News

Fruit fly fight expands

By Country News

Collaboration between east and west has strengthened the capability of the Goulburn and Murray valleys to rid the region of Queensland fruit fly.

Area-wide management has been applied to control Queensland fruit fly in the Goulburn Murray Valley region and Mediterranean fruit fly in Western Australia, with significant declines in fruit fly numbers in both areas recorded recently.

Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project regional co-ordinator Ross Abberfield recently inspected two Western Australian sterile insect technology facilities and advised on strategic engagement with grower and community groups as part of the collaboration.

Mr Abberfield spoke to departmental staff, representatives of the Carnarvon Growers Association, the Recognised Biosecurity Group and Carnarvon grower and community groups.

Some of the information exchanged focused on the community engagement and education strategies undertaken in the Goulburn Murray Valley region to encourage stakeholders to take ownership of the fruit fly issue and responsibly manage the pest on their land and eradicate unmanaged habitat.

Sterile insect technology (SIT) is the rearing of male Mediterranean fruit fly that are sterilised and released into the affected area.

The wild females that mate with a sterile male produce no offspring.

When released in large enough numbers, sterile males can cause a population crash.

■If you are involved in the horticultural industry and wish to work collaboratively or find out more about managing Queensland fruit fly, contact the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project office by phone on 5871 9222 or email: gmvfruitfly@moira.vic.gov.au