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    Entanglement of Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella in man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia during the 1994 winter and 1994/95 pup-rearing season

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    Delegation of the United Kingdom

    Surveys of Antarctic fur seals entangled in man-made marine debris were carried out for the fifth consecutive winter and seventh consecutive summer at Bird Island, South Georgia. The three animals entangled during the 1994 winter is the lowest number recorded since the winter surveys began, being 92% lower than in 1993 and 97% lower than the record 1992 winter. Nearly all animals involved were juveniles. Of entangled animals the proportion of males affected was 67%, approximately the same as in 1993 and 1991, but two-thirds of the value recorded in 1990 and 1992. The proportion of entangled animals showing severe injuries was 33%, down on the 1993 winter. There were no animals entangled in packaging bands and the incidence of net fragment debris was higher than 1993 (but similar to 1991) during the 1994 winter. In the 1994/95 summer the number of entangled seals (20) was also the lowest yet recorded, being 33% less than 1991 and 13% less than 1994. Entanglement in packaging bands was the lowest ever recorded, dropping by 17% from 1993194. Entanglement in net fragments (45%) was 22% higher than the previous year. The proportion of adult animals affected (20%) was slightly lower than 1994. The proportion of females involved (40%) was 26% less than the previous year. The incidence of severe injury (30%) was 46% less than the previous year.