The detection of Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) larvae in an imported nectarine has highlighted the importance of ongoing vigilance about the pest.
It is important to note that this isn't an outbreak of the pest in Tasmania but a detection in produce from an interstate market. It doesn't in any way affect our recently reinstated Pest Free Status.
This identification has triggered an immediate investigation into the processes on the mainland that may have enabled the larvae to reach this point of the supply chain.
Biosecurity Tasmania General Manager Lloyd Klumpp said the nectarine was reported to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) by a member of the public in Launceston yesterday (Thursday 10 January 2019).
"The suspect produce has been removed from stores and Biosecurity Tasmania is undertaking trace-back and trace-forward investigations which have so far determined that the fruit was most likely part of a consignment of nectarines from a single importer," Dr Klumpp said.
"We are liaising with Victorian authorities in relation to the source of the fruit and Biosecurity requirements it was subject to."
"Biosecurity Tasmania staff will also be going to Victoria as part of the investigations."
"We have protocols for these types of detections should they occur, and we have implemented them to remove the risk and investigate all aspects of this detection," Dr Klumpp said.
Dr Klumpp said occasional detections of fruit fly are made in produce post-border and responded to.
"An essential part of an effective biosecurity system is also a community that is knowledgeable and actively supporting positive biosecurity outcomes," Dr Klumpp said.
"Community vigilance is an important part of the biosecurity system and the wider message to the Tasmanian community is continue to be aware of signs of fruit fly and remain vigilant."
"This includes checking any stone fruit or mangoes for any signs of fruit fly or any other pests."
"In this instance, a member of the public found something suspicious, reported it to Biosecurity staff who implemented the measures in place for these type of detections."
Suspected fruit fly reports can be made to Biosecurity Tasmania via the Fruit Fly Hotline on (03) 6165 3774.
Further information on fruit fly is available on the DPIPWE website at www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au.