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64 Cases Of Xylella Bug In Ibiza

According to the plan envisaged by Brussels to combat the plague of Xylella Fastidiosa, 200 hectares of Ibiza will need to be cleared.

Xylella is affecting mainly almond trees, olive trees, and ornamental plants, there is already a case in a vineyard in Mallorca.

At the moment, 64 cases have been identified and if the European legislation is applied, 3.14 hectares including susceptible species surrounding each case would have to be destroyed.

The Government are opposed to implementing the Brussels ‘eradication’ plan due to the negative impact on the islands environment.

Minister of the Environment, Vicenç Vidal, told the media that he would “continue to strongly request the containment plan” because “it would not make sense to apply eradication in the islands”. The Minister of the Environment stressed that the implementation of the measures required by Brussels “would have a great impact on the landscape and the agrarian economy and tourism economy of the Balearic Islands”.

From the first three cases detected last October in a nursery in Porto Cristo, the government has refused to continue implementing the eradication measures, arguing that it would be “a disaster” for the sector.

Vidal has insisted on continuing to work to “convince Brussels that eradication is not possible”. “We have a long road ahead to be treated like Corsica or Leece,” said Vidal, who recalled that both European regions, “after years”, have managed to be granted containment, which only destroys the trees infected by the plague.

Xylella Fastidiosa

  • From the EU website

Xylella fastidiosa is one of the most dangerous plant bacteria worldwide, causing a variety of diseases, with huge economic impact for agriculture.

It was reported for the first time in the Union territory by the Italian Authorities in October 2013, in the region of Apulia, affecting mainly olive groves.

Ibiza-philaenus-spumarius
Philaenus Spumarius, a nasty little bugger

Based on official survey activities, the rest of the Italian territory is still considered to be free from the bacterium. Subsequently, in July 2015, the French Authorities reported the first outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in their territory, in Corsica, and later in France mainland, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, affecting mainly the myrtle-leaf milkwort.

The bacterium present in the respective Member States has a different epidemiology confirming that the source of infection is different.

In both cases, however, the affected host plants are increasing as investigations progress.

Xylella fastidiosa is regulated in the EU as quarantine organism under Council Directive 2000/29/EC (‘Plant Health Directive’) on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community.

As such, the introduction of this organism into, and its spreading within all Member States, shall be banned. The Plant Health Directive provides Member States with the legal obligations to abide by, once the organism is known to be present.

Irrespective of the symptoms, all necessary measures to eradicate it, or if that is impossible, to inhibit its further spread, must be taken.

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