On-line connection to the British Marine Life Study Society web pages
Index for the Torpedo News Bulletins
Link to the forum for marine wildlife of the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining seas
Click here for the latest marine life news from around the British Isles

GATEWAY:  Further European Links
New EMail address
Courses (Marine Life)
Discussion Groups
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day
Link to an on-line page for younger students of the seashore. Spider Crab and youngsters at Adur World Oceans Day 2002 (Photograph by Duncan Morrison)
7-14 years



Monthly electronic news bulletin for the marine life of the NE Atlantic Oceans including the seas around the British Isles.
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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.

30 January 2003
From around 3:00 pm to 4.30 pm, I witnessed myself a very large pod of dolphins swimming eastwards up the English Channel past Polperro, Cornwall. It was impossible, even through my telescope, to firmly identify the species, but there were a mix of (probably) Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, and Porpoises, Phocoena phocoena. They were leaping from the water from about a half mile from the coast to the horizon, and spread over the four miles or so that I can see from my window. Numbers must have been well over 1,000. A fantastic sight to witness, and one I have not seen before in my nine years in Polperro.

Recent Report of Huge Pods of Dolphins
BMLSS Cetacea

29 January 2003
The level of oil pollution on Belgium's west coast worsened as more and bigger oil slicks from the sunken vessel Tricolor washed ashore and strong winds hampered clean-up operations. A spokeswoman with a Belgian North Sea ecosystem management institute, BMM, said the situation at Zeebrugge and Blankenberge had worsened since yesterday and oil slicks several square metres in size were being washed ashore. The Knokke-Heist Council also reported that oil clumps had polluted the beach at Heist, but it was not yet certain whether the oil had infiltrated the De Baai Nature Reserve. Oil has also washed ashore at Bredene, but the town's Mayor, Willy Vanhooren, said the situation was not yet an environmental disaster.

Additional Report

28 January 2003
Thousands of By-the-Wind Sailor, Velella velella, are discovered washed up, alive or very freshly dead, on Perranporth Beach, Cornwall, together with the Violet Snail, Janthina janthina, (two shells) that preys on Velella. This gastropod is rarely recorded in British seas even when there are large numbers of Velella stranded. It is always worth looking for this attractive and fragile shell. 
Exceptionally, between 100 and 200 of the small jellyfish called Pelagia noctiluca, the Mauve Stinger or 'Nightlight' jellyfish were also discovered. These swarms seems to occur about every five or ten years, and is easily recognised by the pustules that cover the small (rarely more that 75 mm across) dome or umbrella.
The cuttlebones of all three species of large British cuttlefish, Sepia, and a Spirula (a tiny mesopelagic cephalopod) shell were also found in the squally conditions on the shore.
Rory Goodall has also found large numbers of Velella, on Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall. 

BMLSS Jellyfish & large Medusae
BMLSS Cuttlefish
BMLSS Molluscs

24 January 2003
A 14 metre long male Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, beached at the mouth of the River Ouse, near Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and died as a result of the stranding. The dead whale was present on Brest Sands in the Wash the following day when Rob Deaville from the Natural History Museum performed a post-mortem. The ultimate cause of the live stranding could not be determined but the animal appeared to be reasonably aged (very worn teeth) so this may have played a factor. This large whale is rarely stranded on English North Sea coasts, with the first of the 20th century in 1986 and four records thereafter. 

BMLSS Cetacea
Sperm Whale (southern North Sea, stranded dead) 2000

23 - 28 January 2003
Over a period of five days, at least 2,000 oiled birds have washed ashore on Belgian beaches, especially between De Panne and Ostend and more are coming in.
The majority of the birds are Guillemots, but more than 100 Razorbills were also washed ashore.

By 29 January 2003, the numbers are much greater than this and oiled birds are being found over a wider range. On Dunkerque (France) beaches we discovered 125 dead oiled birds (mainly Guillemot) and only four survivors. The count for Belgium is over 2000 surviving birds.  Additional Report
BMLSS Sea Birds
Oiled Birds

13 January 2003
A live Green TurtleChelonia mydas, was stranded on the west coast of Guernsey (Channel Islands) in the afternoon. 
Green Turtle found on Guernsey 1/2003 (Photograph  by Richard Lord, Guernsey)Elliot Green, was playing football with his young son, discovered the turtle on Saline Beach and reported it to the Guernsey Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA). Geoff George and Yvonne Chauvel (in the photograph) collected the turtle, and after it had been treated by veterinarian John Knight,  transferred it to the Guernsey Aquarium at St. Peter Port until arrangements can be made to release it into the sea at a suitable location (preferably warm water).  The curved carapace length of the turtle is 75 cm and the curved carapace width is 68 cm. This turtle inhabits tropical seas including the Atlantic coast of Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. This turtle is only very rarely recorded in British seas.  This is the seventh confirmed record from around Britain, although there may be an eighth record from Essex. 
The white spots are a species of turtle barnacle, which may have not been recorded before on the British list of marine (barnacle) species (MCS Directory). 

British Marine Turtle Stranding Network
Green Turtle Information Page
BMLSS Turtles
UK Marine Mammal and Marine Turtle Strandings Project
BMLSS Barnacles

11 January 2003
Rhizostoma Jellyfish (Photograph by Keith Talbot)

A large jellyfish weighing an estimated 15 kg was washed up at Lepe Country Park on the Solent coast in Hampshire (SZ 459 985). The excellent photograph of the underside confirmed this as the first reported specimen of Rhizostoma octopus for 2003.

BMLSS Jellyfish Page

9 January 2003
Already 32 dead cetaceans, have been washed up on the shores of south Cornwall this year, so that the recorders and helpers including David Ball of the Silver Dolphin Conservation and Diving Centre at Porthleven, Cornwall can hardly keep track of the 'tide' of carcasses. The dolphins have been in the sea for long enough for them to start to decompose. They are all tagged with with cable ties around the tail, so that if they wash out and re-beach, they can be identified. At least some of them have probably been caught in fishing nets.
By 18 January 2003 the number had risen to 55. Most have been Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis), one was a Striped Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), Harbour Porpoises, (Phocoena phocoena), number about 10, and several carcasses were too decayed to be identified.
By 29 January 2003, David Ball advised me that the number had increased to 74, rising to 77 by 30 January 2003.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
BMLSS Cetacea

4 January 2003
Fishermen aboard the Polperro (south Cornwall) bottom trawler "Girl Jane" reported an extraordinary dolphin sighting whilst fishing some 13 miles west of Plymouth, and about two miles offshore, they encountered a pod of leaping dolphins estimated to be "many hundreds", perhaps a thousand. The species was not identified. At the same time they received a call on the radio from a sister ship fishing 10 miles east off Rame Head that they were surrounded by at least two hundred dolphins (obviously a different pod). 
On 17 January 2003 Polperro trawler "Girl Jane" (again) reported another huge pod of dolphins and porpoises, whilst shooting nets some 20 miles off Rame Head. Trawler "Cazadora", three miles or so away at the time also recorded dolphins. In both cases the number reported was "hundreds". Also, the Plymouth mackerel boats off Eddystone reef stopped fishing as they were catching dolphins rather than fish.

1 January 2003
Triggerfish (Photograph by Andy Horton)My dog discovered a 25 cm (10 in) long Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, are washed up dead on the beach between Seascale and Sellafield (Cumbria). I recognised the body shape and the shell crunching type of teeth in the book.

Reports on the north-west coast of England are unusual, although there have been specimens washed up on much more northerly Scottish islands. Even on the south west coasts, reports in the year 2002 were reduced in numbers. 
BMLSS Triggerfish



Len Nevell with a Spider Crab, Maja. (Photograph by Duncan Morrison at Adur World Oceans Day 2002)

In June 1992,  over 150  Heads of States signed the Convention on Biological Diversity at Rio de Janeiro. They did so to express a shared belief that action must be taken to halt the worldwide loss of animal and plant species and genetic resources.

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.

Are you running an event this year?

If you are running a World Oceans Day event this year, please send me details so the information can be out on the World Oceans Day web page. Ideally you will construct your web page for your event, so all I will do is put in an Internet link.

If you do not have any web space, you can still design a web page and it can be uploaded on space provided on the Smart Groups  World Oceans Day eforum.
This forum is for discussion of all aspects of running a World Oceans day event and all marine life exhibitions, including exchange of ideas, resource sources, and mundane matters like Public Liability Insurance.

Adur World Oceans Day 2003
 Event:  Adur World Oceans Day
 Date:  31 May 2003 (Saturday)
 Venue:   Coronation Green
 Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex 
 (TQ 216 050)
 Theme:  Education
 Main Contact:  Andy Horton
 Tel: 01273 465433
 EMail: Glaucus@hotmail.com
 Web Page URL:   Click on this text (*.pdf)

   Adur Exhibition

Adur will be one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presents an exhibition celebrating the official World Oceans Day. The event will take place on Saturday 31 May 2003 in Shoreham-by-Sea, on Coronation Green at the start of the Adur Festival



Each month, at least one special marine image will be published from images sent to the BMLSS. This can be of the seashore, undersea world or any aspect of the marine natural world, especially the underwater life, but not restricted to life beneath the waves. Topical inclusions may be included instead of the most meritorious, and images will be limited to the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining sea species and landscapes.

Photographs by Steve Trewhella, of Poole, Dorset


Seashore Images

Spekes Mill, North Devon, 
Lundy is just visible on the horizon above the point
Photograph by Nicolas Jouault

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 150K in size.

Link to more marine life photographsClick on the album for more links (On-line link)

Shore Topography Portfolio


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 **

7 March - Craig Brown (SAMS). Seeing in sound marine habitat mapping 
21 March - David Hughes (SAMS). Grow with the flow: sex and survival in the clone zone 
4 April - Liz Cook (SAMS). BIOFAQs (Biofiltration in Aquaculture) Can mussels make a difference? 
17 April (Thursday 12.00 noon) - Liam Fernand (CEFAS). Summertime circulation of water around the UK

For more details on the forthcoming talks, please contact Murray Roberts (mailto:mr-t@dml.ac.uk) or tel: 01631 559 000

back to Southampton Oceanography Centre Homepage

A series of monthly talks on marine conservation topics
These talks are open to the public, admission is free.

6 February 2003:
Seabirds in Hampshire, UK, and beyond Russel Wynn
6 March 2003
Walking the dog whelk - Simon Bray
3 April 2003
ROV deep sea fish watching - Ian Thomas
1 May 2003 
Fishy Tales - Peter Henderson

The Marine Life Talks are held on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30 pm, please arrive at 7.15 pm to be met in Reception. Southampton Oceanography Centre is reached via Dock Gate 4 (between Town Quay and Ocean Village). 

8 March 2003 (Saturday)
Earthwatch Project: Marine Life talks
10:00 am  - 5:15 pm
Venue: Imperial College, London

Earthwatch Open Day

Earthwatch scientists will provide in-depth information about their projects and the volunteering experience.  There will also be the opportunity to
participate in a series of workshops covering a number of topics from travel
tips to travel photography.

Marine naturalist Colin Speedie will talk about his research into Britain's
Basking Sharks, Dr. Vincent Pieribone will describe his project 'Luminous Life in the Great Barrier Reef' and Earthwatch volunteer Roger Griffin will be recounting his experiences on 'Crocodiles of the Okavango¹.

Tickets: Earthwatch members £10.00; Non-members £12.50; Student concession £10.00.  Coffee breaks and a sandwich lunch included.

Contact Earthwatch, Tel 01865 318856; Fax. 01865 311383;
EMail: info@earthwatch.org.uk 

Web Page: www.earthwatch.org/europe


Biological recording software for the new millennium

RECORDER 2000: Littlefield Consultancy pages

Littlefield Consultancy offers a full range of services for Recorder 2000 users. These include supplying the software, addins, report writing, data transfer and training. Support can be tailored to meet your needs, with assistance being provided at evening and weekends where this is required. 


The British Marine Life Study Society are responsible for producing the journal GLAUCUS, which is the first publication exploring the marine life of the seas surrounding the British Isles available to the general public. 

Change of EMail Address

New EMail addressPlease note that the EMail address for messages to the British Marine Life Study Society has now changed

from bmlss@compuserve.com  to  Glaucus@hotmail.com

Messages to the first address will not receive any guarantee of a reply and from year 2003, the old EMail address is expected to fall into disuse. 


Membership 2003

Current members will have their subscriptions waived for year 2003. An explanation was sent before Christmas. This is because of he computer breakdown and the failure of the full complement of paper publications. 

How to Join

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Printing the two column version of Torpedo (from issue 28)

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Torpedo  compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Nicolas Jouault , Steve Trewhella and other contributors

  5 February 2003

Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.7 and other programs
Boar Fish, Capros aper