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.
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.

3 September 2003
A large whale skull was landed at Shoreham (Monteum's Wharf, River Adur) from a small (under 10 metres length) trawler fishing ten miles off Brighton Marina, Sussex.

  Further Details and Photographs

BMLSS Cetacea

30-31 August 2003
National Whale and Dolphin Watch
Sea Watch Foundation 

The Sea Watch Foundation organised the UK's National Whale and Dolphin Watch Weekend, aimed at providing a snapshot picture of the numbers and variety of whales, dolphins and porpoises to be seen around the British Isles. 

BMLSS Cetacea

20 August 2003
Emergency protection was introduced for the Darwin Mounds, a deep water cold water coral reef off the north west of Scotland. The mounds are situated in the top end of the Rockall Trough off north-west Scotland, in waters 1,000 metres deep. 

Lophelia (cold water coral) with Lebensraum on the Darwin Mounds, © Brian Bett, Southampton Oceanography Centre

The main coral species forming the rare and interesting habitat is Lophelia pertusa but Madrepora oculata is also known to be present. The protection forbids all fishing and oil exploration in the area because of the damage such activities would cause. 
JNCC Report Page
JNCC Committee Paper
Extending Offshore Habitats Protection

Two unusual intertidal fish (at least around the British coast) were discovered in shallow, under three metres depth, water over sand off Limeslade Beach, south Wales, were a small shoal of Red Mullet, Mullus surmuletus, located in a channel amongst the sand. Further out in deeper water there were some Leopard-spotted Gobies, Thorogobius ephippiatus.

BMLSS Gobies
BMLSS Rockpooling

c 20 August 2003
Two specimens of the square-carapaced crab, Hemigrapsus penicillatus were caught on the Belgian shore at Koksijde. This Japanese (eastern Pacific) immigrant which has been known from France (1994 at la Rochelle and 1997 at le Haura) and The Netherlands (2000), is a new arrival for the Belgian carcinofauna. The most likely method of accidental introduction is in the ballast tanks or on the hull fouling of merchant vessels. 

Report by Hans Hillewaert and Francis Kerckhof 
(Biological Monitoring, Sea Fisheries Department, Belgium)
via the CRUST-L (Custacean Discussion Group)
About the same date, some more specimens were discovered on the Belgian coast by Emmanuël Dumoulin.
Bionomics: in the Pacific this crab seems to occupy similar habitats to the native Shore Crab, Carcinus maenas. It may be a similar predator. 
More Information on this crab
General Information
Marine Science Portal

14 August 2003
A Black-faced BlennyTripterygion delaisi, was discovered in a rockpool at Les Écréhous, Jersey. This warm water fish fish is more likely to be found in the shallow seas to the south of the English Channel. It is a small secretive fish and although not a true blenny, it hides in crannies and will rarely feature in fishermen or angler's catches. 

Black-faced Blenny (Photograph by Nicolas Jouault)

However, diver's are beginning to see more of this attractive fish and they have been reported notably from off the coast of Dorset. This is my first record of this fish discovered on the shore. It was about 55 mm in length.
The nudibranch (sea slug) Rostanga rubra was also discovered on the same shore.

BMLSS Black-faced Blenny page
BMLSS Nudibranchia

Rhizostoma octopus off Chesil Beach (Photograph by Peter Glanvill)

Rhizostoma octopus off Chesil Beach
Photograph by Peter Glanvill (Dorset)

6 August 2003
Doing a few boat transects today we saw absolutely loads of the jellyfish, Rhizostoma octopus  off the Rhossilhi/Llangennith beach, Gower, south Wales and further into Carmarthen Bay. I'm not even going to attempt a number, but unless they were all stretched out in lines which corresponded exactly with our transects there must have been tens of thousands.

Report by Adam Cooper
BMLSS Jellyfish


A Government consultation is to look at increasing protection for important offshore sites such as the Darwin Mounds, Nature Conservation Minister Ben Bradshaw announced.

The 12 week consultation puts forward proposals to extend the protection afforded to important species and habitats under the Birds and Habitats Directives, which currently does not go beyond 12 nautical miles of the UK coastline. 
Full Press Release

2 August 2003
Juvenile bothids (left-eyed Flounders) that have been identified* as the Eckströms Topknot, Phrynorhombus regius occasionally appear in crab pots off Guernsey's south coast at this time of year. I was given a 25 mm long specimen from a crab pot.
(Identification confirmed by Robert Patzner.)

Eckströms Topknot © Richard Lord 2003 (Guernsey)

I took several photos and noticed that it had an elongated process emanating from the dorsal margin of the left eye.  This process is not illustrated on Fishbase or in Volume III of 'Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean'.  I would like to know what possible function this process or protuberance serves and whether it is found also in adult specimens.

Report and photographs from Richard Lord (Guernsey)

c. 2 August 2003
An ovigerous (with eggs) female Slipper Lobster, Scyllarus arctus, was caught just off the Eddystone Lighthouse, south Cornwall, by Looe-based fishermen Richard Chapman. This strange crustacean is only a rare discovery in British seas, normally found in waters to the south. However, it is now suspected there could be a small breeding population off the coast of Cornwall. It measured 14 cm long and was identified by the experts at MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network).
The exact date of capture was probably a few days before this newspaper report in the Western Morning News.
2001 Report



The British Marine Life Study Society has changed its main Internet Universal Resource Locator (URL) under a new easier to remember domain name:

The old URLs are expected to eventually fall into disuse, and from year 2004 there is no guarantee that the old links will work. This poses a problem as many other web sites and search engines are linked into to the old URLs, and the new URLs cannot be found on the commonly used search methods like Google and Copernic. Already the latest News items are only to be found on the new domain. The changeover was necessary because the CompuServe system was old fashioned and essential because it still cannot be accessed via Broadband. The new domain does not officially commence until the deadline for the broken links to be repaired and the missing images to be renewed which is 1 January 2004. Please amend your bookmarks for the News pages immediately. 

Marine Wildlife News of the North-east Atlantic Ocean 2003 
(British Marine Life Study Society)

It would probably be best to amend your book marks for the other pages as well. If you are a webmaster, please adjust the links before the end of 2003. 


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.

Photograph by Andy Horton
A strange twin Beadlet Anemone, Actinia equina
with two oral discs and mouths


Shore Topography Series

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.

Shore Topography Portfolio


Photograph by Nicolas Jouault
North of Grande Ile, Chausey, Normandy
© Nicolas Jouault


Yarrell's Blenny © Richard Lord 2003 (Guernsey)

Yarrell's Blenny © Richard Lord  2003 (Guernsey)

This is a rare and detailed study of a small Yarrell's Blenny, Chirolophis ascanii, a fish that is uncommon and not very well known in the seas around Britain. It may may be commoner than is realised because it is a small fish that lives in rocky areas in deeper water than normally dived. This one was caught in Clive Brown's crab pots off the south coast of Guernsey. They are frequently caught in these pots in autumn. 


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



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.


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.
11 October 2003 (Saturday)

Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex                   FREE ADMISSION




This event is organised and run by Shoreham Fisheries Project
Email: shorehamfish@fsmail.net

The British Marine Life Study Society will present a live exhibit and an information display at this event. 


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


Spring Talks Series 2003

No talks are listed.  Facilities are available for schools, linked to the national curriculum. 

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 **

29 August 2003
Richard Shelmerdine (SAMS-UHI). 
Angels of the Shark’s Board. 

For more details on the forthcoming talks, please contact Murray Roberts (m.robertsl@dml.ac.uk) or Anuschka Miller (aham@dml.ac.uk) tel: 01631 559 000

9 - 12 September 2003
Second International Symposium on Deep Sea Corals, 9 - 12 September, 2003, Erlangen, Germany. For further details: www.cool-corals.de 
Registration: cool-corals@pal.uni-erlangen.de

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.

4 September 2003
BeachwatchGillian Bell, (Marine Conservation Society)

2 October 2003
ROV deep sea fish watchingIan Hudson

6 November 2003
Turtles – John Houghton

4 December 2003
Sea Mounts – Kerry Howell

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). 



21 August 2003

'Atlas of cetacean distribution in north-west European waters' 

The publication by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) of an atlas of their distribution in waters off north-western Europe.  It is based on the sightings made by hundreds of observers over the past 25 years.  The atlas is a first for these waters, and becomes the first globally to take full account of the variation between areas in the amount of searching that observers have carried out to gather the information.

Click on this text for the full information including ordering

Price £17.00 from the Natural History Book Service (www.nhbs.com),
or phone +44 (0)1803 865913. 



Local shrimper Peter Talbot-Elsden, from Southwick (Sussex), has produced a small booklet called “Shrimping for Food and Fun” about catching the brown shrimp around the coasts of Britain. The shrimps are caught in nets and the book features the various methods, firstly the push-netting seen over the sand in shallow water in spring off the Sussex coast. The famous Morecambe Bay shrimps were originally captured by cart shanker shrimping with a horse and cart in deeper water off the Lancashire coast, later replaced by a tractor. At Formby, they experimented with amphibious vehicles after World War II. Nowadays, most commercial shrimping on the east coast around King’s Lynn trawls from small boats using a net off the stern. Shrimps are often cooked on board.

The 28 page book contains 40 photographs of shrimping through the ages. It is available through Bookworms of Shoreham and other booksellers and museums at £3.50. 
The booklet is also available through the British Marine Life Study Society, but at £4 including postage and packing. 

Peter Talbot-Elsden manned the shrimp display at Adur World Oceans Day.

(European centre for information on marine science and technology)



Assessing the sensitivity of seabed biotopes to human activities and natural events

MARLIN  (Marine Life Information Network)

MarLIN News
Issue 6 Spring 2003

Sealife Surveys: Identification Guide for Selected Underwater Species

MarLIN has published this new waterproof guide which is designed to support recording projects. The 45 species in the guide have been selected for their ease of recognition and their importance as species which play a key role in maintaining particular communities, are likely to be affected by global warming, or are non-native. The guide is produced in collaboration with the Seasearch programme, which is a nationwide diving survey of underwater habitats and species. Volunteers are taught about marine life, how to recognize what's important and how to make records under water.

You can obtain a copy of the guide for £3 including post and packing by sending a cheque to MarLIN, Marine Biological Association, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB. Cheques are to be made payable to ‘Marine Biological Association’. Copies are free to participants in organized surveys.



The Marine Life and Environmental Sciences Resource Centre
The Marine Life and Environmental Sciences Resource Centre

The Marine Life and Environmental Sciences Resource Centre is based at the historic Citadel Hill Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association on Plymouth Hoe. The Association was founded to investigate life in the sea and disseminate the knowledge gained for the public good.

The Centre is designed for a variety of educational and training purposes in support of the local, national and international community, including charities, small and medium-sized businesses, schools and colleges, universities and learned societies.

The Centre provides a spacious and flexible venue combining facilities for workshops, conferences and lectures with laboratory benching and equipment for practical work and field courses. The Centre can be partitioned into connecting meeting and laboratory areas or remain as one large space. The following resources are available:

Seminar, workshop and lecture facilities for up to 80 people
Fully equipped laboratory holding up to 40 participants (inventory available on request) 
Seminar area convertible into laboratory space giving one large lab. capable of holding up to 80 students 
Digital, slide and overhead projectors 
Networked computing facilities 
Display and poster boards 
Access to the National Marine Biological Library 
Seawater systems 
Boats and sampling equipment 
Easy access to a wide range of marine habitats including estuaries, rocky and sandy shores and open water 
Close proximity to local diving services 
Catering facilities for tea and coffee, buffets, formal lunches and dinners 
Disabled access and toilet facilities 

Marine Biological Association of the U.K. 
Sea Anglers' Conservation Network
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

Bulletin Details

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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
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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 , Ray Hamblett and other contributors

    4 September 2003

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