BIOSECURITY Authority of Fiji officials found 28 adult Giant African Snails and about 500 snail eggs on a ship at the Kings Wharf in Suva over the weekend.
The pests and their eggs were found onboard the MV Coral Islander, Voyage 112, which had arrived from Honiara in the Solomon Islands, and was in transit through the Kings Wharf to Tarawa in Kiribati.
"Some of the snails' eggs were ready for hatching, which was confirmed by the BAFs entomologist who carried out the pest identification," BAF executive chairman Xavier Khan said.
He said the snails were one of the largest and most damaging land snail pests.
"It is classified as one of the world's top 100 invasive species. It can consume almost 500 different types of plant species. The Giant African Snail is a threat to the sustainability of crop systems and native ecosystems and has a negative impact on native fauna and acts as a vector to human diseases such as meningitis."
Mr Khan said the main pathways of the spread of the Giant African Snail were through trade, transport and smuggling.
"Fiji is currently free of Giant African Snails and BAF endeavours to keep it away from our shores at all instances."
This is achieved through increased vigilance and thorough screening of all incoming and transiting cargoes and passengers. This interception poses high risk to our borders since the intercepted Giant African Snail numbers were extremely high together with many eggs." Mr Khan said BAF would enforce strict mitigating measures to ensure this interception was appropriately dealt with and the threats amicably nullified.