|Pacific Fruit Fly|
|Tuesday, 08 January 2013 10:28|
Pacific fruit fly surveillance program: The fruit fly surveillance program in the Pacific involves establishing fruit fly trap sites in high risk areas, maintenance and servicing of trap sites, regular clearance of traps, documentation and reporting. The surveillance program for 22 Pacific Island countries and territories is reviewed annually. For the latest information on the surveillance program (October 2007), go to Quarantine surveillance in the Pacific Islands.
Pest fruit flies
Fruit flies are serious pests of horticultural produce throughout tropical and sub-tropical countries. They belong to the insect family Tephritidae. They attack sound or damaged fruits by laying eggs under the skin. The eggs hatch into larvae (maggots) and feed on tissues, resulting in the rotting of fruits and, in some cases, premature fruit drop.
Why are they important?
Fruit flies cause direct losses to fruit production because of the feeding habits of the larvae. In some instances, egg-laying results in disfigured fruits, e.g. passion fruit and some avocados. Field control measures using insecticide cover sprays are usually expensive and environmentally damaging. In instances where exotic species become established in a country, very expensive eradication programmes have to be carried out. The presence of fruit flies in a country invariably results in restrictions on trade, unless post-harvest quarantine treatments are available and acceptable to the importing country. Many Pacific Island countries and territories have experienced the impact of the occurrence of fruit flies from this perspective.
The first phase of the Regional Fruit Fly Project commenced in September 1990, and ceased in December 1993. It was funded by the combined support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) (previously called AIDAB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the South Pacific Commission (SPC), now known as Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The amount of funding was USD858,000 (including two Technical Cooperation Projects worth USD304,000, funded by FAO). It initially operated in Fiji Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga and Western Samoa (now called Samoa). The second phase, funded by AusAID, UNDP and the New Zealand Government (USD 1,146,396) operated from January 1994 to April 1997 and included the four countries above plus Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The third phase was funded by AusAID, UNDP and the New Zealand Government (USD 1,770,700), and was known as the Project on Regional Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. It started in May 1997 and included all 22 Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). Phase 3 officially ended in December 2000.