Workshops to prepare for spotted wing drosophila

November 9, 2018

Growers, agronomists, extension professionals and international researchers gathered at a recent series of workshops to improve preparedness for a high priority exotic fly pest, spotted wing drosophila.

Plant Health Australia, CESAR and Plant & Food Research New Zealand are working together on a Hort Innovation funded project to improve the preparedness of horticultural industries for the exotic fly.

The project has two main goals. The first is to increase the chance that the exotic pest would be promptly detected and reported by increasing both awareness and knowledge of the pest. The second is to improve Australia’s capacity to respond to an incursion of the fly.

The first awareness and education activities, a series of workshops, were run between 30 October and 2 November.

International researchers Professor Rufus Isaacs from Michigan State University, USA, and Benthan Shaw from East Malling Research, UK, shared their knowledge about identifying and managing the pest.

Over the four days, workshops were held in four different states. The tour began in Wandin, Victoria, on 30 October. Events were also held in Launceston (Tas), Coffs Harbour (NSW) and Caboolture (Qld).

These workshops are just the first stage of a larger project which will review potential entry pathways for spotted wing drosophila and build Australia’s capacity to deal with the potential impacts of the pest.