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    Entanglement of Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) in man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia, during the 2003 winter and 2003/04 breeding season

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    Document Number:
    SC-CAMLR-XXIII/BG/14
    Author(s):
    Delegation of the United Kingdom
    Approved By:
    Admin Admin
    Abstract

    In the fourteenth consecutive winter of the survey at Bird Island, South Georgia, the number of entanglements increased by 56% compared to last year and the majority of injuries were classified as severe (71%). In contrast the sixteenth consecutive summer of reporting saw a decrease of 45% compared to last year and was the lowest number of entanglements recorded since the first observations were made in 1989. Severe injuries accounted for only a single entanglement during the summer. As in previous years, most individuals observed entangled in debris were juveniles (79% of winter and 55% of summer observations). Of the entanglements where the animal could be sexed, males made up the majority in both seasons. Although there was a welcome reduction in plastic packaging band entanglements in the summer (27%), they caused the majority of winter entanglements (71%). For the second year running no entanglements in fishing nets were observed. These findings highlights the need for continued monitoring and increased effort in ensuring correct disposal of debris with the potential to entangle wildlife at sea.