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Taiwan partially suspends Tas fruit import

Taiwan has partially suspended fruit imports from Tasmania after fruit flies and their larvae were found in the state's north.

Queensland fruit flies, considered a list-A pest in the Apple Isle, were discovered this month at Flinders Island and at Spreyton, near Devonport.

Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff on Wednesday said Taiwan was no longer importing fruit from the affected areas.

Mr Rockliff described the situation as "fluid" after the government had earlier announced the suspension was island-wide.

Tasmania relies on its fruit-fly-free status to export to million dollar premium markets in Japan, Korea, USA, China and Taiwan.

Fruit Growers Tasmania president Nick Hansen said growers had their fingers crossed China, the most lucrative market, wouldn't follow Taiwan's lead.

"It's a fear, but all the indications at the moment is that it won't happen," he said.

"At this stage of the season it would be a blow to our reputation. The information we have on China is that they're standing strong."

It is understood fruit destined for Taiwan had been diverted elsewhere.

A 15km control zone was set up around Spreyton, where Queensland fruit fly larvae was found in a backyard apricot tree.

An adult fruit fly was also found at Spreyton, while five were discovered at Flinders Island.

Biosecurity Tasmania staff are spraying and setting up traps on around 400 properties in the area.

Trade from Tasmania would continue to other overseas markets, plus domestic markets that don't have biosecurity requirements for the Queensland fruit fly.

The fly is found along Australia's eastern seaboard and in the Northern Territory.

It was declared a list-A pest in Tasmania in 1997.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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