During the fifteenth year of standardised beach surveys of man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia, a total of 251 items were collected. This represents an encouraging reduction of 43% on the 361 items recorded in 2003/04 that corresponded to the highest levels of summer beach debris since the 1999/00 season. The distribution of debris between summer and winter was more biased than the previous recording period with only 23% of the total number of debris items being collected in the winter compared to 36% last season. The total weight of debris collected has remained relatively stable with 4.1135kg collected this year, whilst 5.3957 kg was gathered in 2003/04. For the second consecutive year, nylon line has been absent from the shores of Bird Island, having once been at a peak of 546 pieces in 1995/96. Over the same 15-year period packing bands are still regularly recovered from the beaches and these findings reaffirm that the ban on their use aboard fishing vessels brought into force by CCAMLR in 1995/96 has yet to prove entirely effective and should continue.. The proportion of miscellaneous debris is commensurate with 2003/04 (98.5%) but when actual quantities of debris are considered since 1990 when the survey began, the amount of miscellaneous debris is much higher though not at the peak levels of 2003/04. This indicates that debris is still being lost by vessels into the marine environment and marine vessels working in this region should therefore continue to make efforts to comply with not only the correct waste disposal procedures for fishing-related waste, but also domestic waste.
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