A cargo vessel that was heavily infested with live Giant African Snails was intercepted by authorities at Fiji's main wharf.

According to Fiji Times Online, the vessel, which arrived at the Suva Wharf on Friday, was said to have arrived at the wharf earlier last month 'where biosecurity officers intercepted a live Giant African Snail from the vessel'.

According to the report, an officer from the country's Quarantine Division said that the "vessel was ordered to anchor out in the middle of the wharf to undergo fumigation."

"They were ordered not to discharge any of their containers at the wharf until the whole vessel was fumigated.

"Snail baits were placed outside the vessel and on the wharf as a precautionary measure before the vessel was fumigated."

Quarantine officers were sent to supervise the fumigation process which included putting poisonous gases into container holes for 48 hours to kill pests and the snails.

According to the report, Biodiversity director, Ilaitia Boa, earlier said the snail was not present in Fiji but is present in most Pacific Island countries and its establishment could cause significant economic losses for horticultural production.