The detection of one male Queensland fruit fly in the Launceston suburb Mowbray in the State’s north is of significant concern to Tasmania’s apple and pear growers.
The presence of fly in a trap is being investigated by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), following a report from a member of public who located it in their home.
Biosecurity Tasmania General Manager Lloyd Klumpp has emphasised to Fruit Growers Tasmania, the detection of a single male fruit fly did not constitute an outbreak and does not require a control zone at Launceston.
“One adult male fruit fly does not indicate there is an active population in the area, however it is important that any detections are thoroughly investigated to try and identify the source of the fly,” Dr Klumpp said.
“Currently we are installing surveillance traps around the area as well as talking to the landholder and neighbouring property owners to try and determine the source of this detection. That includes undertaking traceback of produce that may have been brought on site or neighbouring sites, as well as surveillance of any host produce plants in surrounding gardens.”
Dr Klumpp said the detection was made from a public report at Mowbray.
“The community support and vigilance to the threat of fruit fly has been outstanding,” Dr Klumpp said.
“Our entomologists have received hundreds of reports from the public – with almost all of them being negative. However this detection highlights the importance of all possible reports being made and investigated.”
Dr Klumpp said this report was made by a member of the public who captured the fly inside their house.
“Preliminary surveillance has not identified any current fruiting trees on the property but we are checking surrounding properties as well.”
Dr Klumpp said outside this current investigation work is ongoing on the fruit fly response. Prior to the Mowbray detection, the previous detection was early last week within the already infected area at George Town. No changes have been made to control areas in place on Flinders Island or the northern control area.
“Our focus continues to be eradication of fruit fly from Tasmania and work is continuing on both Flinders Island as well as within the northern control area to achieve this.”
The support received nationally from across industry was welcomed. This included input from numerous contacts in other States, including Suzie Green from Apple and Pear SA on how they manage their ongoing challenges.
There is a long way to go on these outbreaks and it has been difficult seeing the impact on our growers within the Control Zone.
Queensland fruit fly response and management will be the hot topic of the annual Fruit Growers Tasmania Conference to be held at the Don Centre, Devonport, on 24 – 26 May. Experts from across industry and the SITplus program will be attending with biosecurity workshops to be held with the separate commodity groups.