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    Marine pollutants and fishing gear associated with seabirds at sub Antarctic Marion Island, 1996–1998: trends in relation to longline fishing activity

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    Document Number:
    CCAMLR-XVII/BG/26
    Author(s):
    Delegation of South Africa
    Agenda Item(s)
    Abstract

    Pollutants found in association with seabirds at subantarctic Marion Island for the period May 1996 to April 1998 are reported. Standardised searches and incidental finds show a large increase between the 1996/97 and the 1997/98 field seasons. Fishing gear increased at a rate ten times higher than other (non-fishing) pollutants over this period. Sixty rope nooses used for suspending toothfish in blastfreezers and 23 toothfish hooks were found. All the rope nooses, and 19 of the-books were found during the second year. This increase in fishing gear from 1996/97 to 1997/98 is interesting in view of the fact that the large influx of illegal toothfish vessels to the Prince Edward Islands waters occurred during the 1996/97 season. Prior to this study three Southern Blue fin Tuna hooks had been found at Marion Island, between 1992 and 1996. Three seabirds (a Southern Giant Petrel, a Northern Giant Petrel, and a Subantarctic Skua) were found entangled in fishing gear, while five seabird carcasses (three Wandering Albatross chicks, one Whitechinned Petrel chick and a Southern Giant Petrel adult) were found with ingested fishing gear.

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