During the fourteenth year of standardised beach surveys of man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia, a total of 361 items were collected between April 2003 and March 2004. This represents an increase of 97% on the 183 items recorded in 2002/03 and the highest levels of summer beach debris (232 items) since the 1999/00 season. The total weight of debris collected has also increased by 1.82 kg since last year to 5.39 kg. The highest proportion of marine debris collected comprised miscellaneous items; the largest annual amount of this type of debris since the surveys began in 1990. For the first time no nylon line was recorded compared to a peak of 546 items in 1995/96. However, 11 plastic packaging bands were recovered. Miscellaneous debris increased by 100% since last year (from 175 to 350 pieces), indicating that debris is still being lost by vessels into the marine environment. Therefore, all marine vessels operating in the region should continue to make efforts to comply with the correct waste disposal procedures.
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