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.

21 February 2003
Tony Heart caught a Pollack on angling tackle over a depth of 50 metres of water with a Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, attached 23 miles WNW of Corbiere, Jersey, roughly 8 miles SW of Hanois Light, Channel Islands. 

Lamprey (Photograph by Andrew Syvret)

The Sea Lamprey was 51.8 grams in weight and 267 mm in length. This jawless fish is still reasonably common but there are few records from the Channel Islands. In recent past they have been eaten.

Original Report and Discussion (Link)
Channel Islands Wildlife Discussion Forum
BMLSS Lamprey page

c. 20 February 2003
Angler Val Fletcher struggled for 40 minutes to reel a unique shore capture of the deep oceanic fish known as the Oarfish, or Ribbonfish, Regalecus glesne, off the north-east coast of England at Skinningrove, Cleveland. This rare fish caught on a squid bait came as a bit of a shock, even scary, as first the head and then the whole length of its 3.3 metres emerged from the sea. This elongate silvery fish, with red fins weighed in at 63.5 kg, which actually meant it was rather a small one for arguably the largest, certainly the longest bony fish in the mostly deep oceans (found down to 1000 metres) attaining a normal length of 7 metres and a maximum of over 11 metres, and a maximum weight of 272 kg.
So unusual was this discovery that it ranks as perhaps the most unusual of all records on these news pages. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a photograph of the find. 
Link to Photograph
An alternative story is that the Oarfish became trapped in a net and was brought ashore dead. This seems a more likely occurrence. 
The last record of an Oarfish washed up on the British coasts goes back to 1981, again on a North Sea coast at Whitby, north Yorkshire. There are only two known photographs of an Oarfish in the wild, which shows that its main method of swimming is vertical,  propelled by its dorsal fin. However, there are reports of young Oarfish swimming below the surface in a sinuous manner.
The Oarfish has a wide distribution in all the deep oceans with most records from the tropics. It is one of two fish in the family Regalecidae. The similar Ribbonfishes are in the family Trachipteridae

Original Report and Discussion (Link)
Times Report
Fishbase Entry

16 February 2003
A 117 cm pup long of a Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, Hexanchus griseus, was landed at Mevagissey, south Cornwall. The shark weighed 6.3 kg before gutting. The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark is principally a deep water species, usually found offshore and near the bottom at depths of up to 1,800 metres.  Young specimens can however occasionally be found inshore in cold water at depths as shallow as 25 - 50 metres, especially near rocky coasts or islands where deep water occurs close by. The shark was caught by a small day boat FV Soft Shadow in a bottom set net (gill net). These boats do not usually fish more than six to ten miles offshore where the maximum depth would be 65 metres.
Sixgill Shark pups measure 65 cm - 70 cm at birth and can grow up to at least 4.8 metres (over 15 ft) long. This grey coloured sharks is unusual in that compared with most species of shark, they have an extra pair of gills. Females are thought to have 22 - 108 pups per litter.
Full Report 

13 February 2003
One adult and one juvenile Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, are seen 100 metres off Cove, near Aberdeen, north east Scotland. They swam slowly north past Girdleness breaching about one mile offshore in Aberdeen Bay. This large whale is regularly seen around the Shetland Isles but rarely ventures further south. A solitary Humpback Whale was also seen the Firth of Forth and this similar to one described recently from the Moray Firth so this 13 metre long whale may be the same animal. 



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)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 seas, marine and seashore species and land and seascapes.


Only one species of hermit crab found in the NE Atlantic and seas around the British Isles has its major claw on left nearest the apex of the adopted shell

Diogenes pugilator
South-claw Hermit Crab

Photographs by Andy Horton


Seashore Images

Divers report seeing female Dragonets far more often than the males that are colourful in breeding condition with an elongated first dorsal fin

Male Dragonet, stranded out of the water on Les Minquiers, Channel Islands
March 2002
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

15 March 2003 

Opening of the SAMS 'IN TO THE ABYSS' Exhibition at the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Barcaldine (11 am - 4 pm). As a National Science Week event, the opening will be accompanied by talks on different aspects of deep-sea science by SAMS researchers and is open to all. The exhibition features the only public display of deep-water corals in the UK.

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 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



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)

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

  3 March 2003

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