The development and implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Australian Antarctic Division and Quarantine Tasmania is an AAD initiative to prevent the southbound movement of pests and other contaminants to the Antarctic and subantarctic environment.
Prior to all vessel departures Quarantine officers make regular inspections of the wharf area, cargo facility, the cargo and shipping containers. This can involve the use of Quarantine detector dogs. The cargo facility is a Quarantine approved premise and the Macquarie 4 staff are accredited to maintain high quarantine standards.
Quarantine Tasmania officers and M4 staff conduct vigilant checks of all containers and cargo. All containers and machinery are washed down, cleaned and fumigated if necessary prior to despatch. Of particular concern is the accidental movement of insects, plant material, animal material including feathers and soil on cargo.
Quarantine detector dogs check southbound mail for prohibited items including fruit, meat products, wheat packs etc which could introduce pests and diseases to Antarctica.
On the day of departure for each voyage the vessel is inspected by Quarantine officers. Expeditioner cabins and personal effects are examined with the assistance of Quarantine detector dogs.
Regular inspections are conducted by Quarantine Tasmania officers at Macquarie No 4 Cargo Facility (for southbound and RTA cargo and personal effects) throughout the shipping season.