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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 23 November 2017

Fisheries officers join flybusters

​Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development fisheries officers based in Carnarvon are joining forces with their agriculture colleagues to fight Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) in the area.

The department’s two year pilot eradication program has seen Medfly numbers in Carnarvon cut to a record low, and the community is urged to step up control efforts to prevent a population surge which normally occurs in spring at the start of the mango season. 

Department project manager Rosalie McCauley said Medfly was a declared pest designated for eradication in Carnarvon under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, and all landholders were responsible for preventing and controlling Medfly on their property.   

“Fisheries officers have now been appointed inspectors under the Act to boost our efforts, and they will be visiting properties in Carnarvon to confirm that growers and residents are using effective measures to control Medfly,” Dr McCauley said. 

“If this is not occurring, inspectors will issue a Pest Control Notice which requires adequate measures to be in place within five working days. If the department is required to step in and take remedial action, it will be at the cost of the landholder.

“We are confident everyone in the community will want to do the right thing and play their part in this eradication effort.”

Dr McCauley said bringing the Carnarvon-based agriculture and fisheries officers together was a clear benefit of amalgamating the agencies and sharing skills within the new Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The State Government and landholders, through the Carnarvon Recognised Biosecurity Group, have invested more than $4 million to support the Medfly pilot eradication program, covering the costs of baiting and cover spraying and the release of sterile flies that have brought numbers down dramatically. 
“We now have a real opportunity to break the Medfly breeding cycle and work towards eradicating this destructive pest over the coming winter,” Dr McCauley said.

“Many crops grown in Carnarvon including mangoes, tomatoes, citrus, grapes, paw-paws, chilies and capsicum need physical or chemical control measures to protect them from Medfly.

“It’s not difficult to take effective action.  Apart from normal preventative measures, anyone growing these host plants should make sure all fruit is stripped from the plant and that fallen fruit is disposed of to eliminate Medfly maggots.”

Medfly traps, which are recommended for use in residential backyards, can be obtained for free via the Medfly Eradication project by calling the Carnarvon office on 9956 3333. For further information visit the department’s website.

Last modified: 23/11/2017 2:59 PM

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