


Results and Discussion

Maritime cargo. In the case of perishable agricultural cargo, of 1,678 total shipments, 71%
contained WPM, primarily (99%) pallets. Of the shipments with WPM, 16 (1%) arrived without
the required ISPM #15 stamp. In the case of non-agricultural cargo, of 3,540 shipments, 77%
contained WPM (57% were pallets, 25% crating, and 10% dunnage). Of the shipments with
WPM, 298 (11%) arrived without the required ISPM #15 stamp. For both agricultural and non-
agricultural shipments combined, 5,216 shipments were checked, and 75% of them contained
WPM. In comparison, a similar study carried out in New Zealand between 2001 and 2002
revealed that about half of all maritime containers contained WPM (MAF, 2003). When
1998/1999 AQIM data were analyzed by USDA, about half of the cargo contained WPM.

Air cargo. Out of 2,837 air cargo shipments sampled, 33% contained WPM. Of these, 51 (5%)
arrived without the stamp required by ISPM #15. Pallets were the most common type (at 97%) of
WPM.

The percentage of cargo that contained WPM differed among countries of origin. (Only countries
of origin with sample sizes of 30 or higher are discussed here.) In terms of maritime cargo
(Figure 6.1), several Caribbean countries (Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic)
had high percentages of export cargo with WPM. Other countries with a high incidence of WPM
in export cargo were New Zealand and several European countries. Cargo from Honduras,
Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Panama had comparatively lower incidences of WPM. Shipments
from China had the lowest incidence of WPM, significantly lower than that from most other
countries. This was true for both agricultural and non-agricultural maritime cargo, confirming
results reported by MAF (Figures 6.2 and 6.3).

In the air cargo samples, far fewer countries were represented. Notably, imports from the
Netherlands had by far the highest incidence in WPM air cargo (Figure 6.4). In contrast to
maritime cargo, air cargo shipments from Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic had a low
incidence of WPM.

WPM does not only accompany commodity shipments but may also itself be the shipped
commodity. World imports of WPM into the GCR during 2006 exceeded $6.7 million (Table
6.1). These values represent direct imports of both new and refurbished WPM. Within the
Greater Antilles, all reported imports of WPM (from other countries within the GCR) were from
the Dominican Republic or the United States into Jamaica. The Lesser Antilles received imports
from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and the United States.

WPM exports from Caribbean countries (excluding the United States) during the year 2006
exceeded $11.2 million worldwide (Table 6.2). Products valuing $2.37 million were exported to
other countries within the region, and SWPM valuing another $7.5 million were exported to the
United States. Caribbean island exports were primarily from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.










Obviously, the phytosanitary hazard is not presented by the WPM itself but by pest organisms
that may be associated with it. Unfortunately, there is little published data available on the
incidence of pests associated with WPM. The New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
found that, of 1,517 maritime containers with WPM inspected, about 16% had contaminations
that resulted in phytosanitary action, such as fumigation or incineration (MAF, 2003). Among
the organisms detected on the WPM were a large number of fungi and insects, as well as
isopods, millipedes, mites, plant materials, spiders, mollusks, and reptiles. A 2006 study carried
out at several U.S. ports of entry resulted in an estimate of 0.1% of all marked WPM being
infested with live wood-boring beetles (Haack et al., 2006).

Table 6.3 lists organisms associated with wood intercepted at U.S. ports of entry between July 5,
2006 (date of full enforcement of ISPM #15) and January 1, 2008. The majority of the
interceptions included wood-boring beetles of the families Cerambycidae and Curculionidae
(including Scolytid beetles). A variety of other insect orders were also found, in addition to
weeds and mollusks. These data suggest that live pests are entering with WPM in spite of ISPM
#15. It is unknown whether the presence of pests is due to ineffectiveness of the required
treatments, incorrectly applied treatments, re-infestation of the wood after effective treatment, or
fraudulent use of the stamp/seal.

During the 18 months covered in Table 6.3, there were 427 interceptions involving 1,346
specimens. While this number may seem small in proportion to the volume of WPM entering the
country, it nevertheless represents an average of over 20 interceptions comprising over 70 pest
organisms every month.

It may safely be assumed that these port of entry interceptions represent only a fraction of the
pests that are actually entering. One study estimated that inspections at the U.S.-Mexican border
intercepted 30% or less of the incoming quarantine materials (Meissner et al., 2003). Similarly, a
report of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture stated: "Even during the Oahu risk assessment
only about 10% of the [incoming cargo] volume was inspected, but the numbers of interceptions
were about 10 times greater than the normal inspection of all of the HNL [Honolulu] cargo
during that same period" (HDOA, 2007). These estimates refer to port inspections in general, not
specifically to WPM inspections.

WPM is especially difficult to inspect, as pests are often hidden inside the wood and not all parts
of a pallet or crate are visible to the inspector. Furthermore, a large part of the incoming WPM
never gets inspected at all, especially if it is not associated with agricultural commodities. Since
the implementation of ISPM #15, inspections of WPM are often limited to verification of the
required seal, rather than a thorough inspection for pest organisms. Port inspectors are not always
sufficiently trained for, or are not focusing on, the detection of wood-boring pests. A telling
example involves training provided to USDA-APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)
port inspectors along the Mexican border in 2002. The training focused on methods for detecting
scolytid beetles and resulted in an immediate and dramatic increase in pest interceptions in
WPM. At Pharr, Texas, and San Diego, California, the average number of intercepted scolytid
specimens increased from < 1 to over 100 per month as a result of the training, suggesting that
large numbers of scolytid pests had been entering the United States without being intercepted by









PPQ at these ports. The same probably holds true for most ports of entry worldwide and also
applies to non-scolytid pests associated with WPM.

The New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry underscored the importance of the
particular inspection method used, reporting a 16% contamination rate when containers were
inspected during devanning (i.e., unloading of the cargo), compared to a 3% contamination rate
found through tailgate inspections (i.e., checking what is visible from the back of the truck
without unloading the cargo) (MAF, 2003).

Table 6.4 lists species intercepted on wood at U.S. ports of entry, starting with the earliest
available records from 1985. This list illustrates the large diversity of organisms that may be
introduced over time through the WPM pathway. Some of the intercepted organisms, such as the
Orthoptera, Hemiptera, and Diptera, are not taxa that are commonly known to be associated with
wood. Rather, they traveled as true hitchhikers.

Each new establishment of one of these or similar pests anywhere in the world can increase the
opportunities for further infestation of WPM and further spread. Many of these organisms may
pose a significant threat to biodiversity, endemic plant and animal species, and, indeed, entire
ecosystems. However, unless they are serious pests on important crops, their presence is likely to
go undetected for a long time, especially in countries-such as many of the Caribbean
countries-where resources for survey and detection activities may be limited.

Many pests intercepted on or in WPM have already been introduced into the GCR, but many still
have the potential to spread further within that area. Species of the family Curculionidae,
especially Scolytid beetles, are among the pests most frequently intercepted in association with
WPM. In a 1994 survey of bark and ambrosia beetles in southern Florida, 20 of 83 scolytid
species were considered introduced into that area (Atkinson and Peck, 1994). Coccotrypes
advena (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), recorded from Cuba and the Old World tropics,
has been introduced into southern Florida and Suriname (Bright and Torres, 2006). Premnobius
cavipennis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), occurring in a number of Caribbean islands,
as well as Africa and Madagascar, has been introduced into both North and South America
(Bright and Torres, 2006). Xylosandrus morigerus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) is
only known from Puerto Rico in the GCR but is widespread throughout the world, is often
intercepted at ports, and has been introduced into numerous countries (Bright and Torres, 2006).

The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, native to South America, has been intercepted on
WPM and has been introduced into Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Wetterer and Snelling,
2006). Impacts include reduction in biodiversity; injury or mortality of frogs, reptiles and small
mammals; devastation of native invertebrate communities; and multiple social and economic
problems for humans (Vinson, 1997, Allen et al., 2004).

Mollusks are often found in association with WPM. The genus Achatina, which contains the
giant African snail, A. fulica, has been intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on or in wood materials.
Achinatafulica, a serious agricultural pest and a vector of various human pathogens, has been
introduced into and is currently spreading within the GCR. Pomacea canaliculata, native to
temperate and tropical South America, from Argentina to the Amazon basin, is another example









of a WPM-intercepted mollusk that is now established in parts of the GCR (Florida and
Dominican Republic). Negative impacts on native species include direct competition and the
altering or disruption of suitable habitat (ISSG, 2008).

Table 6.5 lists some examples of insect species commonly associated with WPM that have the
potential to become established in the GCR or to spread within the region if they are already
established there.

The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), has
recently been introduced into the southeastern United States. There, it is rapidly destroying
endemic stands of redbay, Persea borbonia, by spreading the 'laurel wilt' disease, caused by the
fungus Raffaelea lauricola (Fraedrich et al., 2008). Other members of the Lauraceae are also
hosts for the redbay ambrosia beetle, including sassafras, Sassafras albidum, and avocado,
Persea americana. The potential consequences of an introduction of this beetle into the GCR are
serious. Avocado, native to tropical regions of the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, is an
important agricultural commodity in the Dominican Republic, both for local markets as a staple
food in the Dominican diet and for exportation. Other members of Lauraceae could be attacked
as well, such as Beilschmiediapendula, a tree endemic to the Antilles and a mast provider for
birds and bats.

Not only animals are intercepted on WPM, but plants also could easily be introduced through the
WPM pathway. For example, Pennisetum polystachion, a large grass native to Africa and India,
has been intercepted on WPM in the United States. This grass competes with native plant species
and can act as a host for maize streak virus. Pennisetumpolystachion has spread to some Pacific
Islands (ISSG, 2008), and other species within this genus have already invaded the Caribbean
(Kairo et al., 2003). Ligustrum species have been intercepted on WPM. Green privet, L. lucidum,
is already an invasive tree in Bermuda, and this species, as well as others (e.g., L. sinense, L.
robustum) might easily spread through the Caribbean. All Ligustrum species have a tendency to
be invasive, disrupting species composition and plant community structure (ISSG, 2008).

In summary, WPM is used all over the world and is routinely reused and reconditioned, so that
often its origin cannot be determined. A large variety of wood-boring and other pests may be
associated with WPM. The treatments prescribed by the International Standard ISPM #15 do not
provide protection against all of these pests, and there are still many knowledge gaps regarding
effectiveness. Also, wood that is pest-free after treatment may become re-infested over time.
In spite of ISPM #15, a large number of live pests continuously approach the United States on or
in WPM. Port inspections detect only a small fraction of the pests approaching on or in WPM,
leaving the larger part to enter the country. Several exotic species that have been intercepted on
WPM have already established populations in the GCR, where they are feeding on economically
or ecologically important hosts. A significant number of insects worldwide have the potential to
be introduced into, and establish in, countries of the GCR.











Recommendations


* Develop a strategy to ensure adequate inspection of WPM on all agricultural and
non-agricultural cargo. Simply checking for treatment seals is not a sufficient
inspection method. A certain percentage of WPM should be randomly selected and
thoroughly searched for pests, both on the surface and inside the wood. All pertinent
information (type of cargo, origin of cargo, presence of treatment seal, types and number
of pests found, etc.) should be recorded and shared region-wide.

** Make the declaration of WPM mandatory for all imports. The presence of WPM in a
shipment should be declared on the importation papers. In addition, there may be a
special mark (e.g., a sticker) placed on containers that have WPM in them. This will help
port staff more effectively target WPM for inspection.

* Increase region-wide inspection and identification expertise on pests associated with
WPM. Educate inspectors on how to look for pests on WPM. Ensure that identifiers have
the expertise and the necessary reference material to identify the pests that are found.

* Carry out surveys to determine the distribution of pests commonly associated with
WPM outside of their native range. Collaborate with forest services, not-for-profit
organizations (e.g., CABI) and the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS)
Program. Involve the public. Use the help of hobby biologists. Do not exclude the
countries that are enforcing ISPM #15 from these survey efforts.

. Allow entry of WPM only if bark-free.

* Develop a communication network to share pest interception data, as well as
inspection and diagnostic techniques, training materials, etc.

* Encourage research to assess the effectiveness of ISPM #15.










Chapter 7: Forestry-related Pathways


Introduction

Forests within the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR) fulfill a range of functions, including the
production of both wood and non-wood commodities, direct and indirect contributions to local
food security, and protection of soil and water, as well as providing habitats for wildlife and
opportunities for recreation and tourism (FAO, 2005b).

All forests have immense economic and ecological value, but tropical forests are especially
important on a global scale. Covering less than 6% of the earth's land area, these forests contain
the vast majority of the world's plant and animal genetic resources. Forests of Puerto Rico, for
example, contain more than 500 species of trees in 70 botanical families (Mastrantonio and
Francis, 1997).

The GCR, encompasses over 230 million hectares of land, almost 40% of which is forested
(Table 7.1), and contains an immense diversity of forest types. Caribbean island forests are
tropical forests. Central American forests include tropical moist forests (rain forests), tropical
hardwood, closed pine, mixed pine-hardwood, sub-montane and montane evergreen forests, and
mangrove forests. Guyana and Suriname contain rain forests, seasonal forests, dry evergreen
forests, marsh (including mangrove), and montane forests. Forest types in the U.S. Gulf States
include pine, hardwood, mixed pine-hardwood, mangrove forests, and tropical hammocks (FAO,
2005c). This diversity of forest types offers establishment opportunities for a large variety of
organisms.

Forests may act as a source of exotic species introduction when wood or non-wood forest
products are exported. In the introduced range, these species not only may become forest pests,
but may also impact agricultural production. By the same token, forests are at risk not only from
pests introduced with forest products but also from pests introduced on agricultural commodities
or through other pathways. For example, the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus
(Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is a destructive pest of both agriculture and forestry, infesting
numerous tropical and subtropical fruit trees and forest trees. These include teak, Tectona
grandis (Verbenaceae) and Hibiscus eleatus (Malvaceae), important plantation timber species
throughout the Caribbean islands and Central America (FAO, 2000).

Propagative materials, such as plants or seeds imported for the purpose of planting, may not only
serve as a pathway for the introduction of pests, but may also become pests themselves if they
become invasive in the introduced range. For example, Pittosporum undulatum (Pittosporaceae),
introduced into Jamaica in the late 1800s, takes advantage of vegetation gaps created by natural
disasters (e.g., hurricanes) to establish and outcompete native species. It is now considered one
of the primary threats to the tropical forests of the Blue Mountains (Goodland and Healey, 1996,
1997).









Our objectives for this chapter are to discuss forests in the GCR as both sources and recipients of
pest species and to outline various forestry-related pathways of pest movement. The pathways
we discuss are: wood products, non-wood forest products, and trees for planting. The important
topic of wood packaging material is covered in a separate chapter of this report and is therefore
not addressed here.


Discussion

Pathway: Wood Products

Wood products include unmanufactured products such as logs, poles, pilings, pickets, stakes,
untreated railway ties, and fuelwood, as well as finished goods, such as furniture, wooden
handicrafts, musical instruments, broomsticks, and myriad other items.

Raw wood products in particular are vulnerable to pest infestation or contamination throughout
the trading process, beginning with the timber extraction process (Figure 7.1). Trees are felled
either manually with a chainsaw or utilizing heavy forest equipment. On-site processing includes
delimbing, topping (removing the upper part of the tree), bucking (division of the tree into log
lengths), and sometimes chipping (slicing trees or parts of trees into small pieces) (Rummer and
Erwin, 2008). The primary extraction process moves the felled trees or logs from the stump to
the landing most often through a process called skidding. Skidding (dragging logs or trees across
the ground) can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including animals, tractors, cables, or
helicopters (Rummer and Erwin, 2008). The skidded logs are left at the landing for loading onto
secondary transportation. Timber may be sorted (separated by species or grade) at the landing,
then transported further to the processing facility. Finally, the timber is moved to a port and
loaded onto the shipping vessel.

Obviously, any pests infesting or attached to the standing trees (e.g., bark beetles, wood borers,
plant pathogens, snails) are likely to be moved to new locations with the wood, but additional
contaminants may also be picked up by the wood after felling. For example, plant pathogens may
get onto the wood from contaminated saws or chippers; logs may pick up soil, insects,
pathogens, or weed seeds during the skidding process (Roth et al., 1972); and pests that may not
have been associated with the standing tree may infest the felled log at the landing, the central
yard, the shipping yard, or even en-route.

Best management practices (BMPs) in forestry are voluntary measures implemented by loggers
and foresters in an effort to control soil erosion and to protect water quality. Among the BMPs
related to timber harvesting, one of the most critical is to minimize soil disturbance (AFC, 2007).
Without good sanitary processes, there is the possibility of introducing contaminants into the
logging site (Image 7.1). Forest equipment may be encrusted with soil containing plant
pathogens, nematodes, or weed seeds (Roth et al., 1972, Jules et al., 2002, Waterhouse, 2003);
snails or insects may be hitchhiking on vehicles; saws and chippers may be contaminated with
pathogens from trees they have touched; workers may have contaminants on their shoes and
clothing; animals used for transport may carry weed seeds on their fur or in their intestinal tract
(Richardson et al., 2004).










The disturbance caused by the logging process (e.g., the
creation of logging roads) may create conditions that
facilitate the establishment of introduced pests (USDA-
FS, 2001). For example, plant species with low shade
tolerance may not be able to grow in a dense,
undisturbed rain forest but can thrive in the vegetation
gaps created by the logging.

Illegal logging is a widespread problem in the GCR,
particularly in Central America (Galloway and Stoian,
2007, Wells et al., 2007). This presents a special Image 7.1 Illegal logging road in
Panama (panamaguide.com).
challenge for any efforts to implement sanitation Paaa namag om
practices or inspections.

Raw wood, particularly with the bark intact (Image
7.2), can serve as a potentially serious pathway for the
movement of exotic forest pests. Bark beetles and
ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae:
Scolytinae), wood-boring beetles (Coleoptera:
Buprestidae), longhorned beetles (Coleoptera:
Cerambycidae), and horntail wasps (Hymenoptera:
Siricidae) are among the most destructive forest insects;
each of these groups is associated with raw timber
Image 7.2 Cutting logs in Guyana for products (Ciesla, 1992). USDA pest risk assessments
export (Source: provide extensive lists of insects and pathogens
guyanaforestry.blogspot.com) associated with Pinus (Pinaceae) and Abies (Pinaceae)
logs from Mexico (USDA-FS, 1998) and with Pinus logs from Australia (USDA-FS, 2006b). In
a different pest risk assessment, 801 species of arthropod pests were found to be associated with
wood from China (USDA-APHIS, 2007). Bark beetles and wood-boring beetles entered China in
unprocessed Pseudotsuga menziesii (Pinaceae) and Tsuga heterophylla (Pinaceae) logs from the
United States (Ciesla, 1992); and Pinus radiata logs exported from New Zealand were found to
be infested with Hylurgus ligniperda (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) (Speight and
Wylie, 2001).

A recent introduction into the southeastern United States of Raffaelea lauricola (Ascomycetes:
Ophiostomatales), a fungal symbiont of Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae:
Scolytinae) and the causal agent of laurel wilt in trees of the Lauraceae family, is causing
increased mortality in Persea borbonia (Lauraceae) (Koch and Smith, 2008). The primary
pathway for introduction ofX. glabratus is believed to be wood products (raw wood and wood
packaging material) (Rabaglia et al., 2006). Efforts are underway to prevent the continued spread
ofX. glabratus, but infestations are increasing throughout the southeastern United States, and
spread models predict a high likelihood of spread throughout certain parts of the United States,
including all Gulf States. This pest is a potential risk for the Caribbean islands. Numerous trees
and shrubs in the Lauraceae family, including avocado, Persea americana, appear to be
susceptible to the pathogen (Fraedrich et al., 2008).










Fuelwood includes logs, billets, twigs, chips or particles, sawdust, wood waste, and scrap wood.
Logs used as fuelwood generally differ from those used for timber products by size and quality.
However, many of the pests associated with fuelwood, particularly in the form of logs and twigs,
are the same as those associated with raw timber. Wood chips, though of somewhat lower pest
risk than unprocessed wood, may still harbor many pests, including Phellinus weirii
(Agaricomycetes: Hymenochaetales); Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Tylenchida:
Aphelenchoididae); Monochamus spp., Anoplophora glabripennis, and Tetropium fuscum
(Coleoptera: Cerambycidae); and Gnathotrichus and Trypodendron spp. (Coleoptera:
Curculionidae: Scolytinae) (Magnusson et al., 2001). Scrap wood (sawdust, wood chips, wood
shavings, and wood wool) coming into New Zealand was found to harbor fungal pathogens (e.g.,
Cryphonectria cubensis (Sordariomycetes: Diaporthales), bark and wood-boring beetles
(Coleoptera: Cerambycidae, Cucurlionidae), and termites (Rhinotermitidae and Kalotermitidae)
(NZMAF, 2003).

Tables 7.2-7.7 depict trade of raw wood reported by the Caribbean countries in 2006, illustrating
the fact that there are substantial quantities, both coniferous and deciduous, moving into and
within the GCR. The Caribbean islands, Central America, Guyana, and Suriname report imports
of over 16,000 metric tons of raw wood from throughout the world (Table 7.2). Almost half of
these imports consisted of coniferous species. Exports (including exports from the U.S. Gulf
States into the GCR) exceed 293,600 metric tons (Table 7.6). The majority (77%) consisted of
tropical hardwoods, much of it from Central America and Guyana exported into the United
States. Over 70% of the raw wood exported from the Gulf States into the GCR originated in
Florida and was destined for the Caribbean islands (UNComtrade, 2008). It is important to note
that these data reflect only raw wood (untreated, with or without bark) reported by the importing
and exporting countries; WPM, lumber (treated or untreated), and plywood are not included in
these tables.

Raw wood is not the only wood of phytosanitary concern. Manufactured wood items, such as
wooden handicrafts, musical instruments, brooms, tools, toys, wooden poles for artificial
Christmas trees, and many other items may also be infested with pests. A U.S. pest risk
assessment found 510 species of U.S. quarantine significance to be associated with manufactured
wood from China (USDA-APHIS, 2007).


Pathway: Non-Wood Forest Products

Non-wood forest products (non-timber forest products) include food products (e.g., nuts, berries,
leaves, ferns, edible fungi, bark), gums, resins and latexes of plant origin, medicinals (e.g.,
leaves, bark, roots, whole plants, fungi), bark and other plant material for dyes and tannins,
rattan, palms, bamboo, craft products (e.g., mosses, bark, willow reeds, vines), floral and
decorative products, and landscape products (FAO, 2005b). Rattan-like items used for furniture,
baskets, mats, etc., could potentially harbor insect pests and plant pathogens (NZMAF, 2003).
Mahogany bark is collected in Jamaica for making dye and mangrove bark is exported from
Guyana for tanning leather. Bark is a known pathway for the movement of insect pests and
pathogens (NZMAF, 2003). Depending upon the condition of the bark during transport and upon









delivery, the material could easily provide a pathway for numerous bark-infesting insects and
pathogens (Appendix 1).

Christmas trees, too, have been vehicles for the introduction of exotic pests into the GCR;
imports of Christmas foliage (coniferous species) were found to contain Adelges cooleyi
(Hemiptera: Adelgidae), Chionaspispinifoliae (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), Paradiplosis tumifex
(Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), and others (Speight and Wylie, 2001). After implementing the
Canadian Christmas tree contingency action plan in Puerto Rico, which expedited inspections
and improved pest identification and customer service, interceptions on this commodity of
mollusks increased seven-fold and interceptions of insects doubled (USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 2008a).
If paying special attention to a pathway significantly increases pest interception rates, then this
means that without that special attention, many pests remain undetected and the risk associated
with that pathway may be underestimated.

Plants and plant products have been utilized as medicines
throughout history and play an important role in human
activities, and international trade in these commodities is
increasingly gaining momentum. Natural products are often
the only source of medicine for 75-90% of the people living in
developing countries (Wilkie et al., 2002). A medicinal plant
collection from the island of Montserrat consists of 278 taxa
from 78 families (Brussell, 2004). A study into the medicinal
plant trade in Suriname (vanAndel et al., 2007) revealed that
over 245 species of medicinal plants were sold in local
markets and that the annual value of the domestic and export
market was estimated to be worth over US$1.5 million. Plants Image 7.3 Medicinal plants
were selling at local markets in various forms (e.g., leaves, at a local market in
fruits, roots, bark, whole plants) (Image 7.3), and most plants Paramaribo, Suriname
were gathered from the interior forests and transported to (Photo: Sara
market. Groenendijik).
market.

Little is known about medicinal plants as a pathway for the introduction of plant pests; however,
given the growing importance of the medicinal plant market and the immense variety of
medicinal herbs that may potentially be involved, this topic is worthy of attention.

Bamboo, Bambusa vulgaris (Graminae), was introduced into the Caribbean to control soil
erosion along steep dirt roads (Francis, 1993); it has become established along streams and has
formed monocultures in some riparian areas, and questions are being raised as to its invasive
potential and risks to native forests (Blundell et al., 2003). While not considered one of the more
threatening species, B. vulgaris is considered to be invasive in Jamaica and Tobago (Kairo et al.,
2003). In the GCR, bamboo is used for fences, furniture, scaffolding, arbors, and various forms
of farm construction. Bamboo is also a favorite species for handicrafts, kitchen items, garden
accessories, screens, furniture, and musical instruments (Francis, 1993). A number of Caribbean
countries have taken steps over the past few years to increase the production of bamboo
products. For example, Jamaica and Guadeloupe signed a memorandum of understanding to
promote bamboo products (JIS, 2006). INBAR, the International Network for Bamboo and









Rattan, headquartered in China, has signed an international agreement with a number of
countries, including Cuba, Suriname, and Jamaica, to increase bamboo production and trade in
the Caribbean, Central America, and South America (JIS, 2004, INBAR, 2006).

Dried bamboo, particularly B. vulgaris, has been found -b
to serve as a pathway for phytophagous insect pests from
China (Image 7.4). A review of U.S. port interceptions
from China from 1985 through 2005 revealed that 26
species of live insects of phytosanitary concern were
found in dried bamboo garden stakes from China,
including eight genera of Coleoptera: Cerambycidae
(Anelaphus, Chlorophorus, Elaphidion, Niphona,
Phymatodes, Purpuricenus, Sternidus, and Xylotrechus).
Twelve other families were represented (USDA-APHIS, Image 7.4 Larvae in bamboo
2006). Two high-risk beetle species from families stakes (Source: APHIS 2005).
represented multiple times in the interceptions were
Chlorophorus annularis (Cerambycidae) and Heterobostrychus aequalis (Bostrichidae). These
insects have high dispersal potential, a wide range of hosts, and can contribute to substantial
economic losses.

In 2006, China reported exports of 1352 metric tons of bamboo3 into the GCR (excluding the
United States) (UNComtrade, 2008), with almost 80% going to Central America. The Caribbean
islands, chiefly the Dominican Republic, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago received the
remaining 20%, with the exception of a very small amount (< 1%) going to Suriname. There was
also significant intra-Caribbean trade of bamboo products during the same time period.


Pathway: Trees for Planting

Numerous exotic plant pests have been introduced into North America on nursery stock and
propagative material. These include pathogens such as Cryphonectriaparasitica
(Sordariomycetes: Diaporthales) and Cronartium ribicola (Uredinomycetes: Uredinales) (Ostry,
2001). An example from tropical forests is the introduction of Pineuspini (Hemiptera:
Adelgidae) into Kenya and Zimbabwe on pine scions from Australia; P. pini spread to six
additional countries in Africa, primarily through the movement of infested nursery stock (Odera,
1974). Pathways associated with nursery stock and propagative materials are addressed in
Chapter 8.

Plantations are established in the GCR for timber production, to provide local sources of
fuelwood, and to protect and restore the land (FAO, 2000). Agroforestry systems are employed
throughout Central America and the Caribbean islands to effect these goals and to provide


13 The trade data reported from UNComtrade include HS-96 tariff codes 14110 (bamboo used primarily for
plaiting-includes bamboo poles), 460110 (bamboo used primarily for plaiting), 460120 (mats, matting, and
screens), and 460210 basketworkk, wickerwork, and products of vegetable material includes bamboo fencing).
Bamboo can be included in any number of HS codes, including those related to wood and anything related to
"vegetable material." Accurate accounting of bamboo trade is impossible under the present system.









companion plantings for food crops, pastures, or animals (Scherr, 1999). Agroforestry provides
many advantages, but it is becoming more widely recognized that some of the trees used in
commercial plantations and in agroforestry operations are invasive species themselves
(Richardson, 1998). The most successful invaders in natural environments tend to be woody
perennials, especially trees (Cronk and Fuller, 1995). The characteristics that contribute to a
tree's invasive potential include rapid growth, high fecundity, small seeds, and the ability to fix
nitrogen; these are the same characteristics that often make a tree species a desirable candidate
for agroforestry operations (Richardson et al., 2004).

Invasive plantation and agroforestry tree species in the GCR include Acacia spp., Leucanea
leucocephala (Fabaceae), Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae), Schinus terebinthifolius
(Anacardiaceae), and others (Table 7.8). These species often form dense thickets or
monocultures, replace native vegetation, disrupt activities of native fauna (e.g., in Florida, turtles
are prevented from nesting and often trapped in the roots of Casuarina equisetifolia
(Casuarinaceae)), and lower the water table (Binggeli et al., 1998). Some are capable of invading
undisturbed forests (e.g., Adenantherapavonina (Fabaceae)) and causing further degradation of
native forests by changing species composition and decreasing biodiversity (Green et al., 2004).
The alien tree Acacia mearnsii (Fabaceae), which is the center of a commercial wood-products
industry in South Africa, has invaded almost 2.5 million ha of native ecosystems there, where it
threatens water resources, biodiversity, and the stability of riparian habitats (deWit et al., 2001).


Potential Consequences of Exotic Forest Pests

The overwhelming majority of Caribbean forests are tropical forests with extremely high levels
of species richness (FAO, 2005b). The number of endemic tree species ranges from the hundreds
to the thousands in some areas (FAO, 2005b), and many of them are listed as vulnerable,
endangered, or critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and
Natural Resources 'red list' (IUCN, 2007). The pressures already impacting the forests of the
GCR may exacerbate both the forests' susceptibility to exotic species invasions and the
consequences such invasions may have.

Undisturbed old-growth forests are generally considered to be impervious to invasion by exotic
species (Simberloff, 1981, Herbold and Moyle, 1986, Huston, 1994, Hooper et al., 2005,
Stachowicz and Byrnes, 2006), and the most important indicator for susceptibility of an
ecosystem to invasion is believed to be whether or not it has been disturbed. However, it is
becoming more evident that even undisturbed forests are vulnerable to exotic pests. For example,
three exotic ambrosia beetles, Xylosandrus crassiusculus, Xyleborinus exiguus, and Euwallacea
fornicatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) have been found in old-growth forests in
Costa Rica and Panama (Kirkendall and Odegaard, 2007). Xylosandrus crassiusculus is an
aggressive, high-risk quarantine pest in North America. Host genera for X crassiusculus include
Tectona (Lamiaceae), Cecropia (Cecropiaceae), Lecythis (Lecythidaceae), Calliandra
(Fabaceae), Quercus (Fagaceae), and Ulmus (Ulmaceae). Host genera for X exiguous include
Brosimum (Moriaceae) and Protium (Burseraceae). Euwallaceafornicatus hosts include Cedrela
(Meliaceae), Tocoyena (Rubiaceae), and Brosimum (Moraceae) species. The specific pathways
for these insects into Central America are unknown, but bark and wood-boring insects are









frequently intercepted on logs and wood packaging material and these are the likely pathways for
introduction (Brockerhoff et al., 2006, Haack, 2006).

In regard to weed trees invading interior forests, it was recently observed that over 139 exotic
plant species have invaded deeply shaded forest understories that have not undergone any
substantial disturbance (Martin et al., 2008). The rate of invasion by shade-tolerant species is
slower than that of shade-intolerant species, but the long-term impacts on forest ecosystems can
be perhaps more detrimental. A recent study of long-term alien tree invasions in Puerto Rico
revealed that exotic trees such as Spathodea campanulata (Bignoniaceae) and Psidium guajava
(Myrtaceae) established on abandoned agricultural lands, forming monocultures, while the
evergreen, shade tolerant Syzygiumjambos (Myrtaceae) invaded shade coffee forests and native
forests (Lugo, 2004).

Important timber species in Central America and the Caribbean islands include Tectona grandis,
Gmelina arborea (Lamiaceae), Cedrela odorata, Swietenia spp., and Pinus caribaea (FAO,
2000). Latin American and Caribbean plantations cover almost 10 million hectares (Ball et al.,
1999), 56% of which are hardwood species. Plantation establishment is increasing, especially of
Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea. It is projected that by 2020, 60% of sustainable wood
supply in Latin America and the Caribbean will come from plantation forests (FAO, 2006).
Important plantation timber species in the Gulf States are Pinus echinata, P. elliottii, P. palustris,
and P. taeda. All of these timber species are associated with a suite of forest pests, some native,
some already introduced, and some that may be a threat to the GCR. These pests, along with
those that may infest native forests, are listed in Appendix 1.

Pines (Pinus spp.) are vulnerable to many species of bark beetles and wood borers. Central
American countries (e.g., Honduras and Belize) have been experiencing severe outbreaks of the
native Dendroctonusfrontalis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) over the past few years
(FAO, 2008). Honduras is one of the few tropical countries with large areas of natural conifer
forests, including many endemic Pinus species (FAO, 2005a). Because of the preponderance of
Pinus species, both in natural stands and plantations, the introduction of certain exotic pests,
such as Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae), into the Gulf States and Central America could
result in severe damage. Sirex noctilio, native to Eurasia and northern Africa, has been
introduced into Australia, South Africa, and parts of South America, resulting in one of the most
damaging biological invasions of pine forestry in the southern hemisphere (Hurley et al., 2007).
Climate-matching models predict that S. noctilio could establish and persist throughout North
and Central America wherever susceptible hosts are located (Carnegie et al., 2006).


Summary

Forests provide multiple ecological, economic, and social functions throughout the GCR. Most
of the forests within the region are classified as tropical and are important on a global scale for
their immense ecological value. Forests throughout the region are being degraded, largely
through the effects of increasing human populations and non-sustainable logging practices,
making them more vulnerable to the effects of exotic species.









Important forest pests include insects, pathogens, and plants, especially invasive tree species.
Important pathways for the introduction of exotic forest pests, pathogens, and weeds include
both wood and non-wood forest products, as well as propagative materials, such as trees for
plantations or agroforestry systems. Hitchhiker pests can be moved through the timber extraction
process. It is important to note that exotic forest pests moving through each of these pathways
may impact both natural systems and agricultural systems.

Due to a lack of data, it is difficult to determine the relative importance of each of these
pathways. Furthermore, we know very little about introduced species (how many and which
species) that may have already established in the GCR, especially in forested areas. More
research in this area is needed.


Recommendations

Hold an international congress on introduced and imminent forest pests in the
GCR. The conference may be coordinated by Carribean Invasive Species Working
Group (CISWG) and may be modeled after a similar conference held by FAO in 2003
(FAO-RAP, 2005). The main objectives of the conference should be to:
o increase awareness of the threats of invasive species to forests and forest
products;
o share information related to exotic forest pests; and
o develop action items for regional cooperation in addressing forest pests.

** Establish criteria for assessing invasive potential for exotic tree species that are
under consideration for agroforestry. The USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Center for Plant Health
Science and Technology may be able to provide expertise in weed risk assessment.

Exclude tree species with high invasive potential from agroforestry systems. Fast-
growing and readily reproducing tree species are often preferred for plantation planting.
However, these species also have a greater potential to become invasive. As much as
possible, promote the use of local tree species in agroforestry and reforestation.

Carry out surveys to determine the distribution of pests commonly associated with
wood and non-wood forest products outside of their native range. The efforts of
Kairo et al. (2003) would provide a useful foundation for this.

Establish Best Management Practices to reduce the potential movement of forest
pests. These could include:
o Sanitation procedures such as cleaning forest equipment after each use
o Prevent contamination of logs with soil or weeds
o Prevent hitchhiker pests
o Prevent new infestations of cut logs (protect stored logs)
o Limit the movement of untreated firewood










Chapter 8: Plant Propagative Material


Plant propagative material, also referred to as nursery stock, is any plant material capable
of and intended for propagation, including buds, bulbs, corms, cuttings, layers, rhizomes,
root clumps, scions, stolons, seeds, tubers, or whole plants. In this chapter, the term
propagativee material" includes plants for planting.

As a pathway, propagative material overlaps with the other pathways discussed in this
report in that propagative material may be transported by any of the available methods:
airplane, cargo vessel, small boat, truck, personal vehicles, public or private mail, as well
as in the baggage of ship, plane or bus passengers.

Propagative material is mainly imported for commercial nursery and horticulture
production and uses in agriculture and forestry. Smaller quantities are imported for "plant
exploration" by botanical gardens or researchers, or planting (e.g., as ornamentals or food
plants) by private collectors or homeowners.

In the Greater Caribbean Region (GCR), the demand for propagative material is strongly
linked to tourism development, and there can be great economic and political pressure to
allow needed imports. Spikes in demand also tend to occur during renovation and
reforestation efforts after hurricanes and other extreme weather events (Klassen et al.,
2004).

The trade of propagative material is a multi-billion dollar industry. The United States,
together with Canada, Israel, and the Netherlands, are the major exporters of nursery
products to the GCR (UNComtrade, 2008). Available data on the commercial trade of
propagative material are categorized by harmonized tariff codes and do not contain the
taxonomic identity of the imported commodities. Compounding the difficulties in data
colelction, not all countries report their trade data (UNComtrade, 2008) (Tables 8.1-8.6),
and there is no way of quantifying the unofficial, unregistered trade that occurs among
Caribbean nations.

Based on official trade data, the propagative materials most frequently traded fall into the
category of "bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, corms, crowns and rhizomes." Almost 17
million plant units of these types were imported into countries of the GCR in 2007, nearly
all of them from the Netherlands into Colombia. Slightly fewer than 1 million were
imported from Canada into Guatemala (Table 8.1). The next most frequently traded
articles fall into the category "live plants (not otherwise specified) including their roots;
mushroom spawn." This category is mainly imported into the Bahamas from the United
States (Table 8.2). Of the category "trees, shrubs and bushes, of kinds which bear edible
fruit or nuts," approximately 2 million plant units were imported into the GCR in 2007,
mainly into Colombia (from the United States, Israel, Argentina, and Chile), Guatemala
(from Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Netherlands), and the Bahamas (from the
United States) (Table 8.3). Less frequently imported categories of propagative materials









were: "roses, including their roots" (Table 8.4), "azaleas and rhododendrons, including
their roots" (Table 8.5), and unrootedd cuttings and slips" (Table 8.6) (UNComtrade,
2008).

The United States maintains a database of plant genera imported. Unfortunately, the data
is not reported in consistent units of measurement, making quantitative comparisons
impossible. In 2007, nearly 800 different plant genera were imported into the United
States from 21 countries of the GCR (USDA, 2008e), mainly from Costa Rica,
Guatemala, and Colombia (Table 8.7).14 Because the database lists only the genera and
not the species of propagative materials imported, a discussion of the potential risk posed
by these imports is difficult.

In general, any plant species imported may present a phytosanitary problem in two ways:
1) by introducing exotic plant pests, and 2) by itself becoming an invasive weed in its
introduced range.


Propagative Material as a Pathway for Plant Pests

Infested or infected propagative material is often considered to be one of the primary
means through which plant pests and pathogens invade new areas (Palm and Rossman,
2003). Pests that are introduced on propagative material have the advantage of being
moved together with a suitable host plant. In addition, the propagative material is usually
planted in a climate conducive to its growth, and the same climate is also likely to be
suitable for its associated pests. Furthermore, the plants are often planted in groups or
even large monocultures, thereby providing ideal conditions for a pest population to grow
and expand.

Numerous important plant pests are known to have been introduced to new locations on
propagative material. Metamasius callizona (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae), a weevil
native to Mexico and Central America, was introduced on bromeliads into Florida, where
it now threatens populations of native bromeliads (Frank and McCoy, 1995). As a direct
result of the damage caused by M. callizona, the Florida Endangered Plant Advisory
Council added two species of bromeliads to its list of endangered species (Larson and
Frank, 2007).

The citrus longhorned beetle, Anoplophora chinensis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), was
recently detected in Germany when 100,000 potted Japanese maple, Acer palmatum
(Aceraceae), trees from China were sold throughout the country by a supermarket chain
(Deutsche Welle, 2008). Anoplophora chinensis is a pest of trees and shrubs from 26
families, including citrus and other fruit trees in China. Native to Asia, it has spread to
other areas of the world, including tropical Oceania (GPDD, 2009); thus, this beetle may
also be able to establish in the GCR if introduced.

14 Costa Rica exports annually about $30 million worth of ornamental plants more than half of its yearly
total to the United States WTO. 2007. Clean stock program for Dracaena spp. intended for export to the
United States. World Trade Organization..




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