Fruit fly detection update
Yesterday it was announced that a fourth male Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) has been found in Northcote and another Facialis fruit fly has been found in Ōtara.
The Northcote find is approximately 80 metres inside the current A Zone and no further restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables are required in the suburb.
The Ōtara find is 630 metres to the north of the last find inside the current B Zone. Another A Zone has been established in Ōtara, which will mean restrictions on a different area. The current B Zone is unchanged.
Similar controls on the movement of export fruit to those put in place in Northcote will be established in Ōtara. This is expected to have little, if any, practical impact on fruit exports.
There have been no further finds of QFF in Devonport since the only find there on Thursday 14 February.
The extensive surveillance programme is continuing including trapping, visual inspection of backyard gardens and fruit trees, and collection and laboratory examination of fallen fruit. The kiwifruit industry, through KiwiNet, has made a huge contribution to this work. To date there has been around 300kg of fruit cut and examined, which was gathered from A Zone backyards on the North Shore, and almost 500kg in Otara. There has not been any fruit fly larvae found.
KVH is part of the Fruit Fly Council - a governance group made up of impacted industry sector representatives and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) partnership. We are closely involved in response decision-making processes, ensuring the interests of kiwifruit growers, and other primary producers, are represented fully.
The responses in Otara, Devonport, and Northcote are running well and are following the pre-agreed operational plans established and tested in previous responses. The kiwifruit industry can be confident that the work being undertaken is in the best interests of our growers as everything possible is being done to determine whether there are more flies in the area, and if so, stop them from spreading any further.
Despite the recently announced additional finds, there is no evidence of a breeding population and that is good news that can give us continued confidence in our biosecurity system, as well as the response actions taken so far.
KVH and the Fruit Fly Council have been clear from the outset that each find is a concern and there is full support for MPIs recently announced independent review of the air passenger, cruise and mail pathways. There will always be some risk of unwanted pests and diseases getting here, but we must do everything possible to try and stop them. If there are any holes in the system currently, they need to be found and immediately fixed.
Detailed maps of the controlled areas, a description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are available on the MPI website.
Summary of detections: Single male QFF have been found in separate surveillance traps in the Auckland North Shore suburbs of Devonport (one single fly) and Northcote (four flies). Three male Facialis fruit flies have been found in separate surveillance traps in Ōtara.
The most likely way that fruit flies can arrive in New Zealand is in fresh fruit and vegetables. Be vigilant and keep watch. While it may be possible to find on fruit trees if present, a better option is to look out for any larvae in fruit, including tree fallen fruit. Report anything of concern to the pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.