February 2005
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***

National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

Scottish Association for Marine Science

Silver Dolphin Centre, Helston, Cornwall



Monthly electronic news bulletin for the marine life of the NE Atlantic Oceans including the seas and seashore around the British Isles. 
The bulletin is designed for Microsoft Explorer 4 and above using medium fonts at a resolution of 800 x 600.
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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 February 2005
I found a beautiful creature dead on Climping Beach (west of Littlehampton); it looked like a dolphin, but it did not have the long snout. The Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, was a blue/light grey in colour. It was not damaged and looked as though it had only recently died. It was just under a metre in length. The condition of the Porpoise seemed perfect, not a mark on it, no damage at all. Just lying there, glistening on the beach, eyes open, mouth a tiny bit open. 

Report by Tricia Peters
Postscript:  The Natural History Museum Post-mortem discovered that the dead Porpoise was extremely ill.  It died from nutritional deficiency and had secondary septicaemia as well as a heavy parasite load.   
BMLSS Cetacea (Whales & Dolphins)
Marine Life off Sussex 2005
BMLSS Strandings Telephone Numbers (to be updated)

17 January 2005
A Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was seen just off the quay at Mevagissey, Cornwall. It was circling and feeding on a shoal of anchovies, flicking its tail about and small fish could be seen flying into the air. Unfortunately by the time the fishermen who observed this told Chris Gilbertson, of Mevagissey Aquarium, the shark had stopped feeding and moved away.

BMLSS Sharks

13 January 2005
Hundreds of Sea Cucumbers were amongst the wreck of animal remains discovered on the Dinas Dinlle beach west of Llanwrog (south-west of Caernarfon), north-west Wales. 
Sea Cucumber (Photograph by Paul Jasper)
Mermaid's Purse (Photograph by Paul Jasper)

They were scattered all over the strandline and shore with other remains including the common Mermaid's Purses (egg cases of the Dogfish: a small shark) and the decaying carcass of a dead Seal. Sea cucumbers are an unusual animal washed up between the tides. They belong to the taxon (Class) Holothuroidea, are similar to starfishes and classified in the same Phylum Echinodermata
Gulls scavenged for anything edible, but they showed no interest in these creatures. 

Report and Photographs by Paul Jasper
Another Sea Cucumber report (in Diver magazine)
BMLSS Strandline
BMLSS Echinodermata

The sea cucumber looks like Thyone fusus can be found as far north as Norway grows up to 20 cm.

Comparative Image

9 January 2005
Velella (Photograph by Steve Trewhella)A post storm check of Thurlestone (south Devon) beach for stranded cetaceans or oiled birds revealed my first ever UK sittings of by the Jack-by-the-Wind-Sailors, Velella velella, several hundred, some as just the chitinous float and sail. I have never noticed them before in Britain but I saw millions on beaches in SW Corsica last May. There was no sign of the predatory Violet Sea Snails, Janthina sp., often (rarely in the UK) associated with this creature or tropical seeds but three species of Cuttlefish were present in reasonable numbers.
Lots of Large (Turban) Topshell, Gibbula magus, and Necklace (Moon) Shells Polinices sp. were washed up on Slapton Sands, Devon.

Previous Reports
BMLSS Jellyfish
BMLSS Beachcombing

2 January 2005
A juvenile Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, was discovered on a remote north Cornish beach at Gwithian, near Hayle. This is unusual as it is usually Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, that are washed up, often killed in fishing nets with a total of 220 recorded in 2004. 
In this case it seemed to be heavily scarred with fresh "rake marks", wounds inflicted by the sharp teeth of one or more other dolphins, which may have attacked the individual. This behaviour has been seen in Bottle-nosed Dolphins off America.
It is not known why they occasionally attack one another but fatalities appear to be
confined to fights between males. If the post-mortem confirms that this was the case, it will be the first recorded incident of its kind in the UK.
Link to Photographs

Full Report
Cornish Wildlife Trust News
BBC News: Dolphins attack Porpoises
BMLSS Cetacea

1 January 2005
A Sunfish, Mola mola, was washed up on the beach at West Runton, near Sheringham, north Norfolk. 
Sunfish (Photograph by Rupert Smith) Sunfish (Photograph by Rupert Smith)

Although this fish is frequently seen off the south and western coasts of Britain during the summer and autumn, sightings and strandings in the North Sea are much less common.

Report and Photographs by Rupert Smith
BMLSS Sunfish


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

Cornish Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2004


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 John Walters
 The 'jaw' shown in the current glaucus looks more like a tail of a ray with those rows of large dermal denticles.
Suggestion by Dr. Gerald Legg (Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton, Sussex)


Photograph by Chris Lloyd
Would anybody like to suggest how large this Lobster was when it was alive?

Photograph by Chris Lloyd

Scottish Nudibranchs

Photograph by Jim Anderson

Cuthona caerulea (Montagu, 1804)
Web Site and Photographs by Jim Anderson


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.

Photographers submitting pictures should indicate if they wish them to be considered for inclusion as confirming permission takes work and time and can delay publication of the news bulletins. 

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.

See the venues for talks and activities in the left hand column.
Click on the images (on-line) for the latest information.

BIOSIS  Conference Calendar for Zoology 

(Major Link of all biological conferences around the world)




18 to 20 March 2005

at The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD

Offers of talks and/or posters, either on the theme or on any appropriate subject, are welcome now. We shall attempt to accommodate talks of from 20 to 30 minutes into the programme. Please specify equipment requirements.

Speakers so far include:

  • Martin Angel: Towards an Atlas of North Atlantic Planktonic Ostracoda
  • Geoff Moore: Richard Elmhirst: the 'other' Cumbrae naturalist
  • Kim Last: Biological rhythms of Nereis virens
  • Brian Bett: Viewing the depths of the sea
  • Peter Davis: '19th century marine biology in north east England' 
  • CCW: Distribution and character of Sabellaria alveolata reefs around Wales
  • Jean-Claude Dauvin: Marine census of benthic invertebrates in The English Channel
    The Conference Dinner will be held on the Friday night. Advance notice of intention to attend the dinner (plus payment of a deposit of £10) is essential.
    Full Details (Click on this text)


    Wednesday 27th April, 7.00 pm - 8.30 pm

    Earthwatch Lecture at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London

    Grey Whales & Orca - Feeding Habits & Health

    © Chris Newman

    Our oceans are powerful indicators of the state of our planet and the incidence of climate change.  There is currently much public interest in whales and their environment, but the information is often poorly reported or interpreted.  Join us to hear about our research into two charismatic species, the coastal grey whale, which can weigh between 30 and 40 tonnes, and the killer whale, the most fearsome predator of the world's oceans - research which also tells us about the health of the oceans they inhabit.

    Admission is free but by ticket only.


     Public Aquaria List




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


    Marine Fauna of Norway

    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 2005
    Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2005. 

    How to Join

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    Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
    Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors

        14 February 2005

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    Boar Fish, Capros aper