Another fruit fly discovered and more are expected
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 the find and says more would be found during the next few days.
Two further flies were found in the red zone on Saturday. One, a male, 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 the discovery of a male fruit fly on February 18.
The ministry says 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 3.5 kilometres from where the latest fly was found.
Produce susceptible to fruit fly grown within that zone could not be exported.
Guy says the fourth fly, a male, was found on Sunday.
It was found ‘‘a couple of hundred metres’’ from where flies had earlier been found, he told Radio New Zealand.
He says he is confident the ministry is 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.
Those included more international air passengers’ luggage going through X-ray and all passengers and lug- gage 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.