Marine Life Study Society
Horton spends a year examining the biology and behaviour of the rock
pool fish and other marine life.
"God I so good, so very good to the little
Buckland is reported to have said when he realised he was dying in
Newsletter (September/October 1998) was sent out to the members
In chronological order, the most recent events
are at the top of the page. Events open to the public, free or for a nominal
charge only are included. Most Seminars need to be booked in advance
Helford VMCA Diary 1998
Field Trips on:
Sunday 25 October 1998 -
"Unravelling rocks and climatic change on
the Helford River"
a coastal walk with Pat Sargeant 2.00 - 4.30 p.m.
Rosemullion to Durgan. Meet at Mawnan Church car park above Parson's
Beach, Helford River (SW 7878 2723).
Bring weatherproof clothing, robust footwear and refreshments as required.
Ring Pamela Tompsett Tel: 01872 273939 for more details.
(BMLSS file: Black 67)
BUCKLAND LECTURES 1998
Dr Martin Angel, the Buckland Professor
for 1998, will give public lectures on the topic of
Deep-Ocean: Use and Misuse”
on Monday, 7 September at 19.30 h within the
programme of Oceanography 98 at
Southampton Oceanography Centre
on Wednesday, 9 September at 16.50 h within the
programme of the
1998 BAAS meeting in Cardiff
and on Thursday, 29 October at 15.30 h at the University of Stirling
Each of these sessions is open to any member of the public without charge.
For more details of the three lectures please contact John Ramster,
the Clerk to the Buckland
Foundation via firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone/fax UK: 01505 615402
or by post at 3 Woodside Avenue, Bridge of Weir. PA11 3PQ.
Kent Marine Group Diary
8 November (Sunday). Seasalter. Meet at Blue Anchor Corner
TR 082 650.
8.30 AM. Mud flats and clay shore, tiles and mussel beds.
All enthusiasts welcome.
Contact: Ian Tittley EMail
(BMLSS file: Black 67)
Devon Wildlife Trust
Wembury Bay Rockpool Rambles
Contact Wembury Marine Centre Tel:
Leaflet from Devon Wildlife Trust Tel:
6 -7-8 November 1998
David Bellamy will launch the Marine Conservation Society's Annual Conference
on the marine environment.
at Boldrewood Conference Centre, University of Southampton
Full programme of speakers for Saturday & Sunday.
Contact: MCS Tel: 01989 566017 Fax: 567815 EMail:
Speakers include: Sue Daly, Sarah Fowler, Ken Collins, Chris Wood, Elizabeth
Wood, Bob Earll, Robert Irving,
20 - 21 November
ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE
River Ocean Research (RORE)
Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton
Friday 20th November FUTURE SEAS
Saturday 21 November A Sense of Place
Sunday 22 November
FIELD TRIP: GUIDED WALK THROUGH HOPE GAP
Take this opportunity to explore this beautiful natural habitat, where
the Cuckmere river flows into the sea, with local enthusiasts.
Small charge for the first two days.
RORE AT 113-117 QUEENS ROAD, BRIGHTON BN1 3XG
Tel: 01273 234032 EMail
River Ocean Research & Education
Top of the Page
MARINE WILDLIFE NEWS
Reports of marine wildlife from all around the British Isles, with pollution
incidents and conservation initiatives as they affect the flora and fauna
of the NE Atlantic Ocean.
29 September 1998
A Spoonbill, Platalea
leucorodia, was spotted on the small flooded area next to the
ferry terminal at Symbister on Whalsay, Shetland Isles. This large and
very white bird with its characteristic large spoon-shaped bill was discovered
during the early evening and was happily 'spooning' through the water right
alongside the road. It is only the fourth record of the species in Shetland
and only the second record this century.
More information on the Shetland
Wildlife News Web Site
21 September 1998
A Sea Hare, Aplysia
depilans, floated into St. Peter Port harbour, Guernsey, British
Channel Islands on September 21. It weighed 242 grams and was 147
mm long and 80 mm wide. The parapodia of Aplysia depilans
are fused posteriorly.
This is the first A. depilans I have seen
although in June and July of this year I saw at least one hundred A.
punctata either spawning on seaweed or washed up on Guernsey beaches.
(Report by Richard Lord from Guernsey, EMail:email@example.com).
Two huge Porbeagle
Sharks, Lamna nasus, were caught from two Sunderland based salmon
fishing boats. Very large sharks are caught every three to four years.
The first shark was estimated to weigh 190 kg (420 lb), and the
second a massive (unbelievable) 363 kg (800 lb). The British
and World angling record is 230 kg (507 lb). Angling
Records Link Page. The British record for the Mako Shark, Iso oxyrinchus,
is about the same, although the world records for this shark stands at
506 kg. The seas around Coquet Island (near Amble) are a regular
haunt of Porbeagles if they are present. In August, two Porbeagles were
caught in the sea off the Tyne, an event that occurs every year,
and in late September, one measuring 2.3 metres long was landed at Hartlepool.
13 September 1998
Six Pilot Fish, Naucrates
ductor, were caught in a Pilchard net in Mevagissey Bay, Cornwall,
about 100 metres offshore. The fish were about 20 cm (8 in) long. Unfortunately,
they did not survive their incidental capture and could not be housed alive
in Mevagissey Harbour Marine Aquarium. One fish remained alive long enough
for its natural colours to be discerned. It was slate-grey with 5 purple-black
stripes. This fish has a keel preceding the tail fin. The white tips to
the tail fin and the anal fin were more noticeable than the books usually
show. This fish has a series of small spines preceding the first dorsal
fin. The Pilot Fish is a rare visitor to the south-west of Britain. It
acquired its common name from its habit of accompanying sharks, turtles
and large floating objects. The best guess is that it accompanied the Basking
Sharks that were unusually common this year. There are no British angling
records for this small fish.
(Report by Chris Gilbertson from Mevagissey
Harbour Marine Aquarium.)
The Pilchard fishery has resumed on a small scale
off Mevagissey about 6 years ago after a long absence.
Although the total number of Blue
Sharks, Prionace glauca, were down this year from boats
going out from Looe (the sharks are returned alive), a specimen was caught
by Gary McCall from Ruislip, Middlesex, (on the boat "Swallow" skippered
by Murray Collins), that exceeded their scales and estimated to weigh 71
kg (157 lb). It was 2.6 metres (8 ft 7") long with a girth
of 95.25 cm (371/2 in). The British record is 68.5
kg (151 lb) from Looe in 1959.
A pair of Northern
Bottle nosed Whales, Hyperoodon ampullatus, visited Broadford
Bay, Isle of Skye. These were almost certainly immature animals as they
were only 5.5 to 6 metres long, adults can grow up to 9.5 metres. They
are very rare in inshore waters, they normally live off Nova Scotia, and
north Atlantic waters. They are probably the deepest diving of all the
whales with the ability to dive to over 1,500 metres and can allow over
1 hour between breaths. The whales were very active and breached regularly
between 1 and 2 hour periods, giving spectacular displays.
The whales never appeared distressed, although
at times they were in alarmingly shallow water,
less than 5 metres. They always returned to deeper water if ever they got
too close to the beach. At about week 3-4 we noticed the whales had lost
weight and it was obvious they were not eating. In the last week their
behaviour changed and they started to disappear for long periods underwater
which I interpreted as hunting forays.
Report by Nigel Smith EMail:
The Marine Life Forum is for observations and discussion items. The
information of interest of other readers should be EMailed to: EMail
Glaucus@hotmail.com and marked "Forum" in the title of
Famous Faces in Fishkeeping: Andy Horton
Horton's Shore Watchcolumn in the Aquarist
& Pondkeeper magazine:
Origins of the names of fishes.
Lurking beneath the Arctic ice, huge sharks consume seals and other
large prey as if they were mere morsels. For the first time these sluggish,
nearly blind creatures are photographed in their frigid habitat. Article
and photographs by Nick Caloyianis.
None notified this month.
A Guide to the Selection, Care and Breeding of
CORALS for the
by Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod
Colour photographs by Walt Deas
The keeping of live corals in captivity is still the subject of controversy
for two reasons. Firstly, the damage to the natural environment which could
be caused by their removal. Responsible collection is unlikely to cause
any damage to the reefs, and the destruction of coral reefs on a large
scale "is a result of water pollution either with chemicals or silt."
The second more contentious issue is whether corals can actually be
kept successfully by the home aquarist. This is the subject that the author
brings his 40 years of experience to inform the reader of the general requirements
of tropical corals in captivity.
The book assumes the aquarist has a basic understanding of the establishment
and upkeep on marine aquaria. It briefly explains the biology of corals
and then examines the requirements of each individual species with some
clear and attractive photographs by Walt Deas. A clear distinction is made
between 'hermatypic' corals that use zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae) and
'ahermatypic' corals that are predators which will eat anything they can
paralyze with their stinging tentacles'. Each
species is colour coded with the level of experience needed in keeping
This book is essential reading for any marine aquarist wishing to keep
tropical corals. I would like to have seen more precise information on
the lighting levels. The hard book has 285 glossy pages with excellent
colour photographs, often two, on nearly every page. It is an exceptionally
well produced book.
The book contains an index and bibliography.
OF MARINE ECOLOGY
by R.V Tait & F.A Dipper
(Butterworth Heinemann 1998)
ISBN 0-7506 2088-9
In 1968, Ronald V. Tait wrote this book, as an important text for students
studying marine biology. Since that date it has become the standard book
on marine ecology and has been reprinted on numerous occasions. This fourth
edition is under the co-authorship of Frances Dipper (one of the principal
authors of the "Reader's Digest Water Life of Britain") and updates the
earlier version with some improvements whilst retaining the order and format
of the original. (e.g. Geologists tend to use a different scale called
the phi (ø) scale. This converts the unequal steps of the Wentworth
scale simplifying statistical treatment [page 215].) This makes it
a book for university students and some aspects like the equation for the
settling of particles in seawater are beyond my abilities to get to grips
with except in general terms, i.e. the faster the water flows the more
sediment remains in suspension. I would have liked to have seen a graph
or a table for dissolved oxygen concentrations in surface seawater included.
However, despite being a difficult read it contains lots of useful and
interesting information, which can be relied upon. The book covers all
the oceans of the world and contains a comprehensive bibliography updated
from the earlier editions. Recommended.
Reviews by Andy Horton
A New Series as part of the TORPEDO initiative is planned for
1998. This will feature a selected species of fish, crab, molluscs, sea
anemone or some other invertebrate every month. If you wish to receive
this service please indicate.
Torpedo EMail: Glaucus@hotmail.com
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30 September 1998