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    Analysis of marine debris found at Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica

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    Document Number:
    SC-CAMLR-XI/BG/07
    Author(s):
    Delegation of Chile
    Agenda Item(s)
    Abstract

    In the course of demographic studies of Arctocephalus gazella conducted at Cape Shirreff (62"27'S, 60°47'W) during the 1984185, 1987/88 and 1990/91 seasons, debris found on beaches was collected and transported to Santiago for analysis.
    The analysis of 1 346 objects collected in three beach surveys (plastics, glass, metal, packaging and others) showed that, on average, 91% of them were made up of plastic material and synthetic fibres. From these samples it was possible to identify trademarks from Japan, Russia, Germany, England, Poland, Argentina, Norway, China and Brazil.
    It is believed that this debris comes from different fishing areas (FAO Areas 48, 58 and 88), including areas in the South Atlantic, and it is estimated that a considerable amount of marine debris remains adrift in the Southern Ocean. Some of this debris is already causing damage, not only to fur seals but also to birds nesting at Cape Shirreff.
    It is recommended that Parties to the Antarctic System Treaty, a) take action to reinforce MARPOL 73/78, encouraging those who have not yet signed the Convention to take steps to do so, and b) to establish a monitoring network around Antarctica and its islands, to assess whether this problem is increasing or decreasing and monitor its adverse effects on Antarctic marine biota.

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