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    Marine debris and entanglements at Bird Island and King Edward Point, South Georgia, Signy Island, South Orkneys and Goudier Island, Antarctic Peninsula 2012/13

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    Delegation of the United Kingdom
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    Data were collected at Bird Island and King Edward Point, South Georgia, at Signy Island, South Orkneys and at Goudier Island, Antarctic Peninsula for the period April 2012 to March 2013. Surveys of beached marine debris at Bird Island recorded a total of 145 and 134 items during winter (April to September 2012) and summer (October 2012 to March 2013) respectively. Surveys at Signy Island (operational during summer only; 25 November 2012 to 20 March 2013) recorded a total of 13 items of beached marine debris. Entanglements of 13 Antarctic fur seals were observed at Bird Island, 15 at King Edward Point and zero at Signy Island and Goudier Island. In total, 85 items of marine debris were found in association with seabird colonies at Bird Island, most commonly in association with wandering albatrosses (45 items). There were no reports of beached marine debris at Goudier Island, and no incidences of hydrocarbon soiling at any of the four sites during the reporting period. Overall, the occurrence of beached marine debris was below the long-term mean at Bird Island during both summer and winter and was the lowest recorded in 23 years of summer surveys at Signy Island, possibly due to sea-ice coverage at the three survey beaches between November and January. The incidence of marine mammal entanglements was below the long-term mean at Bird Island and Signy Island but above the mean at King Edward Point. Debris associated with seabird colonies was below the mean level for wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses and giant petrels, but above the mean for black-browed albatrosses.

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