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    Marine pollutants and fishing gear associated with seabirds at sub Antarctic Marion Island, 1996–1998: trends in relation to longline fishing activity

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    Delegation of South Africa
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    Pollutants found in association with seabirds at subantarctic Marion Island for the period May 1996 to April 1998 are reported. Standardised searches and incidental finds show a large increase between the 1996/97 and the 1997/98 field seasons. Fishing gear increased at a rate ten times higher than other (non-fishing) pollutants over this period. Sixty rope nooses used for suspending toothfish in blastfreezers and 23 toothfish hooks were found. All the rope nooses, and 19 of the-books were found during the second year. This increase in fishing gear from 1996/97 to 1997/98 is interesting in view of the fact that the large influx of illegal toothfish vessels to the Prince Edward Islands waters occurred during the 1996/97 season. Prior to this study three Southern Blue fin Tuna hooks had been found at Marion Island, between 1992 and 1996. Three seabirds (a Southern Giant Petrel, a Northern Giant Petrel, and a Subantarctic Skua) were found entangled in fishing gear, while five seabird carcasses (three Wandering Albatross chicks, one Whitechinned Petrel chick and a Southern Giant Petrel adult) were found with ingested fishing gear.