Thursday 23rd January 2014
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The Ministry for Primary Industries will impose a controlled area in Whangarei and is contacting international partners after finding a Queensland fruit fly in the country's northernmost city.
The ministry plans to restrict the movement of fruit and vegetables out of a defined area in Whangarei as it looks to minimise the risk to the local horticultural industry after discovering the insect in a surveillance trap yesterday, it said in a statement. MPI has sent field teams to Parihaka, near the city's port, and will set up additional traps to determine whether any other flies have entered the area.
"MPI is working closely with international partners and the horticultural industry to minimise the risk to New Zealand growers and exporters," it said in a statement. "The Ministry will have a controlled area in place, which will likely restrict the movement of fruit and vegetables out of the defined area."
The discovery is the fourth time the fly has been detected in New Zealand, the most recent being in 2012.
The Queensland fruit fly is considered to be Australia's most serious insect pest for fruit and vegetable crops, and if it established locally, would pose "serious consequences for New Zealand's horticultural industry," according to the ministry's website.
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