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    Accumulation of fishing debris, plastic litter and other artefacts on Heard Island and Macquarie Island, Southern Ocean

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    D.J. Slip and H.R. Burton (Australia)
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    Sections of coastline of Heard and Macquarie Islands were surveyed for marine debris in summer 1987-88, and 1989 respectively. These surveys were carried out at the same sites of previous surveys in 1986-87 at Heard Island, and 1988 at Macquarie Island. The minimum rate of artefact accumulation was 13 objects km-1 year-1 for Heard Island, and 9.1 objects km-1 year-1 for Macquarie Island. Drift cards released from known locations and collected on the two islands show a similar artefact catchment area. Plastic litter was a major component of the debris at both islands. Fisheries related debris accounted for 40% of all artefacts on Heard Island compared to 29% on Macquarie Island. Entanglement of fur seals appears to be more common at Heard Island, while plastic ingestion by seabirds appears more common at Macquarie Island.