HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has been working to clarify the implications of yesterday’s quarantine order by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which requires certification that plant materials transported from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland do not harbor the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). The order was issued due to the detection of the moth in several counties in California.
USDA officials in Hawaii have informed HDOA that they believe previous established inspection requirements are sufficient enough for the movement of plant materials from Hawaii and they do not anticipate any problems or delays in shipments leaving the state.
Prior to the quarantine order, plant material being sent to the mainland required inspection prior to shipment. There are about 300 nurseries and plant shippers currently certified by HDOA to ship to the mainland without further inspection. HDOA is concerned that although shipments may be allowed to depart Hawaii with no problem, they may be held or rejected by agricultural inspectors in states on the mainland if the shipments are not accompanied by inspection documents specific to LBAM.
“We are advising certified shippers to have additional inspections conducted on each shipment to minimize the chance that plant materials will be rejected on the mainland,” said Domingo Cravalho, Jr., state Plant Quarantine Import & Compliance Section Chief. “Our inspectors are preparing to issue a separate inspection certificate attesting that the shipment is apparently free of the light brown apple moth.
”Hopefully, this additional documentation will help avoid problems on the receiving end,” said Cravalho.
HDOA staff is also gearing up to survey major agricultural areas for LBAM so that population density data can be submitted to USDA. The data will be used to help reassess LBAM quarantine areas and hopefully decrease any adverse impact of the quarantine on Hawaii plant exporters.
LBAM is native to Australia and is also found in New Zealand, Tanzania, Ireland and the UK. It is a major pest of apples, pears, grapes, cherries, citrus and stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots). It was first detected in Hawaii more than a century ago, in 1896, but has not been a significant pest in Hawaii.
Link to USDA news release: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/content/2007/05/lbam.shtml
Link to HDOA’s previous news release: http://www.hawaii.gov/hdoa/meetings_reports/news-releases/2007-news-releases/news-release-nr07-09-may-2-2007/