Fruit fly danger under control

Last updated 16:52 06/04/2014

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A male Queensland fruit fly remains the only one caught since a biosecurity breach five days ago.

Whangarei traps in the controlled areas were emptied for the first time on Saturday.

The Ministry of Primary Industries confirmed today that no additional fruit flies had been found in the traps or on fruit within the controlled zone.

A single male fruit fly was caught in a trap in Whangarei on April 1, just 400 metres from where another male fly was found in January. MPI do not believe the two flies are connected.

About 60 MPI staff have been working over the weekend to clear and lay fruit fly traps.

The Queensland fruit fly is regarded as a serious threat to New Zealand's horticultural industry, however, MPI has said they may never know how the latest fruit fly arrived in New Zealand.

Pests can potentially hitch a ride with passengers, commercial produce, or recreational yachts.

Fruit flies are generally moved as larvae or eggs within fresh fruit and some vegetables.

There is a ban on fruit being taken out of an area stretching 1.5 kilometres from where the fly was found.

The latest fruit fly scare has prompted opposition parties to call for a review on border biosecurity measures.

However, MPI has said it has boosted biosecurity measures at international airports, mail centres and at the ports of Auckland and Whangarei since January.

This includes an increase in passengers and their luggage undergoing inspection or x-ray screening.

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- Fairfax Media

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