Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy: Pre-Border Surveillance in the Far North

Anthony Rice *1, James Walker 1, Sally Cowan 1, Anthony Postle 1

1 Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service, Box 96 AAC Bldg, Cairns Intn'l Airport, Cairns, QLD 4870

The Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) has been conducting quarantine surveillance in Australia’s north for the last 20 odd years. Established in its current form in 1989, NAQS came into being as a response to an unusual set of quarantine risks posed by the proximity of countries to the north with different plant and animal health statuses.  Annual monsoon winds along with traditional trading and visitation rights increase the likelihood of incursions of quarantine significance. NAQS conducts surveillance on the coast from Cairns to Broome, the islands of the Torres Strait and countries to our near north, where staff monitor for new incursions of animal and plant diseases, along with weeds and insect pests. Entomology in NAQS covers the areas of plant health, veterinary entomology as well as entomological risk posed by illegal foreign fishing vessels (IFFVs).Here we give an overview of NAQS surveillance activities and report on detections of exotic species over the years and present case studies on recent entomological detections of quarantine concern. We present data on the NAQS fruit fly monitoring network and the regular incursions of exotic fruit fly species into the Torres Strait as well as the response activities undertaken.

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