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.
The bulletin is designed for Microsoft Explorer 4 and above using medium fonts at a resolution of 800 x 600.
Subscribe and unsubscribe options are at the foot of this page.
If you receive this bulletin as an EMail subscriber, you may find the best way to view the file is on your hard disc in your directory of Incoming EMails.


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.

27 December 2002
A Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, is spotted just before midday stranded on some rocks in Portland Harbour, Dorset. The coastguards were called and they managed to push the whale back into the water and it spent the rest of the day swimming around the large natural harbour, but it has yet to be coaxed back out to the open sea.  This species of whale is rarely seen in the shallower parts of the English Channel. 
BBC News Report
Corrected Report by Clive Martin (Biscay Dolphin Research Programme)
BMLSS Cetacea
On 29 December 2002 the whale was not seen in the harbour and it may have returned to the open sea. 

26 December 2002
A group of ten (including one calf) Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, are spotted feeding at the entrance of Aberdeen harbour, north-east Scotland. 

22 December 2002
Oiled seabirds, mainly Guillemots, are being washed up in greater numbers than normal on the Kent coast. The RSPCA rehabilitation centre at Mallydams Wood near Hastings, East Sussex, has already dealt with over 400 birds, four times the usual number (which was 92 in 2001).
Report Number Tel: 08705 555 999 (RSPCA)

Report by the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory via Kosnet
Full Report
BMLSS Oiled Birds Page

17 December 2002
Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV)
Between 11 December and 17 December there have been 47 dead seals reported around the UK bringing the total to 3682 since the beginning of the outbreak. The English deaths were down to 16 in the last week and are falling in Scottish seas after a sharp rise to 133 dead carcasses in the week ending 4 December 2002
It is the total number of dead seals reported, irrespective of what they died of and this recent rise of mortality in Scottish seals has probably got more to do with the Grey Seal pupping period than any extra spread of the virus.
Weekly Graph (epidemic started 14 August 2002)
PDV Update
Status Report 19

12 December 2002
Early in the morning a young eight metre long Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, entered the naval harbour of Frederikshavn on the northern Kattegat coast of Denmark. It remained in the harbour for the whole of the day and is believed to be feeding on the shoals of small fish seen. These whales are rarely seen around the mainland British Isles. 

Video Footage
Cornish Humpback
BMLSS Cetacea News

11 December 2002
Taking up this theme of the wildlife that surrounds us, but which is terra incognito to most of us amateur naturalists, Barry Collins (wildlife warden for Thorney Island) contributes an apt example from his observation of a marker post recently washed up on the Pilsey Sands in Chichester Harbour, Sussex. The section of the post which had for years been under water was covered with a thousand Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, looking like silvery grey mussel shells around 5 cm (2 inches) long, each attached to the post by a long flexible brown stem which may be 20 cm (8 inches) long allowing the living crustacean to reach out into the surrounding water to feed.

NB: On previous occasions, local buoys thought to have provided habitats for Lepas have discovered top be buoys from much further afield, e.g. meteorological buoys from the Atlantic Ocean. 
BMLSS Barnacles

5 December 2002
In the last few weeks 640 oiled sea birds have been washed up on the East Anglian coasts of Suffolk and Norfolk. The source of the oil has not been discovered, but it is believed to have been released from an old wreck. 
BBC Television News Report
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency have made sent up spotter planes and received reports of slicks of oil on 19 and 21 November 2002, relatively small ones compared to a major disaster.

Report from Tony Child (Thanet Coast Project Officer) 
BMLSS Oil Spills Page



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.

Berthella plumula (Photograph by Steve Trewhella, of Poole, Dorset)

Berthella plumula
Photograph by Steve Trewhella, of Poole, Dorset

This strange looking mollusc was photographed in Dorset where they seem to be common on the shore at low tide and in certain times of the year. It is one of the sea slugs or opisthobranchs (family: Pleurobranchidae), gastropods that have lost their shells or in this family have retained a thin internal transparent shell. Rockpoolers are most likely to discover this species under rocks on the lower shore when the spring tide recedes. It is not to be discovered on every rock coast though. Divers may also discover this small, up to 6 cm, animal, which is one of the largest of the sea slugs. Despite, being reasonably common where found its biology seems to be little known. Many of these sea slugs are specialist feeders and this one feeds on the sponge Oscarella

Sea Slug Forum Information Page


Seashore Images

Rocky Shore at Cullercoats (Photograph by Andy Horton)

Rocky Shore at Cullercoats, Tyneside
Photograph by Andy Horton

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)


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 **

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). 


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. 
    We also publish the quarterly SHOREWATCH Newsletter and 
    the TORPEDO Electronic News Bulletin.

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

Bulletin Details

If you receive this Bulletin direct from the British Marine Life Study Society it will contain only hypertext and image (*.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
To save download times, only new images are included with each Bulletin.
The Bulletin is designed to be viewed on Internet Explorer  using medium fonts 

at a resolution of 800 x 600. Viewing should be possible on Netscape and other browsers.
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 Microscope Internet Explorer 6 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 other web page editors, 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.

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. 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 , Steve Trewhella and other contributors

  31 December 2002

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