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Guam bans ship filled with spiders

Date Posted: 2010-08-05

In a week when seemingly everything having to do with the relocation of American Marines from Okinawa to Guam could go wrong, more has, as Guam officials have banned a ship filled with spiders turned up at Hagatna Port carrying construction materials for the project.

The ship was carrying a load of insulation and beams for housing units that are slated to be built to house up to 18,000 workers building the facilities to accommodate 8,000 Marines who are supposed to move from Okinawa to Guam within the next five years, but stevedores unloading the M/V Altavia encountered thousands of small spiders and hundreds of large ones. They quit working and called agriculture officials, who ordered the cargo placed back on the ship and then ordered it out of the port.

Joseph Torres, the Department of Agriculture Director, says “When you get this many from this many various sizes, it’s definitely an infestation” that wasn’t wanted on Guam. “We don’t want it here.” The ship, arriving in Guam from South Korea, had initially been given clearance from Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency officials who boarded the ship and gave clearance for cargo to be unlocked for unloading. Bernadette Meno, the marking administrator for the Port Authority of Guam, says once port workers saw the spiders, the containers were placed back on the ship and it ws anchored in the harbor, away from the piers. Subsequently, the ship was banned from Guam and ordered out to sea.

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