Queensland fruit fly count is up to eight

An eighth fruit fly has been found in Auckland, but the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) say it remains confident the outbreak can be contained, according to this report at Stuff. 

MPI have found three more Queensland fruit flies in Auckland over the past two days, all of them caught in traps, the report says.

More larvae have also been uncovered in fruit inside the Auckland containment zone but the Ministry said this was not a “game changer”.

All of the flies captured thus far were genetically similar, suggesting there was only one “incursion”.

“MPI remains confident it is dealing with a localised population of fruit fly that can be eradicated.”

A containment zone remains in place around the suburb of Grey Lynn, with people encouraged not to move fresh produce in and out of the area.

This could provide particularly challenging with tomorrow’s big cricket game at Eden Park, and the ministry is urging people not to take fresh fruit to the game. 58 MPI staff will attend the game, checking for fruit and removing about 10 tonnes of rubbish afterwards to minimise the risk.

The report explains that Queensland fruit flies have the potential to cause millions of dollars of damage to the New Zealand fruit industry, reducing the quality of fruit, the price exported fruit commands and potentially leading to great trade barriers for exporters.

Another Stuff report addresses the question: Why are we so afraid of the fruit fly?

The Science Media Centre earlier in the week collected expert commentary on the incursion and its containment. The expert observations can be found here.

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