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    Beach debris survey – Main Bay, Bird Island, South Georgia 1996/97

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    Delegation of the United Kingdom
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    The seventh year of surveys of beached man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia revealed a total of 289 items, 60 % less than in the two previous years. Of the total number of items, 62 % (n = 180) were collected during the summer, only the second year on record when then summer collection exceeded the winter. Nylon line, identical to that used in longline gear, accounted for 57 % of items, nearly all of which clearly originated from fishing vessels. Despite the CCAMLR ban on the use of packaging bands being in force since 1994/95 their occurrence in debris surveys indicates their continued use. The reduction in man-made debris compared to the two previous years may reflect a reduction in illegal long-line fishing activity around South Georgia. Such a relationship between the type and magnitude of marine debris and levels of local fishing operations highlights the requirement for continued monitoring and the need for further steps to counteract the jettisoning of man-made debris in the Southern Ocean.