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    Beach debris survey – Main Bay, Bird Island, South Georgia, 1997/98

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    Delegation of the United Kingdom
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    The eighth year of surveys of beach man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia revealed a total of 430 items, 49 percent more than the total of 289 items in 1996/97. The increase of the winter (April -September) total was 10 percent, from 109 items in 1996/97 to 120 items in 1997/98 both of which were considerably less than the winter totals for the previous 5 years of collections. The number of items collected in the summer was 310, an increase of 72 percent from the 1996/97 total of 180. Nylon line, identical to that attached to longline gear, accounted for 88 percent of items, nearly all of which clearly came from fishing vessels. The lower levels of debris collected in the winter months is a good sign that increased monitoring in the South Georgia longline fishery may have reduced the amount of man-made debris originating from these vessels. The increased totals of summer debris is cause for concern and suggests that CCAMLR needs to enhance its campaign to reduce the amount of man-made debris being jettisoned into the Southern Ocean.