Results of the survey of entanglements of Antarctic fur seals at Bird Island, South Georgia for the sixteenth consecutive winter (2005) and eighteenth consecutive summer (2005/06) are reported here. Two entanglements were observed in the winter, a decrease of 60% from the previous year, and the lowest number seen since records began in 1990. One of these involved a male pup entangled in fishing net and was classified as being very severe. The other observed entanglement during winter occurred to an adult female entangled in a plastic packing band causing slight constriction to the individual involved. In contrast there was double the number of observed entanglements during summer of 2005/06 compared to the previous summer. Of these 14% caused severe injury to the seal involved. Half of these entanglements involved juveniles. Of the entanglements where the animal could be sexed, females made up the majority during the summer, in contrast to previous years. The majority (63%) of summer entanglements were caused by plastic packing bands, this is a 67% increase from the previous year’s observations. Fishing nets were responsible for entanglements in both winter (50%) and summer (14%). The presence of plastic packing bands and fishing nets during both seasons highlights the need for continued monitoring and increased effort in ensuring correct disposal of debris with the potential to entangle wildlife at sea.
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