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Skip Navigation LinksHISTORY OF TRANSBOUNDARY SHIPMENTS OF STERILE INSECTS

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Transboundary shipment of sterile insects has taken place on a continuous basis for 58 years (since 1963). The total number of sterile insects shipped has been estimated at over one trillion in thousands of shipments across borders to 27 recipient countries from 50 sterile insect factories in 25 countries. During this long period and many precedents, no problems associated with possible hazards have been identified, and thus the shipment of sterile insects have never been subjected to any specific regulatory action. The table below shows the history of transboundary shipments which started in 1963 with the shipments of sterile Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens, Loew), from Monterrey, Mexico, to Texas, USA.

Table of the history of transboundary shipment of sterile insects 1

Year

Species

Production site

Approximate amount shipped (million pupae)

Recipient

Observations

1963-1990

Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens

Monterrey, Mexico

Unknown

Texas,       USA

Sterile flies were used for population suppression

1970

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Costa Rica

Unknown

Nicaragua

Relatively small amount since sterile flies were used for field trials

1970-1971

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Seibersdorf, Austria

Unknown

Procida, Italy, and Greece

Relatively small amount since sterile flies were used for field trials

1975-1977

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Madrid,        Spain

302

Canary Islands

Relatively small amount since sterile flies were used for field trials​

1978

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Seibersdorf, Austria

Unknown

Guatemala

Sterile pupae shipped from the IAEA laboratories (Seibersdorf) to a packing and emergence facility in Guatemala for field trials and staff training in SIT techniques

1979-2017

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Metapa, Chiapas, Mexico

357 600

Guatemala

Transboundary shipments have been carried out periodically for the past 36 years

1989-1990

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Seibersdorf, Austria

Unknown

Israel

Pilot trials

1989-1994

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Metapa Chiapas, Mexico

6 670

California, USA

To assist the CDFA in eradication of medfly outbreaks

1990

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Metapa Chiapas, Mexico

552

Chile

Sterile flies donated by the Mexican government to Chile

1990-1991

New World Screwworm (NWS)  Cochliomyia hominivorax

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico

1 800

Tripoli,     Lybia

To assist the eradication of a NWS outbreak

1990-1997

Tsetse fly Glossina spp.

Seibersdorf, Austria

8

Tanga, Tanzania

To assist Tsetse eradication programme

1993-2006

New World Screwworm (NWS)  Cochliomyia hominivorax

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico

107 000

Central American Countries

To assist NWS eradication from Central America

1994

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Seibersdorf, Austria

60

Tunisia

Pilot trials

1994-2021

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

El Pino, Guatemala

157 620

California, USA

To assist the CDFA in eradication of medfly outbreaks and as part of the preventive release programme

1996-2000

Mexican  fruit fly Anastrepha ludens

Metapa Chiapas, Mexico

2 511

California, USA

To assist the CDFA in eradication of Mexican fruit fly outbreaks

1997-1998

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Madeira, Portugal

206

Israel

In support of pilot suppression programme

1997-2000

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

El Pino, Guatemala

3 700

Israel

In support of pilot suppression programme

1998-2021

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

El Pino, Guatemala

101 400

Florida,    USA

To assist the State of Florida in eradication of medfly outbreaks and as part of the preventive release programme

1999-2000

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

El Pino, Guatemala

720

South Africa

In support of pilot suppression programme

2001-2014

Pink bollworm Pectinophora gossypiella

USA(Arizona)

Unknown

Mexico (Northern States)

Regional (USA and Mexico) eradication of the pink bollworm

2003-2006

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Mendoza, Argentina

1 681

Valencia, Spain

In support of suppression programme

2008

Cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum

USA(Florida)

0.022

Mexico (Yucatan Penninsula) 

Eradication of incipient cactus moth outbreaks

​2008-2011

​Mediterranean fruit fly
Ceratitis capitata

​Madeira,
Portugal

​973.5

​Morocco

​In support of suppression programme in Agadir.

2008-2017

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Bio-Fly,          Israel

650

Jordan

In support of suppression programme

2008-2021

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

El Pino, Guatemala

271 000 2

Metapa Chiapas, Mexico

In support of eradication and containment programme

2010-2012       and      2014-2021

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Bio-Fly,          Israel

3 795

Cr​oatia

In support of suppression programme

2010-2020

Codling moth Cydia pomonella

Canada, (Osoyoos)

Unkown

New Zealand, South Africa, USA 

For SIT pilot validation 

2011-2013

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Valencia,      Spain

425

Croatia

In support of suppression programme

2011-2021

Tsetse fly   Glossina spp.

Slovakia

17.5

Senegal

To assist Tsetse eradication programme

2013-2019

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Valencia,      Spain

2 172

Morocco

In support of suppression programme in Agadir and Berkane

2015-2017

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

El Pino, Guatemala

4 000

Dominican Republic

In support of eradication programme

2016-2017

New World Screwworm (NWS)  Cochliomyia hominivorax

COPEG,    Panama

194

Florida,    USA

In support of outbreak eradication

2018-2021

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

El Pino, Guatemala

163

Quito, Ecuador

In support of suppression programme

2021

Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

Mendoza, Argentina

162

Cochabamba, Bolivia 

In support of suppression programme

 

 

Total

1 025 382

 

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​1 Numbers are estimates from information available in operational SIT programmes.

2 Only in this case, insects were shipped as eggs.

 

​Read more on Packing, Shipping, Holding and Release of sterile insects

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