KVH and the other signatories who signed the Operational Agreement (OA) for fruit flies, last year agreed on the approach to readiness and response activities. While getting to this point was a significant achievement in itself, it has also led to a review of areas that can be improved.
A technical working group has been established to progress the readiness and response technical improvements that have been agreed, of which the priorities are;
- Optimising the current surveillance programme for early detection. New Zealand maintains a world class surveillance grid for fruit fly that involves over 7500 traps, which has successfully resulted in early detection of fruit fly on nine occasions enabling eradication. But are there opportunities for further improvement, including locations, period, and lures that are used in the traps?
- Pre-agreeing the major risks in a response and identifying opportunities to reduce cost associated with low risk activities. Examples during the Grey Lynn response include managing risk associated with major sporting events and supermarkets located within the controlled area. Understanding true risk associated with these activities will enable us to manage the risks appropriately.
- Reviewing the current Fruit Fly Response Standard. Are there opportunities to enhance this standard using new technology or best practice developed internationally, or our own learnings from recent responses? Are there any activities that are not required which could result in a future eradication being undertaken successfully, without having to spend $1.5 million responding to the detection of a single fruit fly?
KVH is well represented in this process, with Barry O’Neil serving as chairman of the Fruit Fly Council which oversees the Operational Agreement, and Matt Dyck as an observer on the Technical Working Group tasked with delivering projects to improve our readiness and response capability.