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    Entanglement of Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella in man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia during the 2001 winter and the 2002 breeding season

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    Delegation of the United Kingdom
    Approved By:
    Admin Admin (CCAMLR Secretariat)

    Results of the survey of entanglements of Antarctic fur seals at Bird Island, South Georgia for the twelfth consecutive winter (2001) and fourteenth consecutive summer (2001/02) are reported here. The overall number of entanglements showed an increase from recent years, with 20 entanglements reported over winter and 48 during the summer breeding period. The number of winter entanglements was same as last year, however the summer entanglements were up 118%. Severe injuries accounted for 30% of entanglements over winter and 23% during the summer. As in previous years, most individuals observed entangled in debris were juveniles (95% of winter and 52% of summer observations), several pups were recorded entangled during the pup-rearing period suggesting an increased presence of man-made debris in the waters in the immediate vicinity of Bird Island. Of those entanglements where the animal could be sexed, males dominated the observations in winter but females dominated the summer observations, the reasons for this are discussed. Plastic packaging bands and synthetic strings accounted for the majority of all entanglements in both winter and summer. Loops of synthetic string, as used in longline fishing, is now the most frequently recorded entangling material, whilst numbers of entanglements involving plastic packaging band are comparable with those before the CCAMLR measures to control their use. This highlights the need for continued monitoring and increased effort in ensuring correct disposal of debris with the potential to entangle wildlife at sea.