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 Gateway
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.

6 June 2003
Millions (literally) of By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, (a jellyfish-like animal) are being washed up alive to perish on the shores of Cornwall, now reaching up the English Channel as far east as Polperro and Looe.  All are very small, around 15 mm in length, and still have fleshy body parts attached. More Cornish Reports
Velella page
Velella Notes
MARLin Velella Web Page

4 June 2003
We have got loads of By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, in the Fowey estuary, Cornwall, as far up as Wisemans reach. They are coming in by the bucket load. Lots were stranded on Readymoney beach and there were lots washing in the night. I haven't seen any Violet Sea Snails, but am going out on the water this morning so shall look out.

3 June 2003

The famous Boar Fish, Capros aper, died after its aquarium sprung a leak in the middle of the night. (It was caught from the Sussex shore at Hove in November 2002). Quotes are being obtained for having the fish moulded and cast by a professional taxidermist. 

31 May 2003
Shoreham bathed in a heatwave up to 24° C for the opening of the Adur Festival and Adur World Oceans Day 2003 on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. About 3000 people attended the event that was steady and busy throughout. 
Exhibits included live fish and lobster in aquaria, colouring and badge-making, whales and dolphins, birds, shrimps, fish-tasting, touch-table, Shoreham shingle beach flora and undersea colour photographs and videos. 

A special thanks to all the participants, especially Len Nevell (British Marine Life Study Society) and Steve Trewhella (Marine Conservation Society). The inflated dolphin was  provided by Steve Savage (Sea Watch Foundation). 

Several groups had special exhibitions including the:

British Marine Life Study Society including Shorewatch (four exhibits)
West Sussex County Council Countryside Unit
Sea Watch Foundation (for Whales & Dolphins)
Sussex Sea Fisheries District Committee
SeaSearch (Undersea Biological Recording)
Shoreham & District Ornithological Society
Sussex Ornithological Society

Len Nevell was in charge of the Living Animals display including live Lobsters

Adur World Oceans Day 2003
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Popular Information File on Adur World Oceans Day 2003
Acrobat Information File on Adur World Oceans Day 2003

28 May 2003
David Muirhead sailed through a large fleet of By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, on the SE side of Fal Bay. He said they were being tossed around and he wondered if they could capsize.
Michael Ennis reported a number at Nansudwell, Cornwall.

26 May 2003
Hundreds of By-the-Wind Sailors seen approximately half a mile SE of Guernsey, Channel Islands in the afternoon.

24 May 2003
Polurrian Beach, Mullion, Cornwall:  I found hundreds of By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, on the falling tide on Saturday and by the smell/remains they have been coming ashore for several days.

Report by John Hipkiss

21 May 2003
Ray Lawman has reported to Ruth Williams that he there were about half a million Velella velella at "Soapy Cove" on the Lizard, Cornwall.

More Cornish Reports

Thousands of tiny By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, are coming ashore on the Isles of Scilly . Porthlow on St. Mary's (Porthloo on maps) was covered with them, most only about 10 mm in length with only the occasional larger one, and the larger ones were very large at approx. 50 mm, with none in-between. I don't think I have seen them either as big or as small

Report by David Mawer (Isles of Scilly ) via Stella Turk MBE on the Cornish Mailing List

20 May 2003
Hundreds of By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, (a jellyfish-like animal) are washed up on Sennen Cove, Cornwall.
Sennen Cove Wildlife Page

Velella (Photograph by Steve Trewhella)

By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, are being reported again in the sea and washed up on the strandline on the north Cornish shores and Salcombe Harbour, south Devon.

MARLin Velella Web Page
On 21 May 2003 Ray Lawman has reported to Ruth Williams that he there were about half a million Velella velella at "Soapy Cove" on the Lizard, Cornwall.  More Cornish Reports

18 May 2003
Tim Bain reports seeing a 5 metre long Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, in St Ives Harbour, Cornwall, at dusk. This shark is the largest fish found in the seas around the British Isles and is regularly seen off the south-western coasts but only rarely actually enters harbours.

Report by Stella Turk MBE on the Cornish Mailing List


First British Record of a  Barracuda Sphyraena sp. -
"On the 25th November 2001 the crew of F.V. Regina Maris, skipper David Kessel, was fishing for hake with a monofilament set net when they netted a Barracuda.  They were fishing 8.5 miles south east of the Lizard, Cornwall. The fish was sent to Newlyn Fish Market where it was bought for £16 by John Strike of the Quayside Fish Centre in Porthleven, Cornwall.

Photographs by Phil Monckton, Western Morning NewsThe fish is 106 cm (total length) and 4.2 kg (gutted, so probably an ungutted weight of over 4.5 kg), and is the first record of a Barracuda in British waters."

I initially identified this fish from photographs as Sphyraena sphyraena. However it has now been examined in detail and I was incorrect.

When this specimen was examined at the Natural History Museum by Oliver Crimmen it was found that the edge of the operculum was naked (not covered in scales as it is in).  This, along with a few other features, showed the specimen to be Sphyraena viridensis, known as the Yellowmouth Barracuda.

I am afraid I was misled by the size of the specimen, as the FAO guide to the Mediterranean (1987), the UNESCO Fishes of North-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (1986) and Miller and Loates (1997) all given the maximum size of Sphyraena viridensis as 65 cm (probably standard length) and this specimen was 106 cm (total length).  However FishBase does give Sphyraena viridensis as reaching 128 cm (fork length).  FishBase does also say that the distribution of Sphyraena viridensis is uncertain as it is frequently misidentified as Sphyraena sphyraena.



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 seas, marine and seashore species and land and seascapes.


Coronation Green with Adur World Oceans Day 2003 (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

Images from
Adur World Oceans Day 2003 



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.

This query arose from Adur World Oceans Day. 
Can anybody identify the large worn shell, Glycymeris, to species level. It came from Portugal and is 99 mm long. Clicking on the image will bring up a larger photograph. 


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.

Seashore Safari, Plymouth

14 June 2003
The Marine Biological Association, along with PYPA21 and BTCV/MV, are running a FREE Seashore Safari on Saturday 14th June. The event takes place at Batten Bay, Mount Batten (near Plymouth) and runs from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm.

Bring wellies, waterproofs and lunch.

From the A379 Plymouth - Kingsbridge road follow signs for Mount Batten. Alternatively take the water taxi from the Mayflower Steps, in the Barbican. The event will be clearly signed.

For more information visit www.marlin.ac.uk/learningzone or phone the MarLIN team on 01752 633336.

EVENT: Seashore Safari
DATE & TIME: 14/06/03 11:30-14:00
PLACE: Batten Bay, Mount Batten, near Plymouth (SX 488 528)
COST: Free
WEBSITE: www.marlin.ac.uk/learningzone
PHONE: 01752 633336
Olwen Ager
Data Researcher
Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN)
Marine Biological Association
Citadel Hill
PL1 2PB 


BIOSIS  Conference Calendar for Zoology 
(Major Link of all biological conferences around the world)


Spring Talks Series 2003

No talks are listed

All talks are on Tuesdays and start at 7:00 p.m.
at the National Marine Aquarium, Coxside, Plymouth Devon.
Admission Adults £2.50; Children and NMA members £1.50, inclusive of refreshments will be available.

Please reserve your place by calling the Aquarium on 01752 275204


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.


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). 



EurOcean (European centre for information on marine science and technology)
published by
Sound Diving Publications
ISBN  0 9522831 4 X
Available from


Published by the Conchological Society

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

    9 June 2003

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