Reports of marine wildlife from all around the British Isles, with pollution incidents and conservation initiatives as they affect the fauna and flora of the NE Atlantic Ocean

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13 June 2015 
Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur are one of the UK leaders in presenting the sixteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society present the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) take an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presents the whale and dolphin exhibition. Exhibitors are available to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants will include Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life

World Oceans Day on facebook
Adur World Oceans Day on facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day



Late November - December 2015

Chama florida
Planes minutus
Phascolosoma (Phascolosoma) granulatum

Debris washed across the Atlantic Oceans housed pelagic visitors rarely, if ever, recorded in British seas. The finds included Florida Rock Shells, Stramonita floridana, found by Steve Trewhella living on a Goose Barnacle covered long line buoy found at Chapmans Pool, Dorset; over fifty tiny Columbus Crabs, Planes minutus. amongst the wrecks; miniature amphipods Caprella andreae; and a very special find of the tubes of the tiny Thimble Jellyfish Linuche unguiculata, by Steve Trewhella on Chesil Beach, and by David Fenwick Snr in Cornwall on flotsam. 

Cerithium litteratum
Stramonita floridana
Linuche unguiculata

Also, three 60 mm long native sipunculans Phascolosoma (Phascolosoma) granulatum) were found inside a buoy with seven Columbus Crabs washed ashore on Cornwall. In November another vagrant washed in from America was the Pretty Jewel BoxChama florida. Tracey Williams found a Scotty bait pot on a beach near Newquay, Cornwall, which contained ten attractive shells of Cerithium litteratum, a Caribbean gastropod mollusc never seen before on British mainland shores. The snails would have entered the pot as larvae, living on algae growing on the inside. David Fenwick Snr also discovered the bivalve mollusc shells of the Crested Oyster Ostrea equestris, Isognomon bicolor and Isognomon radiatus all attached to the same bucket washed ashore at Marazion, south Cornwall.

List of trans-Atlantic rafting species (Aphotomarine)
BMLSS Strandlining/Beachcombing

8 December 2015
An astonishing discovery of the remains of a significant complex of Bronze Age buildings were revealed on a kilometre stretch of beach at Tres Ness on the island of Sanday in the Orkney Islands. The four thousand year old remains of 14 houses and stone tools, including knives, were uncovered by wind and sea that moved the sand dunes which had hidden them for over three millennia. 

7 December 2015
A Green TurtleChelonia mydas,  was found dead stranded at Porthmadog in Gwynedd, Wales. The approximately 25 cm long turtle was thought to have possibly initially stranded alive, given its very fresh condition. The body of the turtle was recovered from the beach by Gwynedd Maritime Services and then taken to RSPCA Colwyn Bay for storage prior to pickup and transport for post-mortem examination by the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme UK  (CSIP). This is only the ninth record of this inhabitant of tropical seas (including the Atlantic coast of Spain and the Mediterranean Sea) found in the sea or on the shore around the British Isles.

Previous Record
BMLSS Turtles

24 August 2015
A 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 the Whittard 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. This expedition also noted the presence of twenty Fin Whales, Balaenoptera physalus, including seven seen around the research vessel when the Blue Whale surfaced. The survey team also recorded a Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, several hundred metres below the surface using ROV Isis

Blog of the Expedition
Submarine Canyons
Previous Sighting 2012

22 August 2015
A 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 1960ís was because of low recruitment rates (whether natural or because of overfishing).

BMLSS Tunnies

16 August 2015

Angel Shark
about to be returned to the sea
Photographs by Michael Griffiths

A large two metre long (including the long tail) Angel Shark, Squatina squatina, was caught by Michael Griffiths on road and line off Shell Island, north Wales. This very rare and protected shark is thought to be extinct in the English Channel and still extremely rare in Cardigan Bay.

Previous Report 2015
BMLSS Squatina facebook

30 July 2015
A Beluga, (=White Whale), Delphinapterus leucas, was spotted and videoed by George Watson swimming close to shore near Dunseverick, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. This Arctic species is rarely (one every three years) recorded around the British Isles. (Not all records are shown on the BMLSS News pages.)

Previous BMLSS Report 2005

16 June 2015

American Lobster
Marine Management Organisation Image

A small number of fishermen on the Sussex coast are reporting catches of non-native American Lobster, Homarus americanus, and Dungeness Crabs, Metacarcinus magister, in an area in the vicinity of Brighton on the Sussex coast.

Captures should be retained and it is illegal to return non-native species to the sea. Report finds to to IFCAor the MMO

Dungeness Crab
Photographs by George Sutton
on Fishing News  facebook

This crab was caught in nets off Brighton by George Sutton, who also caught an American Lobster on 19 June 2015.
BMLSS Lobsters

15 June 2015
A Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, was washed up dying on Severn Beach at the mouth of the River Seven where the Bristol Channel narrows. 

BMLSS Swordfish Reports

20 March 2015
A small Angel Shark, Squatina squatina, was a rare capture off Douglas, Isle of Man.

Report by Grant Lopes on Fishing News facebook

Previous Report 2010

Angel Shark
Photograph by Grant Lopes

This large stocky angel shark was formerly a common and important demersal predator over large areas of its coastal and outer continental shelf sediment habitat in the North-east Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas. It now appears to be absent from the English Channel where it was caught back in 1969
This protected shark is classified as "Critically Endangered". 
Red List entry
OSPAR Assessment
MarLIN Records
Shark Trust Factsheet

November 2014 - March 2015

Eggs Cases of the Flapper Skate
Photographs by Penny Martin

Over four thousand eggcases of the now rare and endangered Flapper Skate, Dipturus intermedia, (=Diptrus batis*) were discovered washed ashore on just three beaches in the Orkney Isles. They were found on the remote shores of Skaill Beach, Bay of Birsay and Aikerness Beach, on West Mainland

IUCN Red List Entry
Orkney Skate Trust

* In 2009, research showed what was formerly listed as a single species, Dipturus batis, should be instead classified as two separate species, Dipturus flossada, and the Flapper Skate, Dipturus intermedia

BMLSS Mermaid's Purse: Skate
Previous Report

20 February 2015
A distant photograph of a large humped whale off Par Beach on the island of St Martin's, Isles of Scilly, proved a puzzle at first because the whale lacked a dorsal fin. Expert opinion agreed that this was an unusual record of a juvenile Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, a species of right whale usually only found in icy Arctic seas. This was the first ever discovery in British seas. 

BMLSS Cetaceans

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