Black sigatoka in the Torres Strait islands (Australia)
In RS 2000/120, it was reported that Mycosphaerella fijiensis (causing black sigatoka disease of banana) has pest status ‘transient: actionable, under eradication’ in Queensland (Australia) and is absent from the rest of the country. This statement is essentially correct but it should be added that the disease is established on Murray Island in the Torres Strait. The border of Australia nearly reaches Papua New Guinea (PNG) so that almost all the Torres Strait islands are in Australia. Murray Island and several others lie on the PNG side of the Strait, and black sigatoka is tolerated if it occurs there (it is established in PNG). Another group of islands lies on the Australian side, off Cape York, and black sigatoka is subject to eradication there as it is in mainland Queensland.
Dr D. Jones, CSL, York (GB)