Skip to main content

    Beach debris survey Signy Island, South Orkney Islands, 2002/03

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    SC-CAMLR-XXII/BG/12
    Author(s):
    Delegation of the United Kingdom
    Approved By:
    Admin Admin
    Agenda Item(s)
    Abstract

    During the 2002/03 austral summer the thirteenth annual beach debris survey was carried out at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Debris was cleared each month between December and March from the three study beaches. The debris was counted, measured and classified by type, material, mass and size categories. A total of 54 items weighing 27.36kg were collected. The number of items found was the largest since 1999/00 and the total mass of the waste recovered was the highest recorded since 1994/95 (an increase of 38% and 7% since 2001/02 respectively). There was an increase in the number of plastic packaging bands (twenty three) from the total recorded the previous season (eight), this increase continued the change in trend that began last season in what had otherwise been a declining trend since 1993/94. Such a continued increase in the number of these packaging bands found indicates that the ban on their use aboard fishing vessels brought into force by CCAMLR in 1995/96 has yet to prove entirely effective and should continue. Plastic waste was predominant, as in previous seasons, making up 67% of all items recorded, followed by wood at 11%. Classifying the waste by source revealed that most had originated from ships or fishing vessels, with four items being of BAS origin. The results of this seasons litter survey, with the continued increase in items found which began last season, clearly shows that the longevity of plastics and other materials with a high resistance to degradation in the marine environment remains a problem and highlights the need for continued monitoring to ensure that vessels are aware of, and comply with, regulations prohibiting the disposal of debris at sea.