The sixth year of surveys of beached man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia revealed a total of 710 items, 2% less than the record total of 725 items in 1994/95. However, whereas the total amount of debris collected during the winter (April-September) was 40% lower than in 1994/95, the number of items collected at the end of summer (March) was 75% greater than the previous year, which was itself an 8-fold increase over any earlier value. Nylon line, identical with that attached to longline gear, accounted for 77% of items, nearly all of which clearly originated from fishing vessels. The continuing high levels of man-made debris and the recent rapid increase in levels during summer, coinciding with increases in entanglement of Antarctic fur seals, is of growing concern. Furthermore, despite the CCAMLR ban on the use of packaging bands being in force during 1995/96, the total number of packaging bands found ashore was the highest for many years, as was the proportion of these which were uncut. CCAMLR needs to take further steps to counteract the current trend of increase in amounts of man-made debris being jettisoned into the Southern Ocean.
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