A Single Fruit Fly Jeopardizes $120 Million Export Industry

fruit-flyAuthorities went clueless about the source after an adult fruit fly was found in Hobart's northern suburbs.

Tasmania is a fruit fly free state in Australia which allows fruit growers access to lucrative export markets that are denied to mainland producers.

Andrew Bishop, Chief Plant Health Manager for Tasmania's Department of Primary Industry, said that the number of fruit fly traps in the area has been increased and they'll be checked twice a week.

This news put local fruit growers on high alert as it would put the $120 million industry on a high risk. Its disease-free status is crucial for exporting fruit to lucrative markets in Asian countries.

It was a male Queensland fruit fly which was trapped by Quarantine Tasmania during routine bio-security measures. Authorities have asked the public to report if they find one anywhere in their farms.

"The last time a fruit fly was discovered in Tasmania, it was as a grub in a piece of fruit found in a supermarket, so it was possible to identify the consignment of fruit it came in and we then seized and destroyed that fruit”, Mr. Bishop said.

Fruit Growers Tasmania spokeswoman, Lucy Gregg, assured that they would monitor the whole trapping program while working in coordination with Quarantine Tasmania and the State Government so that the origin of the fruit fly can be isolated.