Communique - Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus in the Northern Territory

20 November 2014

The National Management Group (NMG) met on 7 November 2014 to consider actions underway in response to an outbreak of Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) in the Northern Territory. The CGMMV has been confirmed on ten agricultural properties near Darwin and Katherine. To date the virus has only affected water melon and pumpkin crops.

The Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries has declared quarantine zones in some localised areas near Katherine and Darwin. Potential host plants (in the cucurbit family), seeds, seedlings and fruit cannot be moved within or out of these quarantine zones.

It is vital that growers and other industry participants, including through the supply chain, comply with these movement restrictions, particularly coming into the southern harvest season. Penalties can apply to people caught breaching government quarantine requirements. Work continues on tracing fruit and plant materials, and a second round of surveillance has begun on watermelons in the southern Northern Territory Government to show that they remain free from CGMMV. In addition, the Northern Territory is continuing surveillance on other crops which are reported to be hosts of CGMMV overseas to confirm that the disease has not spread to these crops.

The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) advised the NMG that it is continuing development of a Response Plan for Emergency Containment of CGMMV in the Northern Territory. The NMG will meet again when the proposed response plan has been finalised for its consideration.

Further information on the response to the CGMMV outbreak and contact numbers for reporting any suspected presence of the virus are available on the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries website.