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   Subject: RE: [glaucus] Brama brama
Created by Richard Lord on 04 Dec 2005 12:20:55
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1 Message #1 of 1: Date Posted: 04 Dec 2005 12:20:55 by  Richard Lord Delete this messageReply to this messageEdit this message
The first time I visited Billingsgate Fish Market in London was in
December 1981. The first fish I saw and photographed was a Brama brama.
It caught my attention because it wasn't the usual haddock, cod or

Over many years Alwyne Wheeler wrote reports on "Rare and Little-Known
fishes in British Seas" in the Journal of Fish Biology. One of these
reports I have is from Volume 7, Number 2 March 1975.

Alwyne Wheeler writes, "The 1969 invasion of the North Sea by Ray's
Bream (Brama brama) continued into January 1970 with a further 16
records. This was followed by 38 more in 1970 and 27 in 1971. An
unusual feature, already noted (Wheeler & Blacker, 1972), was that eight
of these were from trawlers." ............ He continues, "also,
noteworthy was the capture of two Ray's bream in the Irish Sea - one in
the Menai Straits and the other in Belfast Lough..... Only one specimen
was reported during the summer of 1970: one caught on feathers in
Mount's Bay, Cornwall."

Figure 1 on page 185 of the Journal shows two maps showing the
distribution of captures of Brama brama for 1970 and 1971.

Alwyne Wheeler's two page report on Brama brama continues, "Although
there were only a dozen records from British waters in 1966, the author
suggested that this number was more than usual. ... This was followed
by an immense invasion during 1967 which produced more than 70 records
from the western North Sea alone."

From the North Sea coast of Britain
1968 8 reports
1969 more than 60
1970 54 reports
1971 19 reports

"These figures only refer to records known to the authors from the North
Sea coast of Britain. ..... The only comparable invasions of the North
Sea this century were in 1927 and 1952, during which there were many
reports of Ray's bream from the shores of the continent (Mead G.W. &
Haedrich, R.L. 1965 The Distribution of the oceanic fish Brama brama.
Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv. 134, 29-68)."

"It is not easy to relate the occurrence of Ray's bream in the North Sea
to hydrographic conditions, but it might be worth while to investigate
the annual movements of the water masses west and south of Britain, to
find out if there has been an increased flow northwards to bring this
fish into our waters in such large numbers."

Alwyne Wheeler's paper follows with a list of unusual fish reported from
British waters. The Brama brama list is 2 1/2 pages long and includes
in many cases details of location of capture and size of fish.

(I am a little confused by the numbers reported by Alwyne Wheeler as the
opening sentences seem to disagree with the number of reports quoted
later in the paper. I presume the difference in number of reports
relates to region but someone can perhaps clarify this for me. I would
be interested to know about Brama brama reports for the 1980s and 1990s.
Has anyone plotted the annual occurrence of these fish in British

Best Wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Richard Lord
Guernsey GY1 1BQ

Tel: 01481 700688
Fax: 01481 700699

-----Original Message-----
From: Declan T Quigley []
Sent: 03 December 2005 18:28
Subject: Fw: [glaucus] What fish is this?

> I would be confident that it is a Ray's Bream (Brama brama). They
> have been relatively "common" off the SW & W coast of Ireland this
> Significant numbers were landed into Dingle (SW) and Killybegs (NW) by
> Spanish long-liners over the last few months.
> Declan Quigley (Wicklow)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "British Marine Life Study Society" <>
> Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 8:44 PM
> Subject: [glaucus] What fish is this?

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