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Fruit fly in Auckland – Situation update 26 April 2019

Biosecurity New Zealand has reintroduced controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables in the Auckland suburb of Northcote following the detection of a further Queensland fruit fly.

A single male fruit fly has been found in one of an enhanced network of traps which remained in place following the discovery of six other fruit flies in the area between 20 February and 14 March.

The previous restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables were lifted earlier this month, although additional surveillance was kept in place as a precautionary measure.

“This latest fly was found 185 meters from the edge of the previous Control Zone A, and 460 metres away from where a cluster of male flies was found,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokeswoman Dr Catherine Duthie.

“While it is disappointing there has been another detection, and we need to increase our operational presence on the ground again, it does show our surveillance systems are working.

“Despite this latest find, there is still no evidence of a breeding population. This latest fly showed indications it was relatively elderly for a Queensland fruit fly, suggesting it may be from the same cohort as the earlier detections.”

Surveillance activity will increase in the Controlled Area, and will include more trapping and the collection of fallen fruit, as well as the return of Biosecurity New Zealand signage and wheelie bins for residential fruit disposal.

“Given we are entering the weekend, we will not be able to have wheelie bins in place until Monday morning. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes local residents in Northcote, who have been a brilliant support so far.”

“We strongly urge people living in Northcote to check if they are living in the Controlled Area and what this means for them. They can do this on our website – biosecurity.govt.nz. We will be working closely with the local community to get this information out to people, and will start putting information in letterboxes as soon as possible,” says Dr Duthie.

"We are very grateful for the support residents in Northcote gave us previously and I am confident that support will continue. We know it’s a big inconvenience but it’s vital for our horticultural industry – and the $6 billion that contributes to our economy – that we do this. We don’t want this pest to establish here.”

Detailed maps of the controlled areas and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are at: www.biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly

Details about the Controlled Area Notice:

No fruit and vegetables (other than leafy or root vegetables and cooked, processed, preserved, dried, frozen and canned fruit) can be moved from Zone A of the Controlled Area.

In addition, compost and green waste from gardens cannot be moved out of this Zone.

Residents in Zone A are asked to avoid composting fruits and vegetables. For disposing of fruit and vegetable waste, they are encouraged to use a sink waste disposal unit if possible or bins provided by Biosecurity New Zealand. These bins will be delivered shortly and residents advised of their location.

For Zone B – no fruit and vegetables grown in the Zone can be moved out of the Controlled Area. Produce that has been sourced commercially from outside the area can be moved.

Check out the Queensland fruit fly page for further information.

Timeline: Fruit flies found in Auckland, 2019

February 14 - Single male Queensland fruit fly located in Devonport, on the North Shore. A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (February 15).

February 18 - A different species of fruit fly, a male facialis, discovered in Ōtara, south Auckland. A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (February 19).

February 20 - Another single male Queensland fruit fly found on the North Shore, this time in Northcote. A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (February 21).

February 21 - A second single male facialis detected in Ōtara, only 70 metres from the first find.

February 23 - Another single Queensland fruit fly found in Northcote.

February 28 - A third single male Queensland fruit fly detected in Northcote, 270 metres from where the last was found.

March 4 - A fourth male Queensland fruit fly detected in Northcote, approximately 80 metres from where the last was found.

March 5 - A third single male facialis detected in Ōtara, 630 metres to the North of the last find.

March 10 - A fifth single male Queensland fruit fly is found in Northcote, 60 metres from where the last was found.

March 14 - A sixth single male Queensland fruit fly is found in Northcote 650 metres south of the original find. The operational response was stepped up to include baiting.

March 22 – The Controlled Area Notices for Devonport and Ōtara are lifted after no further fruit flies were detected. Enhanced trapping continues as a precautionary measure.

April 12 – The Controlled Area Notice for Northcote is lifted after no further fruit flies were detected. Enhanced trapping continues as a precautionary measure.

April 25 – A seventh single male Queensland fruit fly is found in Northcote 460 metres away from where the cluster of male flies were found over a three week period (February 20 – March 14). A Controlled Area Notice is put in place (April 26).

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