Data were collected at Bird Island and King Edward Point, South Georgia, at Signy Island, South Orkneys and at Goudier Island, Antarctic Peninsula for the period April 2013 to March 2014. Surveys of beached marine debris at Bird Island recorded a total of 252 and 376 items during winter (April to September 2013) and summer (October 2013 to March 2014) respectively. Surveys at Signy Island (operational during summer only; 26 November 2013 to 13 March 2014) recorded a total of 2 items of beached marine debris. Entanglements of 14 Antarctic fur seals were observed at Bird Island, 9 at King Edward Point and zero at Signy Island and Goudier Island. In total, 88 items of marine debris were found in association with seabird colonies at Bird Island, most commonly in association with wandering albatrosses (40 items). There were no reports of beached marine debris at Goudier Island, and one incidence of hydrocarbon soiling (Bird Island) during the reporting period. Overall, the occurrence of beached marine debris was above the long-term mean at Bird Island during both summer and winter and was the second highest ever recorded in the 24 years of summer surveys and fourth highest ever recorded in 23 years of winter surveys at Bird Island. In contrast, the occurrence of beached marine debris at Signy Island was the lowest ever recorded in 24 years of surveys. The incidence of marine mammal entanglements was below the long-term mean at Bird Island and Signy Island but equal to the mean at King Edward Point. Debris associated with seabird colonies was below the mean level for wandering albatrosses and grey-headed albatrosses but above the mean for black-browed albatrosses and giant petrels.
Mr Doug Cooper (CCAMLR Secretariat)