The Balearic government yesterday approved a decree to tackle the problem of the “picudo rojo” or red beetle that has been responsible for the destruction of palm trees. Under the decree, there are to be specific phytosanitary measures, meaning measures aimed at protecting plant life from risks. These will place obligations on growers, distributors and importers of sensitive palms. The decree also establishes that each of the islands be demarcated according to the fight against the red beetle pest.
Individuals and organisations will have to be included in an official register of growers, distributors and importers of plants, which relevant phytosanitary authorities manage on each of the islands. In addition, they will have to identify plantations of sensitive palms, ensure they are in good health and introduce quarantines and isolation measures if symptoms of being infected are detected. They will also have to allow free access to controlling authorities.
These authorities, in turn, will have to publish updated lists of municipalities that are included in the demarcated zones or which can be excluded. The regional government’s department for agriculture will publish this information online together with information regarding the most effective methods for controlling the beetle. The department will also co-ordinate the work required to extend knowledge about the beetle and control methods