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
Limestone Cliff at Portland
by Diana Sergent
you look closely at the photograph, you will realise why the footpath is
closed to the public. Large parts of the limestone cliff are imminently
liable to collapse into the sea.
on the image
for more photographs by Diana
section of the cliff near Westcliff,
on the Isle of
Portland, on the Dorset coast suddenly crumbled into the sea. Ominous
cracks on the limestone
cliff had been seen for sometime before the cliff collapsed suddenly. The
Coast of Dorset is prone to erosion
of Portland facebook
Whales (=White Whale), Delphinapterus
leucas, were spotted and videoed
by Deb Powis
on the Northumberland coast, north-east England.
aethereus, made an extremely rare
visit to Cornwall and this pelagic
sea bird, widespread over tropical seas, was seen from Gwennap
Head on the extreme southernmost tip of Cornwall for five minutes by
a dozen birdwatchers. Reports of this bird
occur less than once a year from over British seas.
of the Expedition
spectacular and very rare sighting of the a Blue Whale, Balaenoptera
musculus, occurred over very deep
water 250 miles off the Irish coast was made from the RRS
James Cook on a a five
week scientific expedition in the NE Atlantic. "The
largest creature on the Earth surfaced from the murk of a deep-sea canyon,
lingered just long enough for observers to grab a few pictures, and then
vanished from sight into the fog and rain." This
was only the fourth sighting in the seas surrounding the British Isles
since these great whales were hunted to near extinction nearly a century
ago. The Blue
Whale was spotted by the oceanographers over
Canyon which varies from 200 m to 4000m in depth and is an important
little explored biodiversity route from the very deep sea to the Continental
Shelf. A previous scientific sonar record
had discovered the presence of Blue
Whales off Fastnet in 2000.
were twenty Fin Whales, Balaenoptera
physalus, including seven seen around the
research vessel when the Blue Whale
survey team also recorded a Broad-billed
hundred metres below the surface using ROV
shoal of over five hundred Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus
thynnus, was spotted off the coast of Cornwall.
The shoal was spotted by Duncan and Hannah
Jones who described the sea as heaving with
these large predatory fish. British fishing
vessels would not be allowed to target this protected species but French
or Spanish vessels might be able to land them legally.
A shoal of this size has not been seen for over 50 years. Tunnies,
or Tuna, used to be found in sufficient numbers to make the North
Sea, especially off Scarborough, an area famous for captures of the massive
Blue-fin Tunny. Their current decline since the early 1960’s was
because of low recruitment rates (whether natural or because of overfishing).
1.5 metre (5 ft) long Leatherback Turtle,
coriacea, was seen off St.
during assessment work for a new nuclear power station planned to be built
in the area.
rather unusual sea bird encounter occurred over Agger, Denmark, when a
pair of White-tailed Sea Eagles,
albicilla, attacked a vagrant Black-browed
melanophrys, which managed to escape
to be returned to the sea
two metre long (including the long tail) Angel
squatina, was caught by Michael
Griffiths on road and line off Shell
north Wales. This very rare and protected
shark is thought to be extinct in the English Channel and still extremely
rare in Cardigan Bay.
BMLSS Report 2005
Whales (=White Whale), Delphinapterus
leucas, was spotted and videoed
by George Watson
swimming close to shore near Dunseverick,
County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
species is rarely (one every three years) recorded around the British Isles.
all records are shown on the BMLSS News pages.)
of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups
Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean
Marine Life Study Society
is designed for quick less important chatty news items. Photographs can
be uploaded quickly which is only possible on the Yahoo Group by going
to the web page.
Images can be
uploaded to flickr.
Thumb (Marine Aquariology) Forum Link
of marine wildlife reports from Shetland on facebook
include undersea, sea mammals and birds.
on the image to connect
reports by Andy Horton unless the credits are given
other observers or reporters.
Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2009