On-line connection to the British Marine Life Study Society web pages
Index for the Torpedo News Bulletins
Link to the forum for marine wildlife of the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining seas
GATEWAY:  Further European Links
New EMail address
Courses (Marine Life)
Discussion Groups
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database
National Biodiversity Gateway
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day
Link to an on-line page for younger students of the seashore. Spider Crab and youngsters at Adur World Oceans Day 2002 (Photograph by Duncan Morrison)
7-14 years

Norwegian Marine***



Monthly electronic news bulletin for the marine life of the NE Atlantic Oceans including the seas and seashore around the British Isles.
The bulletin is designed for Microsoft Explorer 4 and above using medium fonts at a resolution of 800 x 600.
Subscribe and unsubscribe options are at the foot of this page.
If you receive this bulletin as an EMail subscriber, you may find the best way to view the file is on your hard disc in your directory of Incoming EMails.


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.

27 September 2004
Pair trawling for sea bass banned in UK Territorial waters
Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw has announced a unilateral ban on pair trawling for seabass effective immediately at the Labour Party conference in Brighton. 
The 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.
BBC News Report

25 September 2004
A 20 metres long, 30 tonne, Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalis, was washed up dead on the mud flats at at St Brides, West Usk, in south Wales, near Newport on the shores of the Bristol Channel. 

18-25 September 2004
The massive stranding of By-the-wind Sailors, Velella velella, has now been established that it has stretched much further than just the Cornish coast and that the numbers were in billions. Reports 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 as well. 

Velella on Constantine Bay beach, north Cornwall, (Photograph by Amanda Bertuchi)

Velella on Constantine Bay beach, north Cornwall
Photograph by Amanda Bertuchi

Some Reports

24 September 2004
Velella (Photograph by Amanda Bertuchi)Thousands of Velella were washed up at Woolacombe, north Devon in unprecedented numbers, estimated up to 200 a square metre!

Report by David Jenkins via Gavin Black
Devon Biodiversity Records Centre (DBRC)
on the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group

At Westwood Ho!, north Devon Velella are two or three inches (50 - 75 mm) thick on the shore. 

c.18 September 2004
Several hundred By-the-wind Sailors arrived on the beach on the Isle of Islay, west Scotland. The flesh rotted away quite quickly.

16 September 2004
Velella were found on the shore between Newquay in Wales and Aberaeron with a  length of 60 mm +. There was one every three metres or so around the rocks at Cei Bach thinning out in the sand areas. All were strikingly large compared to those I have found before in south Wales and Cornwall before. All had soft tissue and colour but were dead and disintegrating.

Early September 2004
We found large amounts of Velella velella out off the Pembrokeshire coast back at the start of Septernber and the ensuing storms seem to have deposited many of them on our beaches in the west of Pembrokeshire (at least). Their small size make them easy to overlook at sea and also on dark sand but they are exquisite jewel like creatures.

21-23 September 2004

First strandings on Velella on the sandy beach at Polzeath, Cornwall
Photograph by Jonathan Smith

Velella breed in deep water off the African coast and are blown all the way to CornwallA huge mass stranding of By-the-wind Sailors, 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.

(* Numbers not calculated. At Gwithian they formed a band 10 metres wide on the shore and stretching for over a mile. The above photograph understates the extent of the  stranding.)

The Buoy Barnacles, Dosima fascicularis (=Lepas), started coming in on the same tide as the Velella. I've seen with my own eyes on Porthcothan (SW 8572), Treyarnon and Constantine and Paul Gainey saw them on Gwithian, all in north Cornwall. I'd be very surprised if they weren't all the way up the coast and I'd number them in millions, all big. The Goose Barnacles, Lepas, are occurring in their usual quantity for this time of the year, if anything, less. To give you an idea, on my beach, Pothcothan, 25 acres at low tide: Velella approximately one million, Buoy Barnacles: 2000+, Goose Barnacle colonies: 7.

Buoy Barnacle, Dosima fascicularis

Photograph © Richard Lord (Guernsey)

Photograph  ©   Richard Lord

The Buoy Barnacles were attached to floats that they had secreted that had a texture like that expanding foam.

Goose Barnacles, Lepas, washed up on Constantine Beach, Cornwall

Photograph by Amanda Bertuchi

BMLSS Velella Reports
BMLSS Strandlining
BMLSS Jellyfish and other Medusae
BMLSS Barnacles

9 September 2004
A six metres long Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, is seen in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall, when it surfaced next to the boat on five occasions. 

Report by Pam McNaughton and another report by S. Gulpin 
on the Cornish Marine Sightings web pages

1 September 2004
The European Commission in Brussels rejected Britain's call for a ban on pair trawling for bass throughout the English Channel to save dolphins.
Ben 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.
BBC News Report

12-14 July 2004
We sailed through hugh masses of By-the-wind Sailors, Velella velella, on route from Larne (Northern Ireland) to La Coruna in Spain; it took us approximately two days to clear them. Buoy Barnacles, Dosina fascicularis, attached to floats that they had secreted, were also present in very large numbers.

Report by Claire Mullen

Photograph (that appeared in BBC Wildlife magazine) © by Steve Trewhella (Poole, Dorset)
June 2004
A pregnant male Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus, was discovered and photographed in Poole Bay, Dorset. This is the first recorded instance of a pregnant Seahorse 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. 

Report and Photograph © by Steve Trewhella (Poole, Dorset)
BMLSS Seahorses
Marlin; Short-snouted Seahorse


All reports by Andy Horton unless the credits are given 
to other observers or reporters.

Links for News Reports:

Nature Notes Webring

Helford (Cornwall) Marine Conservation Area

Friends of Moray Firth (NE Scotland) News Page

Sussex at Sea News Page

Cornish Marine Wildlife News

Cornish Marine Sightings Archives 2003


Each month, at least one special marine image will be published from images sent to the BMLSS. This can be of the seashore, undersea world or any aspect of the marine natural world, especially the underwater life, but not restricted to life beneath the waves. Topical inclusions may be included instead of the most meritorious, and images will be limited to the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining seas, marine and seashore species and land and seascapes.


Photograph © Richard Lord (Guernsey)
 Can anybody identify this hydromedusa from the seas around Guernsey? 

Photograph © Richard Lord (Guernsey)

Shrimp net (home-made push-net) haul
The shrimp net in the photograph has got excessive netting for the purpose 
of shrimping, but the extra netting might could in useful for catching shoals of small fish
Photograph by Tim Hoy


Shore Topography Series

The name of the particular coast should be included and the grid reference, if known. Print photographs can be included in Exhibitions and on the BMLSS Web Sites and electronic publications. Electronic images in *.JPG format can also be considered for the web site. They should not exceed 150K in size.

Photographers submitting pictures should indicate if they wish them to be considered fro inclusion as confirming permission takes work and time and can delay publication of the news bulletins. 

Shore Topography Portfolio

Link to more marine life photographs

Click on the album for more links (On-line link)




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.

BIOSIS  Conference Calendar for Zoology 

(Major Link of all biological conferences around the world)



Talks Series 2004

Further Information Link

  Facilities are available for schools, linked to the national curriculum. 

Talks start at 7:00 p.m.
at the National Marine Aquarium, Coxside, Plymouth Devon.
Admission – Adults £2.50; Children and NMA members £1.50, inclusive of refreshments will be available.

Please reserve your place by calling the Aquarium on 01752 275204


SAMS Seminar Series
The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)
Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA
Tel: 01631 559000 Fax: 01631 559300 Email: mail@dml.ac.uk
For more details/how to find SAMS see our website: http://www.sams.ac.uk

Unless otherwise stated, seminars are held on Fridays at 4:15 pm
in the SAMS Conference Room ** Followed by the Friday R&R **

10 October 2004
- Elvira Poloczanska (SAMS) A worm cast of thousands - Serpulid Reef Watch in Loch Creran 
24 October 2004
- Kerstin Kroeger (Victoria University, New Zealand)  Recovery of a Macroinvertebrate Community in Experimentally Defaunated Sediments 
5 December 2004
- Eric Breuer (SAMS) Oxygen dynamics in contrasting marine environments

For more details on the forthcoming talks, please contact Murray Roberts  or Anuschka Miller  Tel: 01631 559 000  Diary

For information contact Dr Hamish Mair  or Anuschka Miller  Tel: 01631 559 000

back to Southampton Oceanography Centre Homepage

A series of monthly talks on marine conservation topics
These talks are open to the public, admission is free.


The Marine Life Talks are held on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30 pm, please arrive at 7.15 pm to be met in Reception. Southampton Oceanography Centre is reached via Dock Gate 4 (between Town Quay and Ocean Village). Please confirm that the talk is taking place before arriving unannounced. 


Porthleven (near Helston), Cornwall

Aerial Multimap Location (Link)

Porthleven Old Lifeboat Station    ©  Silver DolphinThe Silver Dolphin marine conservation and diving centre is dedicated to the conservation and protection of all marine life. Click on the image for the full list of events. 

To help protect the marine environment we run a full training programme of conservation courses and PADI scuba diving training.

Ideally placed in the old lifeboat house Porthleven why not come and discover the wonders of the Cornish coastline and underwater world!

Places on the courses must be booked in advance

Link for Activities


There will be a charge of £15 for the try dives and £5 for the snorkelling (if you need to hire snorkelling equipment).  For bookings contact the Silver Dolphin Centre on 01326 572002


The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth have several web pages for information on this new dive site. Please click on the logo for more information. 


 Public Aquaria List



Multimedia Interactive 'Sea Shore Antics' CD.  just £9.95  incl. VAT and uk p&p

This Sea Shore Antics CD provides, for education or intrigue, an insight into some of our sea shore UK marine wildlife.   Moving and still images are given in a range of video clips, sequences, time-lapse formats, and photographs, along with written or narrated features providing information. 



18 June 2004
A new film called Deep Blue from the makers of the Blue Planet opens in good cinemas.
Trailer (Link).


Marine fish & invertebrates
of Northern Europe
Frank Emil Moen & Erling Svensen

In May 2004 the English edition of the very popular Norwegian Marine Fauna (Dyreliv I havet) was published. Prof. David Bellamy has written the foreword. 

More than one thousand underwater photographs  and 608 pages with updated information on marine fish and invertebrates from nearly all marine phylum in Northern European waters. The largest newspaper in Norway, Aftenposten gave the Norwegian edition 6 out of 6 points in a book review. It is in use at all major higher marine biology studies in Norway. 

The English edition is translated by Prof Fredrik Pleijel and Dr. Sabine Cochrane

"Marine fish & invertebrates of Northern Europe” is written for anyone with a general interest in marine animal life, and who would like to learn more about their way of life and behaviour, about the role they play in the drama of nature, and the benefit and nuisance they are to man. The main portion of the book is arranged in such a way that the different animal species are presented in a natural, systematic order. More than one thousand magnificent colour photos of animals taken in their natural environment support the informative text highlighting the characteristics of each animal. “Marine fish & invertebrates” covers the North European marine fauna and is a readable experience in itself. In addition, the book is an important aid and source of inspiration to all who delight in the ocean with its hidden life whether if be hobby, study or profession.

The book is available from Aquapress in the UK, Skandisk, Inc. USA and KOM in Norway .


NAUSICAÄ - French National Sea Experience Center

NAUSICAÄ - French National Sea Experience Center, in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Northern France), is a Science Center entirely dedicated to the relationship between Mankind and the Sea. Its goal is to incite the general public to discover the sea and to love it, while raising its awareness on the need for a better management of marine resources. 

Within the scope of this mission, NAUSICAÄ gives access, on its recently redesigned web site, to a database containing links to the most interesting web sites concerning the sea-related topics and marine activities.


Published by the Conchological Society

BMLSS: Marine Life Articles in Publications (Link)

The British Marine Life Study Society are responsible for producing the journal GLAUCUS, which is the first publication exploring the marine life of the seas surrounding the British Isles available to the general public. 

Change of EMail Address

New EMail addressPlease note that the EMail address for messages to the British Marine Life Study Society has now changed

from bmlss@compuserve.com  to  Glaucus@hotmail.com

Messages to the first address will not receive any guarantee of a reply and from year 2003, the old EMail address is expected to fall into disuse. 


Membership 2004
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2004. An explanation was sent to members just after Christmas. 

How to Join

Bulletin Details

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Printing the two column version of Torpedo (from issue 28)

These pages are not designed for the default settings on the Page Set-ups of your browser. I recommend viewing in Microscope Internet Explorer 6 and altering the right and left hand columns in the Page Set-up menu to 9 mm (from 19 mm).
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Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Nicolas Jouault , Andy Horton and other contributors

    5 October 2004

Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.7 and other programs
Boar Fish, Capros aper