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
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

Norwegian Marine***



Monthly electronic news bulletin for the marine life of the NE Atlantic Oceans including the seas and seashore 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.

28 June 2004


An Audouin's Gull, Larus audouinii, was added to the list of British birds after a second summer bird  was seen, recorded and photographed at Dungeness, Kent on 5-7 May 2003. 
Audouin's Gull was formerly a rare and localised species. It is still restricted to the Mediterranean as a breeding bird, but its numbers have risen from about 1000 pairs in the early 1970s to more than 17,000 pairs by 1995. The species is partly migratory, the main winter quarters lying along the Atlantic Coast from Morocco, as far south as Senegal and Gambia. The increasing population has seen an increase in extralimital records including
four records from France , plus three records from Switzerland. One of the French records was from Boulogne-sur-Mer, just across the Channel from Kent.

Discovery by Dave Walker (Dungeness Bird Observatory Warden)
Message on Sussex Birds

25 June 2004
A Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, became stranded on the same island of Vlieland as the Humpback Whale three days earlier. The 15 metre whale was dead for about two weeks before it washed up on the North Sea coast of the Netherlands.

22 June 2004
Within a few months, a third Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, has stranded in The Netherlands. The eight metre long female whale stranded on the island of Vlieland was only a young whale; the adults are over 11 metres long. This individual also bears the scars of nylon fishing gear and seemed to be freshly dead.

Cetacean News Reports Index
Humpback Whales (first live record from the Netherlands)
BMLSS Cetacea

18 June 2004
A new film called Deep Blue from the makers of the Blue Planet opens in good
Trailer (Link)

17 June 2004
Five Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, were found washed up dead on the Cornish coast in the space of a week, with the latest discovered at Perranporth, North Cornwall. Others have been washed up dead, at Gerran Bay, Coverack, Roseland Bay and the Fal estuary.
News Report
BMLSS Basking Sharks

13 June 2004
A young female Hooded Seal, Cystophora cristata, was discovered on Dunnet Beach, (just west of John o' Groats, north coast of Scotland) Caithness. It was treated by British Divers Marine Life Rescue who plan to return the seal to the Orkney Isles nearer its natural habitat around Greenland and the Denmark Strait (between Iceland and Greenland). 

Report by Alistair Jack of British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Marine Life Rescue News Page (with the Full Report)

6 June 2004
An extraordinary raft of Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, was seen eight miles (13 km)  off the coast of north-west Wales, off the Lleyn peninsula at the north of Cardigan Bay. The Moon Jellyfish had somehow contrived to wedge themselves together into a continuous raft of eight metres square, each of the tens of thousands of jellyfish about 10 cm in diameter, each wedged several deep in one large teeming mass, each jellyfish "pulsing down" in the glassy dead calm sea between two headlands. This unusual congregation has been reported once before in the enclosed Scottish Loch Nevis, but has not been recorded before in the open sea.

Report by Barry Pugh
BMLSS Jellyfish

5 June 2004
Venue: Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea
British Marine Life Study Society Seashore Aquarium exhibit (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
Crowds of children around Katherine Hamblett's live crab pond dipping exhibit.

Adur was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition celebrating the official World Oceans Day. It was held in the large marquee on Coronation Green overlooking the River Adur.

I estimated the attendance on a sunny day (21.4° C) at 2,500. 

With the sheer number of people it made it impossible to speak to people as much as I would like. There were lots of interesting conversations and I was surprised about the number of people who stepped on a Weever Fish last summer, at least half a dozen, and it was lucky we had a small specimen on display so people could have a look at the offender. 
Lesser Weever (juvenile fish) Photograph by Ray Hamblett

The most interesting discovery was an unidentified fossil found on Shoreham beach and brought in by a young girl. This is illustrated on the right. 

Adur World Oceans Day 2004 Image Portfolio (by Ray Hamblett)

4 June 2004
Box Crab, Paramola cuvieri, was caught 12 miles off Falmouth by fisherman Arfee Treneer, from Mylor, Cornwall. The extremely long legs of this deep water crab give it by far the largest span of any of the crabs found in the North-east Atlantic Ocean, although its body is not much larger than the Spiny Spider Crab, Maja squinado. It is a rare capture and according to the BBC Report only the sixth ever caught in British seas and second by this fisherman. This crab like all the giant long-legged crabs is an inhabitant of very deep water in excess of 150 metres and down to depths of 1500 metres. This one was caught in much shallower depths and brought alive, but damaged, to the Blue Reef Aquarium at Newquay. The bionomics of this crab are not well known. 
BBC Report
1997 Report
Public Aquaria UK

3 June 2004
Liocarcinus vernalis
Portumnus latipes in berry. (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

A short 30 minute spell of push-netting for shrimps off Shoreham beach on the low spring tide produced two dozen Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon, a handful of the South-clawed Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator, one young venomous Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, two juvenile Grey Swimming Crabs, Liocarcinus vernalis, with 30+ young Flounders and two young Sole. The crab in the photograph with the "fleur-de lis" is Portumnus latipes.
Identification Discussions

Identification of the crab (left) by Guido Rappé (Belgium) 
Identification of the crab (right) by by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
and others on the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group
Adur at Low Tide

2 June 2004

A Sturgeon, Acipenser sp., was caught in an otter trawl in Bristol Channel south of Swansea at 2:30 pm in the small (under 10 metre) fishing vessel MFV Wonkey SA357, skippered by Robert (or Kevin) Davies. It weighed 120 kg (265 lb), and was was 261 cm (8 ft 6") long (including the tail fin) and 246 cm long (excluding the tail). It was caught at a depth of between 10 and 20 metres. I believe it to be Acipenser sturio, but the snout is fairly short and blunt, more like Acipenser gueldenstaedtii (but this is a Danube/Black sea species). 

BMLSS Sturgeon

30-31 May 2004
A 10 metre long juvenile* Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, is spotted close inshore off the holiday resort and fishing town of Whitby, Yorkshire, on the east coast of England. Nick Richardson, a field agent with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, said: "It's definitely a Humpback Whale. You can tell by the distinctive tail fin and the fact that the pectoral fin has a white underside."
(* Sexual maturity is attained at an age of 4 to 6 years at a mean length of 11.6 metres in males and 12.1 metres in females.)
News Report
BMLSS Cetacea

All reports by Andy Horton unless the credits are given to other observers or reporters.

Links for News Reports:

Nature Notes Webring

Helford (Cornwall) Marine Conservation Area

Friends of Moray Firth (NE Scotland) News Page

Sussex at Sea News Page

Cornish Marine Wildlife News

Cornish Marine Sightings Archives 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.


Larva of the Common Starfish, Asterias rubens (Photograph by Erling Svensen)
Larva of the Common Starfish, Asterias rubens

NB: These are not the original settings and the brightness and contrast have been altered to make the image clearer. 

Photograph © by Erling Svensen

Jellyfish from Scotland
These two jellyfish were photographed in Ross-Shire and the second from Sutherland, both off Scotland. Although, I am reasonably confident of their identification, I have left the captions blank for a second opinion. The images can be clicked on for a larger view. 
Photographs by Alan Melville

Shore Topography Portfolio

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

Link to more marine life photographs

Click 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)

4 July 2004

Marine Mania at Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex

This event occurs on 4 July 2004 and will include live displays of seashore life. These will be presented by Seven Sister's Country Park.

Co-ordinator:  East Sussex Maritime Season

More Information

Seven Sisters Country Park 



Talks Series 2004

Further Information Link

  Facilities are available for schools, linked to the national curriculum. 

Talks 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 **

10 October 2004
- Elvira Poloczanska (SAMS) A worm cast of thousands - Serpulid Reef Watch in Loch Creran 
24 October 2004
- Kerstin Kroeger (Victoria University, New Zealand)  Recovery of a Macroinvertebrate Community in Experimentally Defaunated Sediments 
5 December 2004
- Eric Breuer (SAMS) Oxygen dynamics in contrasting marine environments

For more details on the forthcoming talks, please contact Murray Roberts  or Anuschka Miller  Tel: 01631 559 000  Diary

For information contact Dr Hamish Mair  or Anuschka Miller  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). Please confirm that the talk is taking place before arriving unannounced. 


Porthleven (near Helston), Cornwall

Aerial Multimap Location (Link)

Porthleven Old Lifeboat Station    ©  Silver DolphinThe Silver Dolphin marine conservation and diving centre is dedicated to the conservation and protection of all marine life. Click on the image for the full list of events. 

To help protect the marine environment we run a full training programme of conservation courses and PADI scuba diving training.

Ideally placed in the old lifeboat house Porthleven why not come and discover the wonders of the Cornish coastline and underwater world!

Places on the courses must be booked in advance

Link for Activities


There will be a charge of £15 for the try dives and £5 for the snorkelling (if you need to hire snorkelling equipment).  For bookings contact the Silver Dolphin Centre on 01326 572002


The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth have several web pages for information on this new dive site. Please click on the logo for more information. 


 Public Aquaria List



18 June 2004
A new film called Deep Blue from the makers of the Blue Planet opens in good cinemas.
Trailer (Link).


Marine fish & invertebrates
of Northern Europe
Frank Emil Moen & Erling Svensen

In May 2004 the English edition of the very popular Norwegian Marine Fauna (Dyreliv I havet) was published. Prof. David Bellamy has written the foreword. 

More than one thousand underwater photographs  and 608 pages with updated information on marine fish and invertebrates from nearly all marine phylum in Northern European waters. The largest newspaper in Norway, Aftenposten gave the Norwegian edition 6 out of 6 points in a book review. It is in use at all major higher marine biology studies in Norway. 

The English edition is translated by Prof Fredrik Pleijel and Dr. Sabine Cochrane

"Marine fish & invertebrates of Northern Europe” is written for anyone with a general interest in marine animal life, and who would like to learn more about their way of life and behaviour, about the role they play in the drama of nature, and the benefit and nuisance they are to man. The main portion of the book is arranged in such a way that the different animal species are presented in a natural, systematic order. More than one thousand magnificent colour photos of animals taken in their natural environment support the informative text highlighting the characteristics of each animal. “Marine fish & invertebrates” covers the North European marine fauna and is a readable experience in itself. In addition, the book is an important aid and source of inspiration to all who delight in the ocean with its hidden life whether if be hobby, study or profession.

The book is available from Aquapress in the UK, Skandisk, Inc. USA and KOM in Norway .


NAUSICAÄ - French National Sea Experience Center

NAUSICAÄ - French National Sea Experience Center, in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Northern France), is a Science Center entirely dedicated to the relationship between Mankind and the Sea. Its goal is to incite the general public to discover the sea and to love it, while raising its awareness on the need for a better management of marine resources. 

Within the scope of this mission, NAUSICAÄ gives access, on its recently redesigned web site, to a database containing links to the most interesting web sites concerning the sea-related topics and marine activities.


Published by the Conchological Society

BMLSS: Marine Life Articles in Publications (Link)

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 2004
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2004. An explanation was sent to members just after Christmas. 

How to Join

Bulletin Details

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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 , Andy Horton and other contributors

    1 July 2004

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