MPI expects more fruit flies to be found
A fourth Queensland fruit fly has been found in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.
The office of the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy confirmed that a fourth fly had been found and more would be found during the next few days.
The discovery of a fourth fly follows the discovery of two further flies in the Grey Lynn red zone on Saturday.
One of those was a male that was found dead in a trap.
The other was a recently hatched, unmated female adult – and there were 39 larvae with it.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been operating a controlled area over several Auckland suburbs since a male fruit fly was found on February 18.
The MPI said existing controls on fruit and vegetable movements remained largely the same.
The only change was to the scale of the higher-risk ‘‘Zone A’’ which had been slightly extended.
The instructions for residents inside the controlled area also remained the same.
Whole fresh fruit and vegetables, except for leafy vegetables and root vegetables, could not be moved outside of the defined area. This was to make sure fruit flies were not spread outside of the zone.
An additional export restriction zone now extends for 3.5km from where the latest fly was found.
Produce susceptible to fruit fly grown within that zone could not be exported.
Guy says the the fourth fly, a male, was found on Sunday.
The fly was found ‘‘a couple of 100 metres’’ from where flies had earlier been found, he told Radio New Zealand.
He says he was confident the ministry was dealing with a ‘‘small localised population’’ of the pests.
New Zealand markets for horticultural produce had been told of the situation.
MPI chief operations officer Andrew Coleman says that since last Tuesday, the ministry had introduced more stringent risk assessments at New Zealand’s borders.
inter- national air passengers’ luggage going through X-ray and all passengers and luggage being screened by an MPI detector dog at international airports.
This could mean some minor inconvenience for inbound passengers but was necessary given the risk to New Zealand.
If it became established here, the Queensland fruit fly could have serious consequences for New Zealand’s horticultural industry.
It could damage a wide range of fruit and vegetables, and lead to restrictions on trade in some horticultural exports.
It could also have impacts on home gardens.
Lockdown: More discoveries of fruit flies have been made since the weekend.