During the twelfth year of standardised beach surveys of man-made debris at Bird Island, South Georgia, a total of 193 items was collected, 140 during summer and 53 during winter. This represents a 33 % decrease on the total of 290 items recorded in 2000/01 and the lowest level of summer beach debris since 1994/95. Although only 7 fewer items were collected during the summer (a 5% decrease from last season), 90 fewer items were collected throughout the winter, a 63% reduction compared with last year. The 2001/02 season was characterised by a dramatic decrease in the proportion of nylon line (braid) found, constituting only 3.6% of the annual total, a reduction of 93 % in summer and 98.5% in winter compared to the previous year. Miscellaneous debris accounted for the greatest proportion (92%) of all debris. The large reduction in fishing gear found on the beach throughout this season, particularly during the winter months when the South Georgia longline fishery is most active, is encouraging. This would indicate that vessels are making efforts to comply with the correct waste disposal procedures for both domestic and fishing-related waste.
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