Reports received of Marine Creatures sighted, stranded or landed during 1997
A list compiled by Raymond Dennis

 Reports 1999 (Link)

3/1/97 A pod of 10 to 12 Bottlenose Dolphins were swimming around crab pots being raised by a crabber off the South Penwith coast between Lamorna SW450240 and Gwennap Head SW366215. They stayed with the boat for well over an hour and appeared to be very interested in the crab pots.
3/1/97 An Octopus was raised in a crab pot deep off Lamorna SW450240. The main body part of the animal was 4" to 5" diameter
16/1/97 A pod of 6 to 8 Bottlenose Dolphins have spent the last week in St. Ives Bay, mainly close inshore between Hayle and Gwithian Towans. They were all juveniles of about 6ft long.
16/1/97 A report in todays 'Cornishman' says that a Common Seal pup which was found in a poor condition at Marazion recently has been recovering from pneumonia and lung-worm at Gweek Seal Sanctuary and is making good progress. When fit enough it will be released into a Common Seal colony, probably near the Wash on the east coast. Common Seals are rarely seen around Cornwall.
16/1/97 Hundreds of thousands of Cuttlefish bones were seen floating at sea over a vast area between Newlyn harbour and Mullion.
22/1/97 A Seahorse brought up from 170ft in a crab pot off Jersey is suffering a form of 'Bends'  (decompression sickness) in an aquarium at Exeter where it is receiving medical attention. It is hoped to breed from the Seahorse if it recovers.
23/1/97 It is reported that a quarter of £1M worth of Cuttlefish have been landed at Newlyn Market this week.
1/2/97 By the end of January 30 dolphin carcasses have been found on west country beaches. 5 in Devon and the rest in Cornwall and on Feb 1st the 31st was found on a beach between Newlyn and the quarry towards Mousehole. This is even worse than the number of last years strandings, and pôst mort'ëm  examinations have found no cause for the deaths and most carcasses had signs of net damage and so they are considered to be accidental by-catches.
3/3/97 A tall fin about 4ft high appeared beside a Newlyn Crabber at 0800hrs just outside St.Clements Island mousehole SW476261. From the description it could only have been an Orca or Killer Whale. It slipped beneath the surface but reappeared briefly just once more.
4/3/97 5 or 6 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen close inshore just outside Penzance harbour SW483296 during the late afternoon. They were playing around the Penlee Lifeboat which was on an exercise at the time.
10/3/97 2 Octopus were brought up in a crab pot off Lamorna during the day. The main body part of each animal was 4" to 5"Diameter.
25/3/97 A young Harp Seal, discovered by a fisherman in Poole Harbour in January was in a poor condition, but has been recovering in the Gweek Seal Sanctuary. It's natural home is Baffin Bay or the Labrador Sea so it was some 2000 miles off course. It will be released later in the year from an Oil Platform north of Scotland.
30/3/97 A pod of about 6 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen a few hundred yards off Penzance harbour mouth early in the evening.
31/3/00 A pod of about 12 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen heading toward Marazion from the Long Rock SW498308 at 1930hrs.
2/4/97 A pod of about 6 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen heading north westward off Porthleven SW625254 at 1100 hrs.
2/4/97 A pod of about 6 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen proceeding from Cudden Point SW548275 toward The Greeb SW280290 at 1500 hrs. Probably the same pod as the preceeding entry.
14/4/97 Two cetaceans were seen off Slinke Dean SW462245 at about 0800 hrs. One was considered to be a Pilot Whale and the other was described as being very pale almost white, possibly a Risso's. Risso's dolphins are known to associate with Pilot Whales and have been seen locally as one of a pair with a Bottlenose Dolphin on two occasions.
15/4/97 A large pod of dolphins were seen off The Runnelstone SW370201 during the day. Dolphins were reported jumping out of the water in all directions and numbering well in excess of 100 animals. Not identified, but all small animals and probably Common Dolphins.
3/5/97 A Basking Shark was seen off Porthcurno SW390220 at about 2 p.m. It was seen from a passing dive boat but was too far away to estimate size.
16/5/97 A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins moved into St.Ives Bay on Friday 16th and stayed for the weekend. Divers made a video tape of them on the Sunday. Estimated number in the pod was 20 several of which were juvenile. One of the large males had quite severe scaring from some accident, probably collision with a propeller,  resulting in some deformity.
17/5/97 A basking Shark was seen approximately 1½ miles east of the Runnelstone SW370201. Divers entered the water and it came close to the R.I.B. ( Rigid Inflatable Boat) and proved to be longer than the 6M.R.I.B. by about one Metre. It had white scars on the back near the tail.
26/5/97 A Sunfish was seen basking on the surface off Slinke Dean SW465245 at about midday.
26/5/97 Two Basking Sharks were seen swimming at the surface about 1 mile off Lamorna SW455235. They were each about 10 to 12ft long.
29/5/97 A Basking Shark was seen feeding at the surface off The Greeb, Mounts Bay SW530285 during the morning. The shark was not more than 10ft long.
9/6/97 Numerous Aurelia aurita jellyfish were seen in Mounts Bay during the early part of this week.
10/6/97 A pod of Bottlenose Dolphin have been coming into St. Ives Bay with each high tide during the past week. A diver swimming with them reported that one juvenile with the pod did not appear to be a Bottlenose Dolphin, for it had a bulbous forehead and very short beak more like a Pilot Whale. ( This may have been a Harbour Porpoise?)
15/6/97 Divers saw an 8 to 9ft shark above them near The Runnelstone SW370201 at about noon. The divers were at a depth of about 30ft on their way up when the shark swam by about 20ft above them . Described as having a rounded rather than a pointed snout as seen from below, it could have been a Tiger Shark.
16/6/97 Quite a large pod of Bottlenose Dolphin were seen heading north eastwards past Penzer Point SW466249 at mid-morning when the dolphins started jumping out of the water and there was quite a bit of excitement in the pod, this was probably a feeding frenzy for there were Mackerel fishing boats in the area.
19/6/97 A small pod of up to 6 Bottlenose Dolphin were seen in Mounts Bay off Penzance harbour early in the evening.
28/6/97  Bottlenose Dolphins spent much of the day in Mounts Bay. Late morning they were seen of the Long Rock area and later in the day they were playing excitedly, many of them somersaulting out of the wateroff Penzance harbour until nearly dark. There were about ten in the pod.
30/6/97 The Bottlenose Dolphins were seen again off Penzance Harbour during the morning.
1/7/97 The Bottlenose Dolphins are still in the same area off Penzance harbourand were seen there again during the morning.
1/7/97 A rare Harp Seal has been recovering in the Gweek Seal Sanctuary during the past month.. Its natural home is the sea ice north of Iceland.
9/7/97 A Basking Shark was seen close inshore near The Armed Knight near Land's End SW341246 at about noon. It was reported as being about 10 to 12ft long.
10/7/97 An Electric Ray Torpedo nobiliana was landed at Newlyn Fish Market earlier this week
20/7/97 A 10ft Basking Shark was seen feeding off Penberth SW406200 at 1300hrs.
20/7/97 A large number of Basking Sharks were seen feeding in an area 12 miles north of St.Ives. approx position SW520600. One shark in a group of four was 24ft plus in length and the others were each about 20ft long. Another group of three were all about 20ft long, and others scattered around the area ranged in size from 12ft to 20ft. There was considered to be at least 20 sharks in total. Divers who went into the water with them said that the sea was thich with plankton.
21/7/97 A Basking Shark was seen 2 or 3 miles east of Lamorna  approx position SW500240. It was about 9ft long.
23/7/97 A Basking Shark was seen about 2 miles off St.Ives Island approx. position SW520445 at 1800 hrs. The shark was about 14ft long.
24/7/97 A dolphin which had become stranded at the mouth of Hayle harbour was rescued by the R.S.P.C.A. and volunteers and guided back to sea. There is a team of volunteers set up in the area by various organisations such as the R.S.P.C.A.: Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Gweek Seal Sanctuary, and Coastguards that can respond to such emergencies within 2 hours.
28/7/97 A pod of about 9 or 10 Pilot Whales were seen between 2 and 3 miles west of the Wolf Rock Lighthouse in the western approaches at about midday. They were reported as being very large, at least 20 ft in length.
13/8/97 A dead Leatherback Turtle was seen floating well of Lamorna. If the wind prevailing at the time continued for another 24hrs the turtle would probably become stranded between Perranuthnoe and Praa Sands. The state of decomposition suggested that it had been dead for quite some time. It was about 6ft long.
23/8/97 A pod of about 10 or 12 Porpoises were seen off the Eastern Isles, Isles of Scilly during the day.
23/8/97 A huge school of Mackerel was seen in St. Mary's Sound, isles of Scilly. They were at the surface and the sea appeared to be boiling over an area several hundred yards wide and from half to one mile long
24/8/97 On a boat trip from the Isles of Scilly to the mainland in slightly choppy seas a dozen or more Sunfish were seen swimming vigorously at the surface at various places. If that number could be seen from a small boat in those conditions during one crossing it seems likely that there were a very large number in the western approaches that day.
23/9/97 The carcass of a 20ft Long Finned Pilot Whale was washed upon a beachin south east Devon today.
26/9/97 A Turbot landed at Newlyn this week fetched £100 on the market.
26/9/97 A huge crab was trawled up from a depth of 70 fathomsat the Labadie bank south of Ireland earlier this week by MFV Sharon Corinna PZ399. It was kept alive, landed at Newlyn and taken to the Newquay Sealife Centre. The crab, Paramola cuvieri is similar to the Spider Crab but has a span of more than 3ft across the claws although the body is not much larger than the Spider Crab. Only two others have ever been caught in Cornish waters.
3/10/97 A pod of at least 30 Porpoises were seen chasing fish in Mount's Bay approximately half way between Lamorna and Porthleven at midday.They were travelling very fast at the surface but none were observed to jump out of the water. There were many Gannets present diving amongst the pod.
22/10/97 Three Bottlenose Dolphin followed the Steamship Scillonian III as she crossed Mount's Bay on her way to the Isles of Scilly at 9.45 a.m.
13/11/97 The crew of the Brixham registered Trawler Lady T Emiel BM128 fishing out of Newlyn and working grounds near the oil rigs in the Irish Sea this week were confronted by a huge kicking, hissing, and snapping Leatherback Turtle when they hauled their gear. After being measured at more than 7ft length of carapace the turtle was tipped back into the sea.
17/11/97 The first casualty of the seal pup rescue season, a Common Seal pup, was released back into the sea at a secret location on the south coast today. It had been recovering at the Gweek Seal Sanctuary after falling off a harbour wall at Southampton earlier this year. Eight other pups being cared for at Gweek will not be returned to the wild until next spring.
6/12/97 It is reported that a fisherman has seen Fin Whales off Cape Cornwall in the last few days. [ 2 were seen off Porthcurno on Dec 16th last year and 4 off Treen on Dec 29th]
10/12/97 A pod of dolphins were seen of the Gwithian and Godrevy area  earlier this week.
20/12/97 A pod of at least 6 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen off Sennen. The pod included one white dolphin, probably a Risso's.  A Risso's dolphin has been seen on several occasions during the past few years associating with a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. This is probably the same one.
30/12/97 Porpoises have occasionally been seen by birdwatchers at Carn Gloose SW352312 during this month when trying to identify birds using a telescope. They have been seen to surface near Gannets well off shore.

Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1989
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1990
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1991
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1992
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1993
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1994
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1995
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1996

Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1998
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1999

Ray Dennis
Vince Smith's One-List/Cornish Wildlife
Seaquest SW (Cornwall Wildlife Trust web pages)

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