six metre long Sperm Whale, Physeter
catodon, was seen by fishermen
six nautical miles off Sunderland, north-east England.
Whales, Balaenoptera physalis,
were sighted six miles west of the Smalls, off the west coast of Pembrokeshire
Goby, Gobius cobitis,
was seen in an isolated rock pool near Mousehole
on the southern Cornish coast. This large
goby is a very rare find on the south-west shores of Britain. It is now
a protected species
Ardtrek point, Loch
Bracadale, Isle of Skye, Scotland, two Northern
Bottle-nosed Whales, Hyperoodon ampullatus,
were present for about an hour breaching tail slapping and generally doing
an amazing arial display.
thirty White-beaked Dolphins,
albirostris, were seen off the coast of
Norfolk, off the end of the Nelson Head Track, just south of Horsey Gap
on the east coast. Conditions were perfect, it was mirror calm and good
light first thing in the morning. The pod was actively fishing in association
with 4+ Porpoises, Phocoena phocoena,
and a flock of Gannets about 1000 metres offshore and appeared very settled
in the area. I watched them for one hour before I moved off. This represents
a good record of this species so far south in the North Sea.
muricata, was identified at a fish
merchants. The leech was approximately 130 mm in length, and was caught
aboard a vessel fishing off the Sussex coast. The catch included numerous
plaice and rays*.
The relative prevalency of this leech is not known at the time of writing
but the experienced fishermen had never seen one before.
Life of Sussex News
The literature records this leech as a parasite of rays.
tiny (5 mm high) and rarely recorded sea anemone Gonactinia
prolifera was discovered on Laminaria
fronds hanging from the pontoons in QE II Marina, St. Peter Port, Guernsey,
Channel Islands. It was probably common. This sea
anemone has been only recorded in a few locations around the British
coast. It reproduces
by transverse division, the least common of the four described methods
of asexual reproduction by British sea anemones.
visiting marine biologists found the invasive ascidian Corella
eumyota in St. Peter Port Harbour,
Guernsey, Channel Islands. This tunicate was identified by
John Bishop from Plymouth. This southern hemisphere
sea-squirt was first discovered in Europe in Brittany in 2002.
It has now been found in marinas along the south coast of England and also
along the Channel coast of France.
accompanying the biologists in St. Peter Port Harbour, I found many Goniodoris
castanea sea slugs with their spawn.
They were feeding on the colonial Star Ascidian, Botryllus schlosseri,
and were cryptic. On one 5 x 5 cm
colony of Botryllus schlosseri I found six of these nudibranchs.
Charles David, President of La Société
me this species is a new record for Guernsey.
large metre long Sunfish, Mola mola,made
the news by jumping into a small boat frisbee-style and scaring a young
child at Little Haven, Pembrokeshore, south Wales.
solitary Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon,
seen off Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh,
off the north-east Grampian coast of Scotland, in the afternoon. The animal
was described as large, brown whale with a blow emerging from the front
of the head without an obvious dorsal fin.
truncatus, exist along the length of the
Welsh coast and not just in Cardigan Bay as previously thought, according
to the Sea Watch Foundation's National
Dolphin and Whale Watch. This one of the results of the annual seawatching
possibly three, Humpback
Whales, Megaptera novaengliae,
were seen from the Cork to Swansea ferry, half way over the Irish Sea crossing,
in the waters of the Celtic Deep.
Whales, Balaenoptera physalis,
one juvenile), two Minke Whales Balaenoptera
acutorostrata, and sixty Common
Dolphins Delphinus delphis, were
seen feeding 11 nautical miles west of Ramsey Island, during a Sea
Watch Foundation survey.
large superpod of over one thousand Common
Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, were
seen off the south-west coast of Wales. The location is reported off the
Pembrokeshire coast but the exact distance from the shore is not mentioned.
The video film
footage is by Chris Benson of the Sea
Trust (the marine branch of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales)
is from Cardigan Bay.
- 21 August 2005
Whale and Dolphin Watch Event
Whale and Dolphin Watch week was an opportunity
to gain a 'snapshot' view of the status and distributions of the many whales,
dolphins and porpoises around the British Isles with the support of thousands
men, women and children, looking out to sea and telling us what they have
was found dead off the coast of Cornwall. It was spotted by a helicopter
crew which was carrying out a survey for RNAS Culdrose. The turtle, which
is the largest reptile in the world, had become entangled in lobster pot
buoy ropes off Botallack, near Land's End. It was towed to shore at Cape
Cornwall by the Sennen Inshore Lifeboat.
kg of Common (or Blue) Skate, Dipturus
batis, wings (pointed snout and grey underside) were landed on
Plymouth Fish market. They were caught by the Plymouth-based beam
trawler M.F.V. Joy of Ladram,
which was said to have been fishing in deeper water "out to the west",
the catch also included Witches
is an endangered species.
Sharks and Rays
Shark & Ray News
to three adult Humpback Whales,
novaengliae, were spotted 100 metres off shore at Ynys Lochtyn, near
Ceredigion off west Wales. It was unclear
why the sea mammals, which can weigh up to 30 tonnes, had strayed into
Cardigan Bay. During the summer they are more commonly found off south
west Ireland and north west Scotland.
Whale sighting was confirmed by the Sea
Watch Foundation's Hanna Nuuttila.
Jellyfish, Cyanea lamarckii, was seen in the shallows off Shoreham
species has not been recorded recently off the Sussex coast although it
has been discovered in the shallow seas around the rest of Britain. It
is one of the lesser known jellyfish that frequent
the seas around the British Isles, although there have been more than the
usual number of reports from other shores this year.
Life Reports for Sussex
Fish was caught off the south Devon coast
by the Brixham based beam trawler, M.F.V. Magdalena and landed on the fish
flying fish is probably Cheilopogon
heterurus, the Atlantic Flying
Fish, but it needs to be checked. Stephen
Rodgers, the fishmonger who bought it on Brixham Fish market, is preserving
it and will be passing it on to me to examine, and then give to collections
in the Natural History Museum in London.
While more than twenty flying fish have been recorded in British waters,
principally in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries,
we have never had definite proof of which of the three or four possible
species they were. However, the half dozen caught in Denmark and Norway
have all been Cheilopogon heterurus. A photograph of this fish by
Austin was in the 15
have had two or three probable sightings of flying fish in the last seven
years from yachtsmen in mid-Channel who thought they saw one but could
not be a 100% certain.
Salcombe fisherman, Graham Foale,
observed a Minke Whale, Balaenoptera
acutorostrata, about four miles south
of Prawle Point, south Devon. It swam around his boat, Crustacean
SE 35, for about five minutes whilst they
were hauling pots around midday. It came within 15 metres and then slowly
swam off to the east. The head could not be seen but the white markings
on the pectoral fins were evident. He had seen one in the same area
about ten years before.
least a dozen Minke Whales, Balaenoptera
acutorostrata, were seen from the CRRU
research vessel in the outer southern Moray Firth (NE Scotland).
At one location, we had three Minke Whales
around the boat at the same time (two adults and a young calf), and they
were lunge feeding, to the left and to the right of us, as the leviathans
struck at the numerous bait balls of sandeels being concentrated at the
surface by corralling mackerel from below and
hoards of feeding birds from above!
June - July 2005
bloom of the planktonic dinoflagellate
developed in the Atlantic Ocean and been blown inshore and around the coasts
and into the loughs of north-west Ireland. This microscopic organism is
present in such huge numbers that underwater the sea actually looks green
and the visibility is reduced to a few metres. It releases toxic substances
the sea and compounded by the deoxygenation caused by the dying plankton,
the overall result has been a mass mortality of the sessile and slow moving
organisms like starfish, sea urchins, benthic
(bottom-dwelling) animals, scallops and other molluscs,
worms and even sea anemones. In the enclosed
loughs and in very shallow water, the effects are even worse, with flatfish
and rock pool fish succumbing the effect of
the toxins and anoxic conditions. Dead creatures litter the sea bed providing
food for any crabs that have survived.
Animals in Killary Bay
first is a sipunculidGolfingia
vulgaris* and the second a sea cucumber,
that have succumbed to the effects of the algal bloom.
farms have been located in some of the loughs and their stock of molluscs
and fish can be killed by these naturally occurring algal blooms.
(=White Whale), Delphinapterus
leucas, was spotted from an
aeroplane east of Westray in Orkney. It as pure white, about five to six
metres long, and surfaced five or six times fairly rapidly.
Institute Web Site Report
dived Killary Harbour (a long enclosed sea lough) with
Dr Joanne Porter from Aberystwyth University,
only to find that all the brittlestars in what was an extensive bed; large
molluscs including whelks and scallops; all starfish, all fish (everything
from Blennies, Gobies,
flatfish etc) and many of the infaunal species - (worms, priapulids, sea
cucumbers), were either dead and rotting, or gaping and unresponsive.
The only animals that seemed to be hanging on were the Common
bernhardus, and the Organ-pipe Worm,
vermicularis, which were still extending their tentacles from their
calcareous tubes but retracting them quickly when we approached. On another
dive in the upper reaches of Kilkieren Bay a 'population' of the Fireworks
multiplicatus, were notably moribund and would not retract their
tentacles nor retreat into their tubes when disturbed.