MPI finds another Queensland fruit fly in Whangarei

Andrew Coleman, deputy director general for compliance and response at the Ministry for Primary Industries
Queensland fruit fly

A second male Queensland fruit fly has been trapped at a site in Whangarei just 400 metres from where another single example of the insect was found in January.

While the latest discovery is not thought to be related to the January incident, the Ministry for Primary Industries said it was reviewing its processes in light of a recent surge in Queensland fruit fly populations in Australia.

Queensland fruit fly is a notifiable organism in New Zealand, with the potential to damage a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops.

"All our information at this stage tells us this detection is a new find and not related to the January incident," the deputy director general for compliance and response at the Ministry for Primary Industries, Andrew Coleman, said in a statement.

"The Ministry is aware that fruit fly populations have dramatically increased in Australia in recent months and in light of the previous Whangarei find, we have been reviewing our importing requirements for fruit fly risk goods."

The fly was caught in a surveillance trap in the Parihaka area of Whangarei on Tuesday and formally identified yesterday. A controlled area to restrict the movement of fruit and vegetables is being defined around the area.

"Queensland fruit fly has been found four times in New Zealand previously, including the January Whangarei detection. In all these earlier cases, increased trapping found no further flies," said Coleman.

MPI field teams are setting additional traps in the area to determine whether it is a solitary find or part of a wider population. The most likely way that fruit fly can arrive in New Zealand is in fresh fruit and vegetables.


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