During seven operations involving the setting and hauling of long-lines to catch Dissostichus eleginoides around the South Sandwich Islands ( Statistical Sub-area 48.4 ), actual y potential interactions with seabirds were assessed. Bird numbers increased rapidly after dawn and large numbers of Cape, giant and storm petrels and smaller numbers of white-chinned petrels and black-browed albatrosses were present during day hauling operations. No incidental mortality was seen and only one bird was caught on a hook; nevertheless these aggregations of birds are clearly potentially vulnerable to setting operations in daylight hours. Several species of seabirds present must have originated from South Georgia populations; however wandering and gray-headed albatrosses, whose populations arc in serious decline at South Georgia were rare; their vulnerability to long- lining operations in the South Sandwich Islands is therefore low. Anecdotal data and observations on long-line vessels fishing around South Georgia, however , suggest that there may be significant catch rates of albatrosses; further detailed studies are needed.
SC-CAMLR-XII/BG/08 Rev. 1