Information released in a case study by bulk terminal operator, HSE at Terminales Marítimos de Galicia (TMGA), is urging other terminal operators to reconsider their approach to effective pest control, as cargo fumigation isn’t making the cut and leaving too much risk for infestation. One of the causes identified is the presence of Weevils left behind long after lots have been shipped.
“We are finding that the pupae and larvae inside maize kernels in various consignments, and which were subjected to in-transit fumigation, are not affected by phosphine or phosphine generating fumigants and growing into weevils while cargoes are in storage,” said Javier Quintero Saavedra, head of HSE at Terminales Marítimos de Galicia (TMGA).
“Bulk terminals need to implement a fully integrated pest management plan. Operators must monitor silo temperatures and moisture and be able to spot insect and larvae infestations in large storage premises. They should also carry out regular cleaning of empty stores and better understand the use of different pesticides and their effects,” Saavedra added.
Balancing pest management while ensuring safety measures are in place is another challenge identified in the case study – which will be presented by Saavedra at this year’s Association of Bulk Terminal Operator’s (ABTO) conference – Bulk Terminals, in October.
“While grain cargoes are usually fumigated at origin or in-transit if larvae survive and evolve it can be a real issue for terminal operators,” ABTO CE Simon Gutteridge said. “It can write-off the whole consignment. There is obviously a strong case for fumigating cargoes stored in silos at discharge ports, especially where maize kernels are stored, but this is not without its own problems.”
As phosphine and methyl bromide are known as top chemical choices for fumigation, both are linked to high-risk health hazards including acute intoxication, hypoxia, asphyxiation, seafarer fatalities, and run the risk of leaks to other facilities. This risks and more will be discussed in detail during Saavedra’s presentation covering port-side fumigation.
“There are IMO guidelines for the use of pesticides in-transit, but the rules governing their use in storage facilities ashore is at national level. Although the European Commission oversees the approval of active substances, it is the individual state that decides whether to allow their use or not,” said Saavedra. “What the bulk terminals industry needs is more globally-focused best practice guidelines, an initiative supported both by ICHCA and ABTO.”