This species of dolphin is not often recorded in the eastern English Channel.
pod of seven White-beaked
albirostris, off Dungeness, Kent. They
gave a spectacular display including leaping clear of the water as they
fed and were in view for most of the afternoon. I have looked at the sea
on an almost daily basis at Dungeness since 1989 and this is the first
time I have seen White-beaked Dolphins.
fisherman Andy Le Prevost
trawling on the Lady Patricia caught a Almaco
Jack, Seriola rivoliana, (originally
identified as a Guinean Amberjack,
carpenteri), on the south-west Casquet bank, near the Channel Islands,
fish was caught at a water depth of 25 metres. The fish was small (length:
30.7 cm, weight: 637 grams) and similar in size to the specimen caught
by George Staples
east of Herm Island on 7 September 2000.
The sea temperature was 11.7°C. My records indicate that this is the
fourth confirmed Amberjack
species caught in Channel Island waters.
40 cm long Flying Gurnard, Dactyloptena
orientalis, was hauled up in a herring net less than a mile from Penzance.
The fish is being kept at the Blue Reef Aquarium
in Newquay after
skipper Tony Richards,
from St. Ives, kept it alive.
by Jim Greenfield (taken in Gozo)
were in only about 15 metres depth and were hauling up our herring nets
by hand. It was the last fish in the net. I could feel by touching that
it was an extraordinary specimen — its skin is armoured. It had a flat
head and when I picked it up it spread its wings. They are as wide as the
fish is long, about 40 cm.
Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2004
is a beautiful animal. Its wings are all different colours: blue, red,
yellow and grey. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years at sea.
It’s an incredible beast.”
commercial fisherman Steve Fallaize
landed a handsome Couch's
Bream, Pagrus pagrus, on weighing
2688 grams whole (5.93 lb). The fish was netted in a water depth
of about 20 to 25 metres over a mixed shell-gravel bottom off Guernsey's
west coast.This is the largest Couch's Sea
Bream that I have recorded in Guernsey.
Couch's Sea Bream have been frequently landed
in recent years around the Channel Islands, but this is a southern fish
and it is uncommon any further north.
440 mm Bonito,
sarda, and a similarly sized Twaite
Shad, Alosa fallax, were caught
in a gill net set by fisherman Mark Green
near to La Tour de Rozel, on the north-east coast of Jersey. It was the
I have seen from Channel Islands seas, and it's been quite a good year
for the anadromous Twaite Shad.
Whale washed in by the gales and stranded
Aires Point, near Sennen Cove, Cornwall
by Jane Herbert
Whale, Balaenoptera physalis, was
discovered washed dead on the rocky shore at Aires Point near Sennen Cove
(near Land's End) on the Cornish coast.
Marine Wildlife News
Whale Stranding Picture Portfolio
was caught on rod and line four miles out of Brighton, Sussex, and it promptly
regurgitated a Seahorse,
sp. Seahorses are not known off the Sussex coasts, although I have received
at least one unconfirmed sighting before. This is probably the Short-snouted
species of seahorses recorded from British seas
have been recommended by English Nature for full protection under under
the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). This will be subject to public
15 metres long Fin
Whale, Balaenoptera physalis, was
discovered washed up dead on the shore of St Mary Bay, near Brixham (near
Torquay), in south Devon. The shape of the huge sea mammal was still intact
enabling it to be recognised easily.
Whale Stranding Recording Scheme
visit to three shores in northern Cornwall brought the first report of
a Violet Snail,
janthina, with the recent spate of
velella, strandings. Two shells, one
alive and one dead, discovered by Julie Hatcher
(Kimmeridge Bay Marine Nature Reserve) on
Widemouth Bay beach, near Bude. The strandline
was covered in the white skeleton shells of Velella
several centimetres thick.
only the shell but the soft body of the Violet
Snail is also a violet colour. This gastropod
feeds of on Velella and
secretes a mucus bubble-raft to keep in buoyant. Another animal (a crustacean)
that secretes a polystyrene-like raft to keep it afloat is the Buoy
fascicularis, which were present in their
hundreds and were still be swept in on to the beach to strand and die.
These were more numerous than at least two species of
Barnacles, the commonest was Lepas
anatifera and the other smaller one washed up was the Duck
Lepas pectinata. These
two barnacles are always attached to floating debris and are not pelagic,
but sessile animals when adult and they become stranded on the shore when
the object they attach themselves to becomes dislodged and floats away.
by Steve Trewhella
347mm TL (315mm FL) Guinean Amberjack,
carpenteri, was caught by Lee Allen and
Gary Cann from a boat close to La Corbiere
Lighthouse (SW Coast of Jersey) in a gill net, set in depth of 15 metres
over sand and a shallow reef. Fin & Feather
of St Helier Fishmarket brought this unusual
capture to my notice. This sub- tropical fish has only been recorded twice
before in the Channel Islands and has not been recorded on the northern
side of the English Channel. The very first capture was in September
2000, with the identification
confirmed by Alwyn Wheeler at the Natural
History Museum (London). This new record is
not yet confirmed.
Care must be taken to avoid confusion with the Amberjack,
dumerili, which the original fish was originally
identified as, and this is also a rare vagrant fish form southern seas.
or Yellow Crab,
(= E. spinifrons), was discovered off the Cornish coast and
it has found a home in the National
Aquarium at Plymouth. This appears to be the first record in British
waters of this little known (in England) crab that inhabits southern seas
from Brittany (France) to Mauritania (north Africa), and with a widespread
distribution in the Mediterranean, so it is surprising that vagrant crabs
have not appeared before.
of the most extraordinary shark tales involved the discovery of a tropical
longimanus, that had badly lost its way and was discovered swimming
around a warship in a brackish water fjord near Gullmarsfjorden in west
Sweden. It died shortly afterwards. The shark, a male, was 230 cm long,
(total length), and weighed 65.65 kg. This is the first record in northern
European seas and it has never been discovered around the British coast.
A Swedish Museum in Gothenburg has now the shark for further examination.
White-tip Shark is found worldwide in epipelagic
tropical and subtropical waters between 20° North and 20° South
latitude. Its range is from Portugal to the Gulf of Guinea in the eastern
Atlantic. There are a few records from the Mediterranean Sea. It lives
in sea temperatures above 21° C. It is usually found over deep water
a long way from the shore. It is known to associate with Pilot
Whales and may follow boats or ships if a
constant food source is available. This shark has a reputation for attacking
could the shark have arrived in the fjord? The speculation could involves
man's activities as a discard from a deep water fishing catch?
jack fish known as the Blue Runner,
crysos, was caught by a fisherman in a bass net just off Mevagissey,
Cornwall, and taken in to Chris Gilbertson
who passed it on to me for identification. This is thought to be the fourth
or fifth specimen of this fish reported in the UK.
jack family of fish (Carangidae) are widespread in the warmer waters of
the world, but the only member of the family which is common in the North
East Atlantic is the Horse Mackerel or Scad Trachurus trachurus.
Carangids seem to be being found more regularly as the temperature of local
Public Aquaria List
Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2004
trawling for sea bass banned in UK Territorial waters
Minister Ben Bradshaw has announced a unilateral ban on pair trawling for
sea bass effective immediately at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.
ban will be implemented within the 20 km (12 mile) limit of the UK's waters.
This will not prevent the dolphin deaths but will prevent any more damage
to inshore breeding grounds.
20 metres long, 30 tonne, Fin
Balaenoptera physalis, was
washed up dead on the mud flats at St Brides,
West Usk, in south Wales, near Newport on the shores of the Bristol Channel.
massive stranding of By-the-wind Sailors,
velella, has now been established that it has stretched much further
than just the Cornish coast and that the numbers were in billions.
on Constantine Bay beach, north Cornwall
by Amanda Bertuchi
of large numbers of large specimens and huge numbers occurred all along
the Welsh coast as far north as Anglesey and almost certainly further north
strandings on Velella on the sandy beach at Polzeath, Cornwall
by Jonathan Smith
stranding of By-the-wind
Velella velella, occurred
all along the north Cornish coast from Sennen
Cove (near land's End) up to Polzeath (near Padstow) and beyond. (As
the gull flies this is a distance of 25 miles and with all the coves and
inlets the shoreline is over double this.) Coming in on the top of the
tide, there were hundreds of millions of them, all large, the largest I
found was 85 mm, and all them were intact. Millions of Barnacles
were washed up along the strandline.
Jellyfish and other Medusae
sp., caught by an angler off the rocks of the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall,
in mid-September and taken to Matt Slater
at the Blue Reef Aquarium
in Newquay for identification, will be a new British rod-caught record.
It is thought to be a Lesser Amberjack, Seriola
fasciata, which has never been recorded in Britain before, but could
turn out to be an Almaco Jack, Seriola rivoliana, which would be
the sixth for British waters, and the first taken by an angler.
Public Aquaria List
European Commission in Brussels rejected Britain's call for a ban on pair
trawling for bass throughout the English Channel to save dolphins.
Bradshaw, the fisheries minister, had asked
the European Commission for an emergency ban after hundreds more dolphins
were washed up dead on the beaches of the South-West this year.
Whale and Dolphin Watch (sponsored by BG Group, DEFRA &
Heritage Lottery Fund) took place around the UK with watches conducted
from about 200 sites from Shetland to Cornwall & the Channel Islands.
Richardson diving in 18 metres of water off
the South Devon Coast thought he saw the unusual echiuran species collectively
known as Spoon Worms
but more often by the scientific name of Bonellia
viridis. Only the proboscis
was seen, which was about 60 cm long with a T piece 10 cm wide. When touched,
the expandable proboscis recoiled under a rock.
expect most people have not had a chance to see such a bizarre and unusual
Report with more information and links to photographs
discovered a 1.93 metres (6 ft 4 in) long fresh shark washed up dead on
the beach between Hornsea
and Mappleton on the Yorkshire North East coast.
by Rae Atkins
shark appears to be a Porbeagle Shark,
nasus. There is a population of this large predatory shark in the North
Sea. Their occurence may match the Salmon
on which they prey. Specimens washed up dead on the beach are unusual.
sailed through huge masses of By-the-wind
Velella velella, on route
from Larne (Northern Ireland) to La Coruna in Spain; it took us approximately
two days to clear them. Buoy Barnacles,
fascicularis, attached to floats that they had secreted, were also
present in very large numbers.
4 July 2004
diving at the Shiant Isles in
the in the Minch between Skye and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (islands
off north-west Scotland) I found the large starfish Stichastrella
rosea, an echinoderm I have never
seen outside of St Kilda. Better still, I also found what looks like this
starfish but it had seven arms instead of the usual five. This starfish
seems to be uncommon and found off the northern and western coasts, usually
in deeper water than 30 metres so it is rarely seen by divers.
new film called Deep Blue from the makers of the Blue
Planet opens in good
pregnant male Seahorse,
guttulatus, was discovered and photographed
in Poole Bay, Dorset. This is the first recorded instance of a pregnant
in the northern English Channel and anywhere in the seas surrounding the
British Isles and is therefore the first confirmed instance of successful
breeding, which has long been suspected. Discharge of the young into the
shallow sheltered ways of Poole Bay seemed imminent.
and Photograph by Steve Trewhella (Poole, Dorset)
Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, were found
washed up dead on the Cornish coast in the space of a week, with the latest
discovered at Perranporth, North Cornwall. Others have been washed up dead,
at Gerran Bay, Coverack, Roseland Bay and the Fal estuary.
young female Hooded Seal, Cystophora
cristata, was discovered on Dunnet
Beach, Caithness, Scotland. It was treated by British
Divers Marine Life Rescue who plan to return the seal to the Orkney
Isles nearer its natural habitat around Greenland and the Denmark Strait
(between Iceland and Greenland).
by Alistair Jack of British
Divers Marine Life Rescue
Marine Life Rescue News Page (with the Full Report)
extraordinary raft of Moon Jellyfish,
aurita, was seen eight miles (13 km) off the coast of north-west
Wales, off the Lleyn peninsula at the north of Cardigan Bay. The Moon
Jellyfish had somehow contrived to wedge themselves
together into a continuous raft of eight metres square, each of the tens
of thousands of jellyfish about 10 cm in diameter, each wedged several
deep in one large teeming mass, each jellyfish "pulsing down" in the glassy
dead calm sea between two headlands. This unusual congregation has been
reported once before in the enclosed Scottish Loch
Nevis, but has not been recorded before in the open sea.
by Barry Pugh
ADUR WORLD OCEANS
was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition
celebrating the official World Oceans Day. It was
held in the large marquee on
Green overlooking the River
the attendance on a sunny day (21.4° C)
Crab, Paramola cuvieri,
was caught 12 miles off Falmouth by fisherman
Arfee Treneer, from Mylor, Cornwall. The extremely
long legs of this deep water crab give it by far the largest span of any
of the crabs found in the North-east Atlantic Ocean, although its body
is not much larger than the Spiny Spider Crab,
squinado. It is a rare capture and
according to the BBC Report only the sixth ever caught in British seas
and second by this fisherman. This crab like all the giant long-legged
crabs is an inhabitant of very deep water in excess of 150 metres and down
to depths of 1500 metres. This one was caught in much shallower depths
and brought alive, but damaged, to the Blue
Reef Aquarium at Newquay.
sp., was caught in an otter trawl in Bristol Channel south of Swansea
at 2:30 pm in
the small (under 10 metre) fishing vessel MFV
Wonkey SA357, skippered by Robert (or Kevin) Davies.
It weighed 120 kg (265 lb), and was 261
cm (8 ft 6") long (including the tail fin) and 246 cm long (excluding the
tail). It was caught at a depth of between 10 and 20 metres.I believe it
to be Acipenser sturio,
but the snout is fairly short and blunt, more like Acipenser
(but this is a Danube/Black
Marine fish &
of Northern Europe
Emil Moen & Erling Svensen
2004 the English edition of the very popular
Norwegian Marine Fauna (Dyreliv I havet) was published. Prof. David
Bellamy has written the foreword.
on the image for more information.
was spotted in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall, following a sailing boat three
mile south of Black Rock.
by Sue Burrows via Ruth Williams
on Cornish Marine Sightings (Fish)
professional anglers witnessed a Thresher
Shark, Alopias, leap completely
out of the water, tail and all, four consecutive times to the west of Alderney,
Channel Islands, Great Britain at about 8:00
pm. One angler told me that he estimated the
body length of the shark at about 170 cm. The leaping activity occurred
about 100 metres away from their boat. The leaps were head first and perpendicular
out of the water.
molluscs known as Akera bullata
were seen swimming on the surface of the sea and scooped into a net from
the south-east corner of Queen Elizabeth II Marina, St Helier, Jersey,
in the Channel Islands (English Channel). The captured specimens were only
three out of about ten and were only about 25 mm long and were returned
to the marina after identification. This appears to be the first record
for Jersey in a marina that provides a home for other southern species
with unusual records in the recent past.
to the Original Message (with more information)
discovered by James Letto
of the States of Jersey Harbours Department
am we noticed about a dozen Bottle-nosed
Tursiops truncatus, just
outside Aberdeen harbour, vigorously 'playing' with a single Harbour
Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena. During
20 minutes of observation the poor porpoise was constantly attacked by
at least eight adult (or fully-grown) dolphins.
Jellyfish: Mauve Stinger
but if a not deadly jellyfish, the Mauve
Stinger, Pelagia noctiluca, can
impart a nasty sting to the unlucky
swimmer. They are now being seen around the Channel Islands. I found one
stranded in a rock pool by Lithou Island on
the east coast of Guernsey on 7 April, 2004
and another stranded in a rock pool on the east coast south of St. Peter
Port on 8 April 2004.
Strandings of this jellyfish seem to occur often in spring around these
islands. They are not common around the rest of the British Isles but there
are reports in some years off the south and west coasts, especially off
former Royal Navy frigate has been sunk off Cornwall to create the UK's
first artificial diving reef. Thousands of people watched from Whitsand
Bay near Plymouth as HMS
Scylla was scuttled at 3:28 pm GMT.
explosives were detonated by 12-year-old Daniel
Green, from Ivybridge, Devon, accompanied
by environmentalist David Bellamy.
Hooded Seal, Cystophora
cristata, was discovered on
St. Ives beach, Cornwall, by British
Divers Marine Life Rescue. The Hooded
is an Arctic species and even discoveries
off the coast of Scotland, including the Orkney and Shetland Isles are
rare. It moults around Greenland and the Denmark Strait (between Iceland
Divers Marine Life Rescue News Page (with the Full Report)
Seal 2001 (SW Wales)
12 metre long Sperm Whale,
catodon, was washed up still alive on
a sand bank at Sutton Bridge in The Wash, on the east coast of England,
and first spotted by a local resident at 10:00
am on 21 March 2004. Unfortunately the distressed
whale was stuck on the sandbank and the rescuers are powerless to assist
the 15 tonne animal back into deeper water. Efforts were made to help it
stay alive and to hope it will have the strength and luck with the tides
to free itself. The prognosis is poor for any chance of survival.
the whale died on the second day.
Divers Marine Life Rescue News Page
adult male Sperm
Whale, Physeter catodon,
measuring nearly 15 metres in length was found stranded on the Oostduinkerke
beach in Belgium. Judging by its advanced state of decomposition the large
whale, the twenty-first to have been discovered on Belgium beaches since
1403, had been dead for several months before it washed up on the beach.
coriacea, was spotted five miles south of Mevagissey off the south
coast of Cornwall. This is an unusually early sighting. They normally start
appearing in UK waters in early summer.
resident Jo Leach
reported the turtle after spotting it while out on her uncle's crab potting
uncle was using his binoculars to look out for the Fin
Whales that had been reported over the weekend,
when he saw something that he thought looked like a rock breaking the surface”,
said Jo Leach, “We approached the object and cut the engines, and when
we were about five metres away we could see it was a Leatherback
Turtle. It gazed at us for a few minutes and
then slowly swam off, as if it had had enough of looking at us!”
Whale, Balaenoptera physalis,
was found washed ashore on the island of Coll, the second found beached
on a Hebridean island in recent weeks. The 17 metres long carcass was found
by an islander. This whale was in a fresh condition.
earlier whale washed up on Mull was a beaked
whale of a species not known at the time
pod of Risso’s Dolphins,
griseus, and then the even larger fin cleaved through the water, the
black and white flanks revealing two Killer
Whales, Orcinus orca, were spotted
by a large groups birdwatchers off Fishguard, south-west Wales. These large
were a mile out to sea and seen through the birdwatchers scopes.
Sightings off Wales
12 metres long Sperm
Whale, Physeter catodon, was washed
up dead at Thornham Norfolk.
by Richard Saunders
spotters willing to brave the gale force winds, the whale could be
seen by transversing the muddy trail from Holme NWT and following the sea
bank to the beach.
Marine Natural History Society web pages are launched. Please click
on the logo to access their pages.
Conservation Society UK
Turtle Code is now online at http://www.euroturtle.org/turtlecode/
whale of over 30 tonnes is washed up dead
on the sandy shore of the bay of Audierne, between Tronoën and the
Torch, near Plomeur near Quimper, southern Brittany, France. Samples have
been taken by Oceanopolis, Brest (Public
Aquarium) who identified the species as a Fin
physalis, that had recently died and measured 19.5 metres in length.
Morning News" Report
of thousands of dolphins was spread over
about two and a half miles off Nare Head, on the Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall.
The species involved is the Common Dolphin,
delphis, of all age groups including calves and mothers. Other small
cetacean species were possibly present. These superpods are a rare once
in a lifetime event around the British coast, but very large pods have
been seen off the Cornish coast in recent years, the previous
one occurring at the beginning of the year. The superpod was accompanied
by hundreds of sea birds including
Pods of Dolphins off Cornwall in January 2003 (1)
Pods of Dolphins off Cornwall in January 2003 (2)
whales swam along the Dutch coast near Scheveningen. They were identified
as Humpback Whales,
novaengliae, from the photographs.
novaengliae, were seen near The Hague (Den Haag), Zuid-Holland.
They were discovered by the local department of the lifeboat association
who prevented the whales from swimming towards the coast. At dusk they
lost the animals near ´s-Gravenzande, some 10 kilometres south of
The Hague. The animals were estimated to be 8 and 18 metres long. They
were not seen by any of the local sea-migration watchers; the Humpbacks
were identified by the pictures made by one of the members of the lifeboat.
The identification was confirmed by Kees Camphuysen.
is the first record of living Humpbacks
for the Netherlands.
Report on UK Cetnet
(in Dutch) with links to Photographs
Record (September 2003)
on 20 December 2003,
a pair of Humpback Whales,
novaengliae, a male and a young whale, were caught in a fishing net
medium-sized Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus
thynnus, was landed at Plymouth Fish Market. It was caught about 24
nautical miles east of Lizard Point, SW Cornwall in a mid-water pair trawl.
Adult Bluefin Tuna are no longer caught regularly caught off England and
the last one on record was caught in 1968.
along the coast at Bovisand in Devon were treated to a rare sight as a
five metre long whale was temporarily stranded close to the shore in Heybrook
Bay. It has been identified as a Northern Bottle-nosed
Whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus, after
originally being identified as a Pilot Whale.
was spotted by a walker, Steve Blackhouse,
who quickly rang the Coastguard.
Whales are rarely seen in the English Channel,
normally preferring in waters up to 1,000 metres deep, off the continental
Morning News" Report
Mammals of the UK Smart Group
Marine Life Rescue Report