Queensland fruit fly in Auckland – MPI provides situation update

The Ministry for Primary Industries says a large field crew continues work in the Auckland suburb of Devonport today, focused on finding out if there is an incursion of the Queensland fruit fly in the area. This follows the detection of a lone male fly in a surveillance trap in the area last week. Since then, no further flies have been found.

If it established here, the Queensland fruit fly could seriously harm the country’s fruit and vegetable crops and affect exports of some produce. If a population is found, work will progress to eradicate it.

Current work involves:

  • extending the network of traps
  • inspecting home gardens in the area for plants that could provide suitable habitat for fruit flies
  • taking fruit and vegetable samples for testing
  • providing information to local residents and visitors.

A legal Controlled Area is in place in Devonport, restricting the movement of certain fruit and vegetables from the area.

This is a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of any fruit flies out of the area in the event a population is there.

Response staff are also working with local retailers to explain the detail of the movement controls and how they may impact their businesses. Local retailers are eligible to apply for compensation for verifiable losses incurred as a result of the legal directions.

People in Devonport who believe they have seen fruit flies or have found insect eggs or larvae inside fruit or vegetables are urged to contact the response team on 0800 80 99 66.

The press statement includes information about the insect and photos

The fruit fly response at a glance

  • More than 60 people are working in Auckland and this number continues to grow. Around 20 Biosecurity New Zealand staff are working from National headquarters in Wellington.
  • Biosecurity New Zealand’s bio-secure mobile field laboratory is established at the Devonport Naval Base.
  • Staff there are inspecting produce collected from the area for signs of fruit fly and larvae.
  • Detailed information about the fruit and vegetable controls is being distributed in the area.
  • Signs are up on key arterial roads and at the Devonport Ferry Terminal.
  • Bins are going into the Controlled Area for local people to safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.
  • The website address for more information is www.biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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