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    Review of CCAMLR activities on monitoring marine debris in the Convention Area

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    The current status of national programmes on monitoring of marine debris and their impact on marine mammals and seabirds in the Convention Area has been reviewed. The CCAMLR Marine Debris Database contains data from 13 sites, most within Area 48. There are 4 active sites that have data for more than 3 consecutive years, these are: Bird Island, (South Georgia); Signy Island, (South Orkney Islands), King George Island, (South Shetland Islands) and Marion Island. The number of beached marine debris items reached a peak in the period 1994-1996 at Bird Island and Signy Island, but declined after that. The number of debris items has increased at Bird Island in 2006 and Signy Island in 2007, but decreased at King George Island in 2007. The majority of items reported were packaging materials, fishing gear and wood. Packaging items make up the majority of debris items reported from all three seasons at Marion Island. The most common packaging item is plastic soft drink bottles. Conservation Measure 26-01(2006) clearly prohibits vessels to use packaging bands to secure bait boxes and restricts their use for other purposes to vessels with on-board incinerators (closed systems) into which they should be placed once removed from packages. So it is a concern that packaging bands are being found during beach surveys at Bird Island and Signy Island and that Antarctic fur seals are being reported as entangled at Bird Island by packaging bands. The conservation measure also instructs vessels to cut the bands before incinerating them yet closed packaging bands are still being reported as debris from Bird Island. The level of marine debris found in grey-headed albatross and wandering albatross colonies at Bird Island in 2007 has increased. Debris from black-browed albatross colonies at Bird Island in 2007 has remained low. Fishing gear such as lines and hooks and miscellaneous broken plastics continue to form the major part of the debris associated with seabird colonies. Data were received from Palmer Station, Anvers Island for the 2007 season for two species of seabird. This was the first submission from this site. Marine mammal entanglement at Bird Island increased dramatically in 2007 with 58 reports of Antarctic fur seal entanglements. The most common marine entanglement materials were synthetic string or longline, packaging bands and fishing net. The number of seabirds contaminated with hydrocarbons remains low.