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    Beached marine debris surveys and incidences of seabird/marine mammal entanglements and hydrocarbon soiling at Bird Island and King Edward Point, South Georgia, and Signy Island, South Orkneys, 2009/10

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    Delegation of the United Kingdom
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    Data were collected at Bird Island, South Georgia and Signy Island, South Orkneys as in previous years, and for the first time we also report data collected at King Edward Point, South Georgia (entanglements and hydrocarbon soiling only). Surveys of beached marine debris at Bird Island recorded a total of 85 and 170 items during winter 2009 (April to September) and summer 2009/2010 (October 2009 to March 2010) respectively. Surveys at Signy Island recorded a total of 41 items during summer 2009/10 (November 2009 to March 2010). Plastic and longline fishing line were the most commonly observed items (in varying quantities) at Bird Island, and the majority of items collected at Signy Island were either plastic or wood. Entanglements of 7 Antarctic fur seals (4 involving green nylon string) were observed at Bird Island. One Antarctic fur seal entanglement was observed at King Edward Point (involving fishing net) and none were observed at Signy. In total, 149 items of marine debris were found in association with seabird colonies at Bird Island, with the highest number (97 items; 65%) associated with wandering albatrosses. No incidences of hydrocarbon soiling were observed at Bird Island or Signy Island and one oiled king penguin was observed at King Edward Point. Overall, levels of marine debris at Bird Island and Signy Island during 2009/10 were below the long-term mean for beached debris and entanglements but above the long-term mean for debris associated with most seabird species.