NEWS AND EVENTS
to Marine Wildlife Reports off Sussex 2005
or Armoured Bullhead,
cataphractus, was photographed under Selsey Lifeboat Station at a depth
of four metres in a sand and muddy area with a few areas of hard clay bedrock.
sea temperature was 11° C.
(it is not clear how often this book name is used) or Armoured Bullhead
or Hooknose, is a fish that is rarely reported
by divers, anglers, fishermen, rockpoolers or shrimpers, but this absence
is not because it is rare. It is believed to be common in the shallow seas
over sand around most of the British coast and it is one of the small fish
most often washed up dead on the strandline of Sussex. Its small size and
favoured habitats means that its is not caught on rod and line and it inhabits
the rather barren sea bed areas that are of little interest to divers.
It swims over sand and its sensory organs around its mouth indicates it
feeds on organisms in the sand, probably worms and shrimps. They is a complete
absence in the BMLSS records of live specimens
caught on the shore.
should be confused with the often encountered Short-spined
Bullhead (or Sea Scorpion), Taurulus bubalis.
was caught on rod and line four miles out of Brighton, Sussex, and it promptly
regurgitated a Seahorse,
sp. Seahorses are not known off the Sussex coasts, although I have received
at least one unconfirmed sighting before.
20 August 2004
night diving at Shoreham beach, West Sussex I found a bright banded orange
and white prawn. It was spinning around probably to avoid my torch light.
This appears to be one of the Prosseca
species which are seen at night. They lack the pronounced rostrum of the
species of prawn.
probable Bottle-nosed Dolphins,
truncatus, were seen one mile of Littlehampton, from a "Frenzy" ocean
fishing kayak, occasionally breaching the surface for a second of the flat
by Chris Courderoy
woman is stung by a Weever Fish,
vipera, whilst bathing off Shoreham Beach.
of the Weever
capriscus, we saw underneath the Palace Pier,
Brighton, were of different sizes the larger being darker in colour and
about 30 cm from tooth to tail. They both looked healthy and lively.
two possibly three dolphins
were spotted from the Sussex Sea Fisheries vessel "Watchful" outside
the entrance of Brighton Marina swimming just below the surface breaking
the water but not jumping. They were between 2.5 metres and 3 metres in
length and were probably Bottle-nosed Dolphins.
by Robert Clark (Sussex Sea
Fisheries District Committee)
Cetacea (Whales & Dolphins)
Port Open Day
Fish Festival display included a Triggerfish,
capriscus, caught off Sussex the previous
day, with a handful of other fish including
Rays, one large Plaice and some
invertebrate life with crustaceans that included Lobsters,
Crabs Maja squinado, Velvet
Swimming Crabs, Common Hermit Crabs, Shore Crabs and
molluscs including live
(photographed above) swam around occasionally rising to the surface and
expelling water from its mouth. It did not appear to be in discomfort and
looked in a healthy condition.
just after nine in the morning a single Peregrine Falcon flew around
the Power Station Chimney and there were hundreds of Moon
Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, in
the canal section of the harbour.
large dead whale was reported five miles south of Brighton, Sussex. No
further details are known yet.
by Robert Clark (Sussex Sea
Fisheries District Committee)
ADUR WORLD OCEANS
was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition
celebrating the official World Oceans Day. It was
held in the large marquee on
Green overlooking the River
the attendance on a sunny day (21.4° C)
at 3,500 (estimates of attendances at other events have been overstated).
the sheer number of people it made it impossible to speak to people as
much as I would like. There were lots of interesting conversations and
I was surprised about the number of people who stepped on a Weever
Fish last summer, at least half a dozen, and it was lucky we had
a small specimen on display so people could have a look at the offender.
most interesting discovery was an unidentified fossil found on Shoreham
beach and brought in by a young girl. This is illustrated on the right.
fossil is part of a test (internal shell) of a sea urchin formed about
85 million years ago. The long spines have broken off leaving the base
only. The exact species has not been established yet.
World Oceans Day 2004 Image Portfolio (by Ray Hamblett)
30 minute spell of push-netting for shrimps
off Shoreham beach on the low spring tide produced
two dozen Brown Shrimps,
crangon, a handful of the South-clawed
Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator,
one young venomous Lesser Weever,
two juvenile Grey
Swimming Crabs, Liocarcinus
vernalis, with 30+ young Flounders
and two young Sole.
The crab in the photograph with the "fleur-de lis" is Portumnus latipes.
of the crab (left) by Guido Rappé
at Low Tide
Marine Life Study Society
bloom of plankton, probably Phaeocystis
pouchetti, has turned the River
Adur almost orange and considerably reduced visibility in the enriched
sea. The colonies of this flagellate organism Phaeocystis can
be seen in the water at over 1 mm long and plankton will be continuous
for miles of sea water. The sea is then by various local terms like Slobweed
or Baccy Water because of its appearance. When the plankton dies it can
create hypoxic conditions and generally the inshore fauna is diminished
in quantity and variety.
small specks through the binoculars, three Great
Crested Grebes now displayed distinctive
crests as they were seen resting on the calm sea off the Church of the
Good Shepherd, Shoreham Beach.
were at least three large grebes, on the surface and diving under the water
off the coast of Shoreham and then
off Lancing, by Widewater.
The first diving bird was too far out and only its outline could be seen
through binoculars. Further west at Lancing the two birds were much closer
inshore and frequently diving under the sea and for at least 50% of the
time they were under water. It was then the white neck could be clearly
seen as well as the length of the beak. Unfortunately, I failed initially
to make precise observations, but I am still confident that these three
birds were Great Crested Grebes,
in winter plumage but both birds seemed to have the beginnings of a rudimentary
crest. This grebe is a regular winter visitor but this is the first time
I have positively observed them.
lumpus, (large and rather strange
looking inshore fish) was out in it's
full colours off Selsey (West Sussex)! I had my lamp with me so we got
a good look. His coloration was made up of yellow through to orange into
cerise. He was in good shape, no scratches or damage and no visible lice,
and no green or grey colours.
breed off the Sussex coast. Occasionally adult fish are washed up dead
on the shore and because of their unusual appearance, they attract curiosity.
The larval fish are some of the first to be seen inshore
from May onwards.
of dolphins were observed in the sea off Widewater
Lagoon, Lancing, Sussex at 2:00 pm
in the afternoon. This was an unusual event off the Sussex coast and most
occasional observations have been in the summer months. Pods of dolphins
have been seen off Selsey Bill, West Sussex in the last few days. "Skein"
is the term used by the observer and I have not known this collective noun
Report by Brian Street (Shoreham)
Marine Life Study Society News Reports Winter 2004
Valley Nature Notes (January 2004)