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Ongoing project

Biosecurity preparedness for oriental fruit fly (FF18001)

Key research provider: Macquarie University

What’s it all about?

This investment is ensuring Australia is equipped with the tools necessary to react to an incursion of oriental fruit fly, including the development of risk assessments and response plans. While oriental fruit fly has not yet established populations in Australia, it has been intercepted in northern Australia and is a significant biosecurity threat to horticulture globally.

The project is assessing and strengthening the biosecurity preparedness of Australia for oriental fruit fly following a risk assessment that investigates the sources of risk, their consequences and their probability of occurring. Plans are being prepared for the horticulture sector to prevent and manage potential incursions of oriental fruit fly, including protocols for the movement of goods within an affected area.

Key activities of the project include…

  • Reviewing existing documentation and developing: 
    • Risk assessment criteria based on hazard identification, likelihoods of entry, establishment, spread and consequences for potential impact across the Australian horticulture sector.
    • Risk management criteria based on level of risk, available technical information, risk acceptance, identification and selection of management options, phytosanitary measures and compliances, and monitoring and review of the measures.

  • Building upon established links with national and international research efforts in fruit fly, at a minimum for oriental fruit fly.

  • Reviewing the management practices, incursion responses and impacts of oriental fruit fly (and high ranked exotic flies) worldwide with a view to identifying the best practice approaches for Australia.

  • Liaise with Plant Health Committee, National Fruit Fly Council and Plant Health Australia (PHA) to update cross-commodity contingency and/or management plans for high-ranked exotic flies.

  • Develop science-based scenarios for movement protocols from an infected area for treatment prior to going to market, a gap analysis on technology required to carry out those movements, and how the different fly species may require modification of movement protocols. This will be done in close collaboration with regulatory bodies.

  • Produce support materials to ensure that potentially affected industries have the most up-to-date information readily available.

The project team report significant progress in reviewing existing documentation and developing risk assessment and management criteria, as well as mapping out the potential high and low risk areas of Oriental fruit fly entry and establishment.

The project team attended the Australian National Planning Workshop for Exotic Fruit Fly (EFF) following the 11th International Symposium of Fruit Flies of Economic Importance (IFFSEI) conference held at Macquarie University. There is now a substantial advancement in building upon established links with international organisations related to Oriental fruit fly R&D and management such as IAEA, USDA, FF in Silico IPM project (Horizon 2020), ministry of Agriculture Mauritius (SIT on OFF). Experts from those organizations participated in person or virtually for the 11th ISFFEI and OFF workshop.

Excerpted from the presentations and discussions at the workshop, the team has run a risk analysis for the program and added the outline for the GAP analysis based on the outcomes from the workshop. This will be further fleshed out once the project team has completed the full literature review.