7 MAY 2015

Mediterranean Fruit Fly Outbreak: IAEA Emergency Support to Help the Dominican Republican Eradicate the Pest

wild medflies

High-level representatives from the Dominican Republic met with senior officials from the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications and Department of Technical Cooperation in April to discuss containment and elimination of the recent outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly, also known as the medfly, in the east of the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic, which has a growing mango production and export industry, is determined to control the outbreak and avert any adverse effects on export markets or threat to other countries in the region which are presently free of this pest.

The IAEA, based upon its decades of experience on using the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to control the medfly and other key insect pests, has offered its support to the Dominican Republican to detect and control the outbreak, with particular attention to detection and delimitation activities, as well as the release of sterile males, which are very effective in finding and mating with the remaining wild female flies.

A joint international collaborative response is being established including the IAEA, FAO, IICA and other international and regional organizations, to coordinate the control activities and to strengthen the surveillance system, based on trapping techniques and the Geographic Information System. Further coordination discussions to agree on the joint approach will take place in the Santo Domingo on 18-19 May 2015.