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Spider Crab and youngsters at Adur World Oceans Day 2002 (Photograph by Duncan Morrison)
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Photograph by Nicolas Jouault
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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at a resolution of 800 x 600. Viewing should be possible on Netscape and other browsers.

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.

22 June 2002
The Phocine Distemper Virus has been identified as the cause of a new increased total of 461 Common Seals, Phoca vitulina, carcasses tested in Denmark, with a further 150 in Sweden and dead seals also recovered on the shores of the Netherlands. 
First Report for 2002
Ananova News Report

21 June 2002
Summer Solstice  2:11 pm.

20 June 2002
Cuvier's Beaked Whale, Ziphius cavirostris, was stranded alive on the south end of the beach at Ostend, Happisburgh, Norfolk, eastern England. A rescue attempt was made in the evening by the Norfolk coastguard and RSPCA, but sadly the whale beached and died overnight.
The stranded whale is an adult male, with two protruding teeth, pale head and beak and shows extensive scarring over the dorsal surface, particularly between the blow hole and dorsal fin. This stranding is unusual for a deep water whale which on the rare occasions when they are washed up on western British coasts they are in a badly decomposed condition. 

Earlier Report (probable)
BMLSS Cetacea

An estimated 30 plus Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, were seen this morning between Longships and Brisons off the south-west of Cornwall. 

19 June 2002
Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, are washed up on a plank at Borth-y-Gêst, near Portmadoc, north Wales (Tremadoc Bay, north bit of Cardigan Bay), and these attracted the curiosity of the public.

Report by William Galvin (RSPCA)
BMLSS Barnacles

15 June 2002
An extremely unusual record of a live stranding of a female Atlantic White-sided Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus acutus, on the sandy beach outside of Newhaven harbour, East Sussex occurred in the early evening. The tail muscle was in such poor condition that the experts on site decided on euthanasia. They were also able to confirm the identity of this deep water northern species that is a rare discovery in the English Channel. There was no hourglass pattern like a Common Dolphin with the yellow zone behind the dorsal fin and the distinctive patterns could be seen clearly. The last English record on the BMLSS records occurred of a specimen washed up dead on the north Devon coast in 2000. This species is seen occasionally around the Shetland Isles but other reports are exiguous.

Report by Greg Brinkley via UK Cetnet
On 18-19 June 2002, five Atlantic White-sided Dolphins were seen close inshore in Uyea Sound , Unst in the Shetland Isles. Unst is the most northerly island in Britain. Uyea is a small island to the south of Unst separated by the Uyea and Skuda Sounds.  Reports of the Atlantic White-sided Dolphin 1998 - 2000
Bionomics of the Atlantic White-sided Dolphin in the NE Atlantic (Link)
Shetland Isles (map)
Bionomics Link (for CD-ROM only)

12 June 2002
A crab fisherman found a specimen of the pelagic crab called the 'Sargassum' or 'Gulf Weed Crab,' Planes minutus on a float, which was covered in barnacles. The float was found in the Big Russel between Herm and Sark to the east of Guernsey, Channel Islands. This crab is rarely recorded from the English Channel.

Report from 2001 (Link) on the Belgian coast
BMLSS Crustacea

10 June 2002
The bodies of more than 310 Common Seals, Phoca vitulina, have been washed up on the Danish and Swedish coasts, raising fears of an epidemic of the highly contagious and usually fatal Phocine Distemper Virus. The origin of the the outbreak on the Kattegat and Skagerrak coast of Denmark and south Sweden prior to the breeding season is the same place as the 1988 epidemic which quickly spread to the east coast of England and killed about 2000 seals in the Wash (60% of the population). 

The virus causes pregnant seals to abort their pups, pneumonia and nervous system abnormalities including convulsions.

BBC Norfolk Report
BBC National News Report
BMLSS SealsArtificial Life-sized Bottle-nosed Dolphin at Adur World Oceans Day

8 June 2002

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

World Oceans Day offers the opportunity for people in many parts of Britain and around the world to increase their understanding of the marine environment and wildlife of the oceans.

World Oceans Day Events page



By-the Wind Sailor (Colonial Hydrozoan)

27 May 2002
"Millions" of Velella velella, the By-the Wind Sailor were discovered by Nick Darke on Porthcothan Beach, Cornwall. They are freshly dead, the float having the animals or at least fragments of the soft tissue, still present. They are probably all along the north coast, especially at Perranporth, so I will be interested to have an idea of the maximum density per sq. metre. The last really big incursion was in June/July 1981 when Rennie Bere counted 150 to 200 per sq. metre, as they came in on the tide (i.e. not heaped up in catchment areas) and he estimated 100,000 for the stretch of shore at Bude.

Many By-the Wind Sailor were also discovered washed up further east on the shore at Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset. 
Report by Peter Tinsley (Dorset Wildlife Trust)
 c. 9 June 2002
Thousands of Velella are washed up on the north Devon strandline from Westward Ho!, Croyde and Woolacombe. 
Report by Gavin Black (Devon Biodiversity Records Centre)
via the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group

Velella (Photograph by Richard Lord)

On 30 May 2002 thousands of Velella velella were also washed up along the tide line on the beach at Nicholston Burrows on the Gower peninsular, South Wales.

Report by Helen James
By 5 June 2002 there were millions of Velella velella  washed ashore on Rhosilli beach, a west facing beach at the end of the Gower peninsula in south Wales.
Report by John Davies (Swansea University)
Thousands of dead, dried Velella on the beach at Caswell Bay, South Gower, with quite a few live ones bobbing around in the surf too on 10 June 2002.
Report by Adam Cooper
By 8 June 2002 the swathes (thousands) of Velella looked like a 300 metres band of oil washed up on the shore at Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, SW Wales, from below the car park to Little Furzenip. There was a distinct smell of rotting sea life.  On 4 June 2002 many washed up Velella were discovered hidden amongst the pebbles on Aberystwyth south beach, west Wales on the Cardigan Bay coast.
Report by Suzanne Breeze

Underside of Velella
Underside of Velella
Photograph by Richard Lord

By 15 June 2002 millions of Velella had been washed up on the sandy beach of Porth Ty'n Twyn, on the south-west coast of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) between the small towns of Aberffraw and Rhosneigr. The Velella formed five separate strandlines and the stink of the decaying animals was horrendous. 

Report by Barry Wright
On 2 June 2002 I have had two reports of hundreds of Velella velella being washed up on the South of the Isle of Man, one report from Scarlett Point and another at Chapel Bay, Port St. Mary. 
Report by Mike Bates (Port Erin Marine Lab)
Also by 10 June 2002, Graham Mercer and the Harbourmaster at Portpatrick, reported thousands of Velella from the inner and harbour at Portpatrick, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland. This is the most northerly record so far of the current strandings and they were  not known to the local fishermen.
On 15-16 June 2002, smaller numbers of Velella were washed up here on the Isle of Cumbrae. This appears to be the first record in the Firth of Clyde (which has been fairly well studied since the 1880s at least!). 13 June 2002 found thousands of Velella were washing in on Kilmory Bay, Sound of Jura, Argyll, Scotland. There was a lot of foam along the tideline at the time and they were quite fresh. This is a south-west facing bay inshore of Islay and Jura in the western islands and the furthest north record for 2002. 
Report by Robin Harvey
Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory
9 June 2002
Large numbers of dead Velella along strandline of sandy beach at Kilmore Quay (SE Ireland).  Estimated to be in excess of 300 Velella per metre of strandline for about 50 metres (= 15000).  They were a bit dried out so must have been there for a few days.
Report by Jon Moore (Porcupine MNH Society)
23 June 2002
The first dead Velella is washed up on a Sussex beach at Bognor rocks. This is the most easterly record so far up the English Channel.
Report by John Knight (West Sussex Countryside Rangers)
BMLSS Velella velella
Bionomics of Velella (notes)

Barrel Jellyfish  Rhizostoma octopus

Rhizostoma Jellyfish washed at Beer, Devon on 7 May 2002 (Photograph by Ceri Jones)

7-9 May 2002
Whilst on Colin Speedie's Basking Shark survey last week we were almost continually among the jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus (from Lands End to Fowey, Cornwall), some areas had particularly dense aggregations of them.

Report by Gavin Black
Huge numbers of Rhizostoma octopus were seen between Falmouth and the Lizard, Cornwall.
Report by Peter Tinsley
5-7 May 2002
There have been reports of  jellyfishes from the Cornish and Devon coasts, including Rhizostoma octopus at 50 cm diameter with a purple rim to the bell stranded near the swimming pool at Devil's Point (Western Kings) on the Plymouth foreshore on 7 May. Richard White (of Devon Wildlife Trust) saw lots of Rhizostoma at Church Cove on the Lizard, Cornwall, on 5 May.
A report arrived via Brixham Coastguard from a member of the public; that a large jellyfish (one metre across) had been found in the Imperial Recreation Ground in Exmouth, Devon, on 6 May 2002. Large numbers of jellyfish up to one metre in diameter are also reported from off Chesil beach and around Portland Bill, and also the Erme estuary and Bigbury Bay (south Devon). It seems this is a year of exceptional abundance for Rhizostoma octopus. (Several reports.) Sea temperature = 12° C.
Aquascope Photographic and Fact File for Rhizostoma octopus
By 1 June 2002 the Rhizostoma octopus had reached as far east as Sussex with one specimen of nearly a metre in diameter washed up at Shoreham Beach.
Report by Martin Ward at Adur World Oceans Day
Adur Nature Notes (Spring 2002) for Shoreham Beach Nature Reports
23 June 2002
At least 15  Rhizostoma octopus  jellyfish, ranging in size between about 10 cm to 60 cm in size were washed up on Studland beach in Dorset.

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)

Smart Groups was out of operation for one week in June, but it is now working. The Message Archive "Search Messages" facility is promised to be working again during July 2002. 



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)

SAMS Seminar Series

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)

Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA

Tel: 01631 559000 Fax: 01631 559300 Email: mail@dml.ac.uk

For more details/how to find SAMS see our website: http://www.sams.ac.uk

Unless otherwise stated, seminars are held on Fridays at 4:15 pm
in the SAMS Conference Room ** Followed by the Friday R&R **
12 July David Nairn
Mechanoreception in halibut larvae
9 August Aditee Mitra
Of Microbes and Models.....
23 August Dr Kate Willis
Toxicity of sea lice medicines to non-target marine copepods.
6 September Sarah Swann
Fish otoliths a mine of information?

Southampton Oceanography Centre

Marine Life Talks 2002
Southampton Oceanography Centre
4th July Camouflage, commensalism and critters
- Alex Mustard
1st August Marine life of SE England - Lisa Browning
5th September Walking the dog whelk - Simon Bray
3rd October
7th November Fishy tales - Peter Henderson

7.30pm first Thursday of every month

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 

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



This CD-ROM has not been extensively tested yet. It proves an interesting introduction, but not a comprehensive guide. For the practical method of trying to put a name to an plant or animal you find in the wild, it is not inclusive enough. 
Available through the Kent Ornithological Society.


Edited by C. Howson and B. Picton
Ulster Museum & the Marine Conservation Society 1997.
About £27.50 (including CD-ROM 1999)

The project to collate the species that live in the seas off Britain is an ongoing project. The Directory is a list of all the species grouped systematically according to their scientific names, with a comprehensive bibliography. The 1997 edition, not available until 1998, is the latest list and is useful on the rare occasions (about once a week for me) that I have to look up a vagrant, unusual species that is not listed in the usual identification books.

Now available with the CD-ROM, this proves useful list of all the species for professionals, but it could be improved to make it more useful, e.g. facilities for biological recording and an interchange with Recorder 2000.

MCS books On-Line

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.

Len Nevell (Photograph by Duncan Morrison, Adur DC)

Adur World Oceans Day 2002
Photograph by Duncan Morrison (Adur District Council)


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 Torped72.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. When received in Pegasus the format is changed slightly, but the bulletin is still readable.  

Torpedo  compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Nicolas Jouault

 2 July 2002

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


Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6