In the first observation of oiled seabirds at Bird Island, South Georgia since the station was opened in 1975, six freshly-oiled penguins (one chinstrap, five gentoos) were recorded ashore in July and August 1993. Because gentoo penguins feed very close inshore in winter they must have been contaminated near Bird Island from pollution originating nearby. Krill fishing boats, operating within 20nm of the Willis Islands (5km west of Bird Island) from early July, are the most likely source of the oil. Large concentrations of penguins were seen in this area by a US research cruise in June 1993.
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