Data on beach surveys, debris associated with seabird colonies, marine mammal entanglements and hydrocarbon soilings were received for 2014 from South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Non-fishing items such as plastics, packaging materials and wood remain the most common type of debris items found in beach surveys. The fishing items found were mostly from longline and trawl origins. Plastic packaging bands continue to be found in beach surveys, with an unfortunate increase in closed bands found at King George Island. Overall, the amount of debris in colonies of grey-headed albatrosses, wandering albatrosses and black-browed albatrosses at Bird Island continues to decrease, with the major category of items found being plastics. The amount of fishing related items (fishing lines and hooks) found in wandering albatross colonies remains the most frequent debris item found in each season. The number of marine mammal entanglements has remained relatively constant at Bird Island but continues to decrease at King Edward Point. Packaging bands and fishing gear remain the main entangling materials. There was only one new hydrocarbon soiling reported from Bird Island in 2014. The results of the ongoing monitoring of marine debris in the Convention Area suggest that while the type and amount of debris varies annually there have been no long-term trends over the past decade. Extrapolation of these findings to areas outside Area 48 are limited by the absence of data on long-term monitoring of marine debris and Members with opportunities to engage in such monitoring are encouraged to submit data to the Secretariat.
Mr Doug Cooper (CCAMLR Secretariat)