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    The composition and origin of marine debris stranded on the shores of subantarctic Macquarie Island

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    D.J. Slip and H.R. Burton (Australia)
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    The coastline of subantarctic Macquarie Island (54° 35’S, 158° 55’E) was surveyed over an eight week period in 1988 to determine types, quantities, and possible sources of marine debris. Lost fishing gear consisted of buoys, ropes, and net fragments. Gear from both trawling and longline fishing operations were represented, with debris identified from Russian, Polish, Japanese, Taiwanese, and South American sources. Three types of litter which potentially entangle marine mammals were found; plastic packing straps, ropes, and net fragments. Plastic bottles, small plastic fragments from broken plastic bottles, and small pieces of expanded polystyrene were common. Litter accumulated in highest densities on open beaches of the west coast of the island. Overall density of marine debris was less than those reported for islands in the South Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, or from the coast of Alaska.