Cornwall, two species of Violet Sea-snails,
janthina and Janthina
pallida, as well as two sea
beans Entada gigas
and Caesalpina bondoc
were discovered on the strandline.
9 December 2006
Report from the Channel Islands
prevailing winds of autumn and the recent gales have washed more unusual
pelagic animals on to the shore (with the millions
of By-the-wind Sailors, Velella velella,
and multiple thousands of Goose Barnacles,
anatifera) notably the small (size
of a 10 pence piece) pelagic Columbus Crabs,
minutus, with five discovered on the Dorset
coast at Southbourne (near Bournemouth)
and a further 15 at Hengistbury
Head, Dorset. The latter was discovered inside a large shipworm-riddled,
pole in cavities created by the tiny burrowing mollusc.
The Columbus Crabs were
found with the Goose Barnacles
and there are clues that the buoys, wooden pallets, fish boxes etc. have
been floating around the Atlantic Ocean for two years or more and are American
in origin. The live crabs were placed in the aquarium at the Foundation
Marine Centre at Kimmeridge.
Report from Belgium
dog discovered a strange fish partially buried on the North
Gare Sands, Hartlepool, (near the power station) part of the Teesmouth
National Nature Reserve; the fish was one metre long, 30 cms wide and
laterally very thin with a tapering tail. I have identified this fish as
a Deal Fish,
Fish is a deep sea fish which very occasionally
is washed up on the shore.
least two specimens of the large pelagic swimming crab known as Henslow's
Swimming Crab, Polybius henslowii, were
brought in by a commerical fishman from Poole Bay. This
crab is an active predator of small fish and is usually found over deep
water further south. The same weather conditions which have brought in
the By-the-wind Sailors are
likely to have blown this crab into the shallow bay.
Sailors, Velella velella, were washed
up on Welsh beaches, notably a narrow but continuous line of Velella
velella washed up on the high tide mark at Borthwen,
Rhoscolyn, Anglesey (southern end of Ynys Cybi - Holy Island), north
Wright); literally thousands stranded
on a small bay at the Mumbles, Swansea (Jess
Pitman); a swarm amounting to about two
hundred were washed up on Porthllysgi beach off the coast of St.
Davids in south west Wales (Eleri
Davies) with hundreds, possibly thousands,
stranded and dead on the pebbles on the nearby Newgale Beach (Helen
Lee); thousands, if not millions, of By-the-wind
Sailors were washed up on a beach at Criccieth
(on the southern coast of the Lleyn Peninsula), Gwynedd, north Wales (Eilir
Daniels); and an armada, a thick layer
of jellyfish about a metre thick on the strandline in both directions at
Sidan Beach at Pembrey, south west Wales (Bella).
extraordinary report of an Oceanic Pufferfish,
lagocephalus, discovered washed up
dead on the shore by Christopher and Morwenna
Smart at Treyarnon
Bay, near Padstow,
on the north coast of Cornwall.
first I thought it was a plastic toy fish, but then realised it was real
and so we carried it home in an old fishbox we found. It was a really beautiful
fish, blue, silver and white with a green stripe through its eye and quite
different from fish we normally see around here."
were also By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella
velella, washed up.
the period 31 October 2005 to 8 December
2006 there were seven Oceanic
Pufferfish recorded in Cornwall, compared
to 17 in Cornwall and about 40 in the whole of Britain and Ireland from
about 1760 to 2004. In this same 13 months there were three found
stranded in Ireland and three caught by French fishermen in Biscay.
is the first confirmed report of an Oceanic
Pufferfish, Lagocephalus lagocephalus,
these Marine Life News web
pages. There have been unconfirmed
reports of live ones seen briefly by divers. This fish is a common
pelagic species of sub-tropical and tropical seas worldwide.
Blake was stunned when he discovered an unusual
30 cm long fish in his regular morning catch off Ventnor,
southern Isle of Wight. The fish was identified*
the fishermanas the first ever Lesser Amberjack,
fasciata, to be found in British seas.
All four of the Amberjacks
of the North Atlantic Ocean are vagrants in British seas and there are
only 17 confirmed records of the other three species. This fish was caught
in 6 metres of water, just 200 metres from the shore.
to be confirmed. These fish are difficult to identify, sometimes requiring
a count of the gill rakers. Recent fish caught have been the Almaco
vagrant Atlantic Tripletail,
surinamensis, was caught in a stake
banks of the River Severn near Newport. The fish is now in the National
Museum and Galleries of Wales with the Curator
of Vertebrates, Peter Howlett.
tropical fish is likely to be the first one ever caught in British seas.
August - 1 September 2006
pair of Northern Bottle-nosed Whales,
ampullatus, were washed up alive on
the Lincolnshire coast (North Sea east coast of England) and despite strenuous
attempts by the British
Divers Marine Life Rescue using pontoons to float the whales, the female
died on the scene, and the male towed 1.2 km out ot sea and seen to swim
away, was found washed up dead at Seacroft,
near Skegness, on the second day.
Stranding in London
- 14 August 2006
Barnacles on White Park Bay beach (north
by Dave Harrison
numbers of Buoy Barnacles,
fascicularis, were found stranded on the
north coast beaches of Northern Ireland, e.g. Portstewart
Strand and White
Park Bay (County Antrim). There were at least six of these batches
seen on the White Park Bay beach during the walk
attached to floats that they had secreted that have a texture like that
of expanding foam.
9 August 2006
vagrant 18 kg (40 lb) Big-eyed Tuna,
obesus, was a rare capture by a commercial net fisherman 70 miles off
Land's End and 2,000 miles adrift of its usual habitat in the tropical
Atlantic Ocean. It is only the third capture
on record from British seas.
Dent spotted a two metres long
gladius, (58 lb = 26 kg) thrashing
about in his salmon net a mile off Newbiggin-by-the-Sea
in Northumberland (north-east England). Because of its size and the damage
it was causing the fish had to be killed.
Peter Dent with the Swordfish
by Alan Charlton
Federation of Sea Anglers Society (NFSAS)
is the first recent record of a Swordfish
being caught off the British mainland coast, although there have been both
sightings and Swordfish
washed ashore dead this century. This fish
was thought have to have been following the Mackerel
7 August 2006
Barnacles from Connemara
of the stalked Buoy Barnacles,
fascicularis, are washed ashore on the
beaches of Connemara, County Galway,
south-west Ireland. They were stranded all
along the west coast of Ireland.
and Photograph by Alison
so much excitement that the camera could be found immediately, a three
metres long (including the sword) Broad-billed
gladius, swam past our dive boat off
the south coast of Devon, off Teignmouth
(near the wreck of the Galicia).
neither case above was the precise species of swordfish
identified, it is assumed from other confirmed records as the most likely
Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro in 1992.
World Oceans Day
News Report (with a photograph)
largest* Atlantic Halibut, Hippoglossus
hippoglossus, ever recorded was caught and
landed by professional net fisherman Rolf
Larsen (62 years old), at Stamsund, Lofoten,
Norway (within the Arctic Circle but with seas warmed by the Gulf
Stream). This massive fish weighed 282 kg and would have probably weighed
290 kg when first caught. The difference was because of the loss of blood
after capture. Its total length was 262 cm. The fish was sold for display.
My current information has the previous largest as 266 kg and 365 cm long.)
extremely interesting report of three Sea
hippocampus reported by Southwick
(West Sussex) fishermen; the fishermen say they are the first caught for
several years and other fishermen are reporting them in their fixed nets
several miles offshore. The identity of these
fish has not been verified personally, but Sea
Horses are known to be rarely captured from
the Sussex coast.
Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
crustacean on the right was discovered on
the shore at Eastbourne, Sussex.
the Snapping Prawn
and not Axius. Note the absence of the triangular
plate that extends to a minor rostrum between the eyes. It is Alpheus
macrocheles, a scarce species found
on the south coast of the British Isles (in British seas).
Fish species rarely seen in British seas is
diving work boat Scavenger was engaged in mooring recommissions in the
bay (natural harbour ) named Cove on the South side of St Agnes, in the
Isles of Scilly, when Jolene Allsop,
a professional diver working with me, disturbed a Puffer
Fish at rest in a heavily kelped underwater
marker buoy at about three metre depth and with very good visibility (in
excess of 15 metres). Jo has seen Puffer Fish
before in tropical waters and was able to observe this 15 cm fish long
enough to have no doubt as to it's identity.
arcticus, was captured in a trawl
Swedish trawler GG 348) at a depth of 200
metres in the northern Skagerrak off the south coast of Norway. The fish
weighed 12 kg and was measured with a total length of 177 cm. The
photograph above shows Swedish fishmonger Svante
Wedin with the elongate fish.
Fish is a
deep water fish with only a handful of North Sea coast reports of this
fish on record.
two metre long Deal Fish,
arcticus, was reported caught by 16
year old angler Vibeke Thomasson at
Sørevågen, Utsira, Norway. The full report includes a photograph
showing the red dorsal fin.
1993 Report (in Swedish)
Whale, Physeter catodon,
was spotted near North Shore Road, Skegness
(Lincolnshire) on the North Sea coast during the morning high tide. It
was clear that it was dead after the tide receded.
of the Sperm Whale on Skegness Beach
History Museum took photos and limited samples of two dead Sperm
Whales, Physeter catodon,
in the Wash. Paul Jepson
visited the one at Skegness, quite decomposed,
a male, 14 metres in length. This means at least four Sperm
Whales have been washed up on the East Anglian
coast of Britain in February 2006.
Forum Extra Information
Humber Whale Report
Cetnet (Yahoo Group)
It is the tenth anniversary
of the Sea Empress Tanker spillage at Milford Haven.
with a blunt head
by David Wilkinson
most extraordinary looking Bass,
labrax, was caught off the coast of Guernsey,
tagged and returned to the sea. Its blunt head looks like that of the Pagrus
Sea Bream and several other fish. This Bass
weighed an estimated 4.5 kg.
Cetnet (Yahoo Group)
ten metre long Sperm Whale, Physeter
catodon, became stranded as
the tide receded on the Humber estuary mud off Kilnsea,
on Spurn Point,
East Yorkshire. It was first spotted alive at about 10:00
am blowing in the shallow water.
It quickly died as it was left clear of water on the low tide at 3:00
Fish, Capros aper,
is washed up alive on at Branksome
Chine, Dorset (near Bournemouth). It was thrown back in the sea but
it may get washed up again.
attractive deep water fish is very occasionally washed up alive or found
in rock pools and very occasionally caught by
Although very tricky to keep and only recommended for advanced
marine aquarists' these fish make fascinating aquarium fish.
Thumb (Marine Aquarium Study)
four tonne 5.8
metres long immature female Northern
ampullatus, swam up to central London
and was seen as far upstream as Lambeth
Bridge, Westminster, (within sight of the Houses of Parliament). Three
adult whales were spotted east of the Thames Barrier the day before and
at 8:30 am a
man on a train spotted a whale in the Thames out of the train window. Rescue
attempts by British Divers
Marine Life Rescue and the authorities are being directed to persuading
the whale to reverse direction and swim back out to sea and to avoid any
further collisions with boats. This is the first time a whale had been
seen so far upstream since records began in 1913.
the second day,
the whale looked in a poor condition and showed no sign of returning to
the open sea. A decision was taken (by
the BDLMR and authorities) to make an improvised pontoon,
crane the whale on to it and tow the unfortunate sea mammal back out to
the Thames estuary. The prognosis was poor. The
whale died at 7:00
Report & Chronology
Cetacean Reports 2006
Strandings Page (What to do if you discover a stranded cetacean?)
four egg cases of the endangered
were discovered on the shore near the Dounreay
nuclear power plant, Caithness, west of Thurso and Scrabster
Harbour and John
o'Groats on the northernmost coast of mainland Scotland, the first
records reported to the Shark
Trust and the first records on the
mainland Scotland since these egg case occurrences have been recorded.
Cases of the Common Skate
egg cases measured between 23 to 28 cm long and 13 to 16 cm wide in a dried
by Paula Gent with photographs
by Davey Benson
Capsules of Rays & Sharks (Link to the Web Pages)
-30 January 2006
Watch Foundation News
friendly Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops
truncatus, visited Maryport
Harbour, Cumbria, on the Solway estuary in north-west England. Fishermen
say the dolphin, nicknamed Marra, has been following them off Workington
since summer and has always been on its own. Experts believe he may have
followed fishing boats into the harbour. It has stayed around in the harbour
for the month of January,
but although it is feeding, there are fears that there is insufficient
food of live fish in the harbour to sustain a large mammal. On 30
January 2006, it was captured and released
into the open sea.
Map now has a Coastal and Marine Resource Atlas
Marine Wildlife 2005 (Ray Dennis Records)