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Photograph by Nicolas Jouault. Note the small dorsal fin amongst the larger adult dolphins. 

If you receive this Bulletin direct from the British Marine Life Study Society it will contain only *.htm *.gif & *.jpg files.

Recipients can only unsubscribe if the Bulletin is received directly from the BMLSS.
Permission is granted to forward the Bulletin on unaltered. However, you will have to include the images separately.  Subscribe/Unsubcribe  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BMLSS-Torpedo
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The Glaucus 2001 CD-ROM has been sent out to Premier Members for last year. This information packed disc contains the British Marine Life Study Society web pages and other wildlife information (some not available through the web site). This was a limited distribution copy because of technical difficulties and the the next CD-ROM to be produced will be the Glaucus 2002 CD-ROM.

Details of the availability of the new disc will be available to British Marine Life Study Society members as soon as possible. 


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.

1 February 2002
Gales batter the coasts of Britain, coinciding with exceptionally high tides, resulting in localised flooding, with the strongest winds across lowland Scotland. 

January 2002
At least 50 small cetaceans, mostly dolphins, have been washed dead up on English Channel coasts during this month. Dolphins are washed up dead every year, but there seems to be at least double the normal numbers this year. Although, the cause of death is not known for sure, most people seem to think that fishing activities are to blame. The cause of the increase is less clear; it could be because of the bad weather has washed more ashore, it could be because more are being caught because of increased dolphin numbers, or increased fishing effort, or it could be because more people are reporting their grisly discoveries.
More information can be found on the following efora:
Marine Mammals of the English Channel Smart Group
UK Cetnet
Cornish Wildlife Mailing List

Photograph by Nicolas Jouault

New born Bottle-nosed Dolphin with adult, 19 May 2001, swimming against flood tide, and shallow water
Photograph by Nicolas Jouault, Jersey

BBC News Report
Report Numbers for Stranded Cetaceans
BMLSS Cetacean Page
Sea Watch Foundation
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2001 (by Ray Dennis)
Whale & Dolphin Society Report & References

26 January 2002
Along the stretch of coast from west end of Whitsand Bay (Seaton) to Par, and especially Hannafore Point and Looe Harbour beach very many small cuttlebones as you describe over last week, mostly Common Cuttles, Sepia officinalis, but also smaller numbers of Elegant, Sepia elegans, and Obigny's, Sepia orbignyana. The unusually large number of adult Common Cuttles (100-180 mm) too, sometimes numbered several hundred. The situation is difficult to monitor accurately as the stormy weather tends to deposit the cuttlebones, then remove them at the next high tide and (presumably) drop them again elsewhere. These large concentrations I have noted before in previous years after prolonged periods of strong south-west winds, so would suggest that it is likely that weather conditions are causing the unusually high number of strandings of these floating objects. 

Report by Jon Makeham.
We are getting very large numbers of cuttlebones about 40-60 mm long stranded along the shores of Whitsand Bay (East Cornwall next to Plymouth Sound) and in Plymouth Sound. Are there similar strandings elsewhere at the moment?
First report by Keith Hiscock

BMLSS Cuttlefish Page

19 January 2002
Cuckoo Ray, Raja naevus, was discovered in a rock pool in Cove Harbour , Berwickshire, SE Scotland, by Ben Tindall, Harbourmaster. It was an adult full grown specimen at 60 cm. The shallow water species of ray is rarely recorded in pools, although the Thornback Ray, Raja clavata, has been recorded in very shallow water in February in the English Channel. The Cuckoo Ray has not been extensively studied. It is a southern species  found all around Britain and in the Mediterranean Sea and it lays its egg cases all through the year with possibly a peak in January. This ray could have found its way into the rock pool as a result of fishing activities. This ray is common off this North Sea coast and has been recorded in harbours before.

BMLSS Sharks and Rays page

Dogwhelk, NucelLapillus11 January 2002
Dogwhelks lay eggs after a 25 year absence
Kingston Beach, Shoreham Harbour, Sussex. 
A notable discovery were large Dogwhelks, Nucella lapillus, averaging 50 mm in length (all a dirty white colour) and one group were laying their egg capsules. This was unknown on this shore since the TBT pollution wiped out the breeding population in the 1970s. A chemical component called tributyltin in anti-fouling paints caused female Dogwhelks to develop a condition called imposex which prevented them from breeding.
Full Report
Dogwhelk page
Trouble with Dogwhelks

6 January 2002
Donny Nicolson reported a decomposed Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, washed ashore on the Dale beach at Walls (west Mainland) in the Shetland Isles. 

Full Report on the BMLSS Turtle Page

3 January 2002
A 2.88 metres long female Pygmy Sperm Whale, Kogia breviceps, was washed up dead on Thurleston Beach in Devon. This is an extremely unusual stranding of a deep sea whale. Scientists from the Natural History Museum in London have taken DNA samples in an attempt to discover from which population this whale came from. The cause of death was unknown. This species is much commoner in the southern hemisphere. The presence of a population west of the Bay of Biscay is possible. This whale is classified as a Vagrant in the British Cetacean List.

Further DetailsBMLSS Cetacean Page

3 January 2002
A deep water trawler after Blue Ling and Hake etc. caught a female  Giant Squid, Architeuthis dux, amongst the large haul of fish. With a mantle length of 127 cm it is a medium-sized specimen with some of the tentacles missing. Therefore, the total length could not be measured, but it is estimated to be about 5.5 metres with a weight of about 60 kg. the specimen will be prepared for display at the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, ‘Creatures of the Deep' zone from May 2002.
This is believed to be the 25th Architeuthis recorded in British waters since 1673.  Fifteen have been stranded on the shores of the British Isles, nine caught in fishing gear and one found in the stomach of a Sperm Whale.

Giant Squid:  Full Report
Aberdeen University Giant Squid site (by Dr Martin Collins)
There have been nineteen species of Architeuthis described but it is unlikely that there are more than seven, and most recent work suggests that there are three species - Architeuthis dux in the north Atlantic, Architeuthis martensi or japonica in the northern Pacific and Architeuthis sanctipauli in the Southern Ocean.  However DNA studies have so far been carried out on only two specimens, one from New Zealand and one from Newfoundland (Atlantic coast of Canada), and the results so far published show no significant differences between them.

According to the Guinness Book of Records 1991, the largest squid found in British seas was an Architeuthis monachus found at the head of Whalefirth Voe, Shetland Isles on 2 October 1959. Its total length was measured at 7.31 metres (24 ft).

However, details of this record may be called into question as it is included in the List of British & Irish Strandings in year 1949 with a mantle length of 1.2 metres.
On this list the largest measured specimen had a mantle length of 1.75 metres and was stranded in Cove Bay, Aberdeen on 8 January 1984. (My estimate of the total length would be nearer 6.7 metres or 22 ft.)

The world's largest species is Architeuthis dux.
BMLSS Octopuses and Squids Page

1 January 2002
More Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, are washed up dead on Cornish shores. The Hocking family (Sue, Richard, Emma and Rebecca) found eight Triggerfish on Porthtowan beach, Cornwall. 
Reports from Stella Turk (Link)
Previous Report

21 December 2001
A Slipper Lobster, Scyllarus arctus, was caught in a lobster pot at a depth of about 60
metres about 3 miles south east of St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly , just before Christmas by Barry Bennett. Realising that it was an unusual and interesting find Barry put it in a display tank, which he maintains in the Harbour Master’s Office in St Mary’s.
Scyllarus arctus is a warm waters species found in the Mediterranean, and in the Eastern Atlantic from Morocco to the English Channel but is rare north of the Bay of Biscay.  They live on stony ground, in caves, and can also be found on muddy bottoms or in seagrass beds.  They use the large spade-like scales at the front of the head to burrow into mud,
sand or gravel between and under stones. Only 15 have been confirmed from British seas all from off Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly or off Plymouth.
Full Report
Full Report (CD-ROM only)

via the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean GroupBMLSS Crustacea Page

The British Marine Life Study Society web pages are available for permanent reference on the CD-ROM. 

The Homepage can now be accessed by typing in:

Sub-directories cannot be accessed directly through this domain. 

Please send any reports of missing links and images to: Glaucus@hotmail.com



Forum for discussion about the marine life of the North-east Atlantic Ocean, including the North Sea, English Channel and all the seas around the British Isles including Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal.

This page can be used by members to report finds, ask questions, queries over identification, concerns about environmental issues etc. This eForum is participated in by members of many groups studying the marine environment. Go to menu bar above and click on Database and then on Marine Life Organisations to find a list of web sites. 

Photographs and illustrations are best uploaded to the Document Vault and should not exceed 75K in size (*.JPG).

Andy Horton (Manager)

During the month of January all Smart Groups were disrupted by a "Denial of Service" attack but by the beginning of February all services seem to be back to normal.



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)
crest       Royal Irish Academy
National Committee for Biology

Conference 2002

21 & 22 March 

The Intertidal System

The objective of the Seminar is to bring together the knowledge in Ireland on the functions and value of the intertidal region. Particular emphasis will be placed on our uses of the system and its economic and scientific potential. The Seminar, while establishing the extent of our present knowledge, also seeks to identify the gaps in our understanding and the critical research areas for the future. We will tie this in with a workshop bringing together the Seminar participants, including experts from USA and Europe. The Seminar is aimed at managers, economists and educationalists as well as the scientific community.
Poster submissions are especially welcome. Contributions will be considered for publication in Proceedings (500 word limit). Please send an abstract by 15 February to jwilson@tcd.ie
Academy House 19 
Dawson Street 
Dublin 2 

Phone: (01) 6762570 Fax: (01) 6762346 
Email: d.mcentee@ria.ie

For the full programme of events , please visit the web pages (on-line) by clicking on this text

Download registration forms herepdf format
For help, see "what is a PDF file?".

Southampton Oceanography Centre

Marine Life Talks 2002
Southampton Oceanography Centre
3rd January  Dorset marine life - Ken Collins
7th February  Rocky shores - Roger Herbert
7th March  Experiments with salt water - Ken Collins
4th April  Artificial reefs - Antony Jensen
2nd May  Biscay whales & dolphins - Andy Williams
6th June  Human history underwater - Nick Flemming
7.30pm first Thursday of every month
National Science Week 2002
Oceans Deep to Mountains High
Southampton Oceanography Centre
7 March (Thursday)  Experiments with salt water
 Dr Ken Collins, School of Ocean and Earth Science 
8 March (Friday)  Electromagnetics and the ocean floor 
 Professor Martin Sinha, School of Ocean and Earth Science 
11 March (Monday)  Some like it lukewarm: the private life of animals at Deepsea Vents 
 Dr Jon Copley, School of Ocean and Earth Science 
12 March (Tuesday)  Oceans and Climate 
 Steve Hall, James Rennell Division
13 March (Wednesday)  From Rennell to robots revisited 
 Professor Gwyn Griffiths, Ocean Engineering Division 
14 March (Thursday)  The bustling life on a coral reef 
 Dr Alexander Mustard, George Deacon Division 
15 March (Friday)  The Mid Palaeozoic: climatic extremes and life crises 
 Dr John Marshall, School of Ocean and Earth Science
All welcome, entry by free ticket only. Children under 12 must be
accompanied by a responsible adult. Please send s.a.e. to:
  Daphne Woods at SOES, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton SO14 3ZH.
Stating the DATE, TITLE of the TALK, and NUMBER of tickets required. Entrance to Southampton Oceanography Centre is through Dock Gate 4, please ask for a map if required. Free parking on site, wheelchair access and facilities for those with disabilities. 
For further information contact Daphne on 023 8059 5075 or
email dw1@soc.soton.ac.uk 
9 March (Saturday)  4:00 pm Volvo Ocean Adventure: science, education and yacht racing 
 Dr Simon Boxall, School of Ocean and Earth Science 
  This event is at Southampton Oceanography Centre, Dockside Campus of Southampton University.  Simon is going to give a talk on his research which is essentially sampling the world oceans done in association with the
Volvo Ocean Yacht Race.  The talk is at 2:00 pm and repeated at 3:00 pm.  At the same time we are giving tours of the SOC and a chance for the public to talk to scientists and look at some of the work going on here.
For more information, contact:
Jenny Mallinson
Tel:  023 80 596299
More Information Link
Map to Southampton Oceanography Centre

Diary Page (Link)


The British Marine Life Study Society Web Site has been included as an Encyclopaedia Britannica Recommended Site and included on the BBC On-line Internet Guide.

There are more entries on the GATEWAY pages of the BMLSS Web Site. The logos for the various organisations have been removed to reduce the size of this file. 

Quick reference links:
 GATEWAY:  Links
 GATEWAY:  Further European Links
Courses (Marine Life)
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database 
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day



Creatures of the Deep
by Erich Hoyt
Firefly Books 2001
ISBN  1-55209-340-

BMLSS: Marine Life Articles in Publications (Link)


This is a simple project or request to members and readers of this Bulletin. It is to take pictures of the coast when you are next down on the shore.

Even general views have value, but ideally we would like photographs of the shore showing the type of rock, topography and rock pools, dominant fauna, and information that cannot be described adequately by words on the Report Cards.

A view of Cowes, Isle of Wight, by Luke Richards

A view of Cowes, Isle of Wight, by Luke Richards
If you look carefully you can spot the Common Seal seen in late January 2002


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 100K in size.

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

Shore Topography Portfolio

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 Internet Explorer 5 and altering the right and left hand columns in the Page Set-up menu to 9 mm (from 19 mm).
The page set-up can also be amended in Netscape Composer, and this has the advantage of enabling the specified number of pages to be printed and the information about the file (name, path, date) to be deleted.


British Marine Life Study Society membership information was sent out with the Shorewatch newsletter in January 2002.

If you are unable to view this file with all its images through your EMail software, one way around this is to go to your directory for incoming email, where this file should be stored, and open the file Torped68.html in your favourite browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and above is recommended. 
Some of the images may not display if you have changed your directory for downloaded files. The images may also not display properly if your settings on your EMail software do not allow you do this automatically. Unfortunately, I am unable to cater for all the Email software in use nowadays. I am looking into this problem.
Torpedo  compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Nicolas Jouault

 2 February 2002

Use these links if your are familiar with the scientific classifications of marine life


Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6