Separate fruit fly detections under investigation
Biosecurity New Zealand announced this morning that surveillance activity in Auckland is being stepped up following the discovery of a second Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) on the North Shore.
The single, male fly was collected from a routine surveillance trap and is the second QFF found in the past week – the first was detected in a trap in Devonport. A male Facialis fruit fly has also been detected in Otara, Auckland. As was the case in the QFF detections, the Facialis fruit fly was found in a routine surveillance trap on a residential property.
No other flies have been found and at this stage there is no indication there is an outbreak of fruit fly. The flies have been found some distance apart and there’s currently no evidence of a breeding population.
In each detection, a Biosecurity New Zealand response has been immediately set up, in partnership with KVH and other horticultural industry groups through the Government Industry Agreement (GIA). We will keep you updated of any major developments as these responses progress.
One of the most important things the responses will determine is if the flies in each case are a lone specimen or if there’s a population of these flies in the area.
More traps have been set around the finds and the movement of fruit and vegetables has been restricted as a precaution to stop the spread of any other fruit flies that may be in the area. Information is being distributed to the public via mailbox leaflet drops and door-to-door visits. KVH staff are in Auckland assisting with this work, as are members of our industry-wide KiwiNet group who have considerable skills and experience that they can add to response activities.
The restrictions in place in Otara, Devonport and Northcote are the same – whole fresh fruit and vegetables (except for leafy vegetables and root vegetables) cannot be moved outside of the A Zone of the Controlled Area. This is the area that extends 200m out from where the fly was found. Home-grown vegetables cannot be moved out of a wider B Zone. Detailed maps are available online here.
If there are no further detections, the operations in each area are expected to last two to three weeks.
We are concerned about these fruit fly detections and are taking them seriously, as are our partner horticultural organisations, and Biosecurity New Zealand. In all cases the fruit flies were found in traps, which shows that we have a good routine surveillance system that is working well and aligning with our border controls. However, we are pleased to note that Biosecurity New Zealand has said there will be an independent assessment of the air passenger and cruise pathways (a cargo pathway review is already underway) to make sure our biosecurity system is robust and that any learnings from these detections are taken into account. KVH will closely follow the review and outcome.
The kiwifruit industry is contributing to every aspect of these responses and taking a prominent role at a Governance level, which will continue.
A reminder that every month, latest border interception information on fruit flies is published in the KVH risk update. The updates also include details about the national fruit fly surveillance programme and news/detections around the world.
Be vigilant and keep watch. While it may be possible to find fruit flies on fruit trees, a better option is to look out for any larvae in fruit, including tree fallen fruit. Report any possible finds to Biosecurity New Zealand on 0800 80 99 66.