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    Fishing gear, marine debris and oil associated with seabirds at Bird Island, South Georgia, 2002/03

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    Document Number:
    SC-CAMLR-XXII/BG/09
    Author(s):
    Delegation of the United Kingdom
    Approved By:
    Admin Admin
    Agenda Item(s)
    Abstract

    This report describes and quantifies occurrences of fishing gear, marine debris and oil associated with seabirds at Bird Island, South Georgia from 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003. It is the tenth such annual report. As in most previous years, more items of fishing gear (mostly longlining gear) and debris (mostly plastics) were found in association with wandering albatrosses than with any other species, though numbers of both decreased slightly since last year. The quantity of fishing gear associated with giant petrels (northern and southern) was the second highest on record, and included five cases of entanglements with longline hooks and line. Eleven cases of contamination with oil were recorded, in wandering, black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses. In all cases, no more than about 1-2 % of the birds’ plumage was oiled, and breeding success was apparently not affected.
    Continued evidence of the discarding of longline hooks in offal and bycatch is of concern. Based on items found in regurgitates, an estimated 630 longline hooks and/or snoods were ingested by wandering albatross chicks at South Georgia this year. Hooks were typical of those used in the demersal longlinefishery around South Georgia and the Falklands.