July 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.
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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.

17 July 2005
A yacht out of Lyme Regis, Dorset, took avoiding action to narrowly miss a Sunfish

Report by Shige Takezoe
A Sunfish was spotted between Swanage and Studland, Dorset, about half a mile offshore at approximately 10.30 am. It was no more than 60 cm in length and moving very slowly. It was swimming near the surface next to our motor boat on one of the calmest days of the year so far. BMLSS Sunfish
More Sunfish from Cornish Seas

11 July 2005
A Flying Fish was caught off the south Devon coast by the Brixham based beam trawler, MFV. Magdalena and landed on the fish market.
The flying fish is probably Cheilopogon heterurus, the Atlantic Flying Fish, but it needs to be checked. Stephen Rodgers, the fishmonger who bought it on Brixham Fish market, is preserving it and will be passing it on to me to examine, and then give to collections in the Natural History Museum in London.  While more than twenty flying fish have been recorded in British waters, principally in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, we have never had definite proof of which of the three or four possible species they were. However the half dozen caught in Denmark and Norway have all been Cheilopogon heterurus. Old records often say those in Britain were Exocoetus volitans but that is the tropical flying fish which is very unlikely here. The photograph of this fish shows that this fish was definitely not this species.  A photograph of this fish by Richard Austin was in the 15 July Western Morning News.
I have had two or three probable sightings of flying fish in the last seven years from yachtsmen in mid-Channel who thought they saw one but could not be a 100% certain. 

10 July 2005
A Black Sea Bream, Spondyliosoma cantharus, was caught on rod and line from a boat in St. Andrew's Bay, Scotland. This is a northerly capture location for fish that breeds in the English Channel and further south. 

Report by Jim Crighton

8 July 2005
A Salcombe fisherman, Graham Foale, observed a Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, about four miles south of Prawle Point, south Devon.  It swam around his boat, Crustacean SE 35, for about five minutes whilst they were hauling pots around midday. It came within 15 metres and then slowly swam off to the east.  The head could not be seen but the white markings on the pectoral fins were evident.  He had seen one in the same area about ten years before.

on the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group

28 June - July 2005
An algal bloom of the planktonic dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi has developed in the Atlantic Ocean and been blown inshore and around the coasts and into the loughs of north-west Ireland. This microscopic organism is present in such huge numbers that underwater the sea actually looks green and the visibility is reduced to a few metres. It releases toxic substances called gymnocins into the sea and compounded by the deoxygenation caused by the dying plankton, the overall result has been a mass mortality of the sessile and slow moving organisms like starfish, sea urchins, benthic (bottom-dwelling) animals, scallops and other molluscs, worms and even sea anemones. In the enclosed loughs and in very shallow water, the effects are even worse, with flatfish and rock pool fish succumbing the effect of the toxins and anoxic conditions. Dead creatures litter the sea bed providing food for any crabs that have survived. 
Priapulid in Killary Bay (Photograph by Rohan Holt)
Thy fusus (Photograph by Rohan Holt)

Dead Animals in Killary Bay
The first is a priapulid (Priapulida: worm-like animals that live in the sand), Priapulus caudatus, and the second a sea cucumber, Thy fusus, that have succumbed to the effects of the algal bloom.

Fish farms have been located in some of the loughs and their stock of molluscs and fish can be killed by these naturally occurring algal blooms. 

3 July 2005
I dived Killary Harbour (a long enclosed sea lough) with Dr Joanne Porter from Aberystwyth University, only to find that all the brittlestars in what was an extensive bed; large molluscs including whelks and scallops; all starfish, all fish (everything from Blennies, Gobies, Butterfish, flatfish etc) and many of the infaunal species - (worms, priapulids, sea cucumbers), were either dead and rotting, or gaping and unresponsive. The only animals that seemed to be hanging on were the Common Hermit Crabs, Pagurus bernhardus, and the Organ-pipe Worm, Serpula vermicularis, which were still extending their tentacles from their calcareous tubes but retracting them quickly when we approached. On another dive in the upper reaches of Kilkieren Bay a 'population' of the Fireworks Anemone Pachycerianthus multiplicatus, were notably moribund and would not retract their tentacles nor retreat into their tubes when disturbed.

 Report and Photographs by Rohan Holt
Marine Institute Web Site Report

4 July 2005
At least a dozen Minke Whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, were seen from the CRRU research vessel in the outer southern Moray Firth (NE Scotland).  At one location, we had three Minke Whales around the boat at the same time (two adults and a young calf), and they were lunge feeding, to the left and to the right of us, as the leviathans struck at the numerous bait balls of sand eels being concentrated at the surface by corralling mackerel from below and hoards of feeding birds from above!

28 June 2005
After a noticeable absence of Minke Whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, in the outer southern Moray Firth (NE Scotland) in 2004, we are pleased to report that the animals have returned to their usual feeding haunts once again in 2005. At least two were definitely observed, and there were certainly more in poor weather conditions. 

A group of a dozen Sperm Whales, Physeter catodon, including a calf, were spotted between Bressay and Noss in the Shetland Isles (island off the east mainland). From a vantage point overlooking Noss Sound, we were rewarded by the sight of a group of Sperm Whales gently drifting eastwards at a distance of about two miles. Visibility was fairly good and we could determine the distinctive outline and classic blow through the scope, though they were a long way out when viewed through binoculars. Despite the variety of whales and dolphins around the Shetland Isles, Sperm Whales are unusual in the relatively shallow water for these huge sea mammals. A group is very rare and the calf may be the first record for the Shetlands. Images (Shetland Sea Mammal Group)

BMLSS Cetacea (Whales & Dolphins)
BMLSS Cetacean News Index 2005

27-29 June 2005
A group of seven Leatherback Turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, were spotted around the Isles of Scilly , south-west of Cornwall. 

Observed by fishermen and Viv Jackson & Ren Hathway and reported by Stella Turk
on the Cornish Marine Life Sightings web page
BMLSS Turtles

26 June 2005
A Small-scaled Scorpionfish, Scorpaena porcus, was discovered in a fishing catch caught off Cornwall and brought into Plymouth. This venomous fish usually lives in the Mediterranean. This appears to be only the second UK record of the rarer of the two venomous Scorpaena from European warmer seas. 
Previous Report in 1998

A shark landed at Plymouth dockside was a 118 cm (TL) female Bluntnosed Six-gilled Shark, Hexanchus griseus, caught on longline due west of Cornwall  (50°N 8°W). This is a deep water predatory shark species. 

More Information on Six-Gilled Sharks (by Len Nevell)
Fishbase Entry
BMLSS Sharks
BMLSS Shark News

13 June 2005
At Dunnet Head (the most northerly part of mainland Scotland) whilst watching the seabirds near the lighthouse we saw at least three Minke Whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, feeding close in amongst the birds.

2 June 2005
A Striped Dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, swam on to the beach at Bembridge on the lsle of Wight. Although the dolphin did not show any signs of injury attempts to rescue it were in vain. 
Full Report (BDMLR)
BMLSS Cetacea


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.

Larval fish (Photograph  ©  by Richard Lord)

Photograph  ©  by Richard Lord

After the spring breeding and a brief planktonic stage, the young fish and beginning to be seen in the rockpools. Despite the large pectoral fins and the strange colour, I think this species is a Blenny, Lipophrys pholis. It was captured in a rock pool in Guernsey. It seems to have a continuous dorsal fin. This identification is not confirmed, so if anybody has any better ideas I would be pleased to know.

Comment by Andy Horton 


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.

Please send any attractive or interesting coastal scenic, landscape, topographic or faunal photographs specifying location and details

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)



19 June 2005
It is with great sadness we have to report of the passing away of Alwyne Wheeler who for many years was the leading fish expert in the United Kingdom. He died aged 76, after a long illness.

Alwyne was a highly acclaimed ichthyologist who worked, until his retirement, at the Natural History Museum in London where he has special responsibility for European Fishes, but even then his interest and reputation was such that he continued on an informal basis for many more years. 

He was recognised as the definitive authority on fish species and was the author of many comprehensive books and his classic book “Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe” became a bible for all those who have an interest in fish species within Northern Europe and beyond. 

June 2005

We are also sad to learn of the death in June of the renowned Cornish playwright and author Nick Darke, who was known throughout the county and beyond for plays such as The King of Prussia, The Dead Monkey and
Ting Tang Mine.

He was a strandline guru who submitted marine life reports via the Cornish Mailing List (Yahoo Group).



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)

13 - 21 August 2005 

Sea Watch Foundation 
National Whale and Dolphin Watch Event

The National Whale and Dolphin Watch week is an opportunity to gain a 'snapshot' view of the status and distributions of the many whales, dolphins and porpoises around the British Isles - and it relies on the support of thousands of men, women and children, looking out to sea and telling us what they have seen.

The National Whale and Dolphin Watch week is now in its fourth year. Every year the results of the sightings reported in to us are analysed by our scientists and researchers to help improve our understanding of these wonderful creatures. One 'surprise' finding that has emerged from the Watch weeks has been the distribution of sightings, leading scientists to question previously held theories on both numbers and the feeding habits of many of these species.

Last year more than 2,000 people took part with more than 500 sightings of ten of the 28 species of cetaceans - whales, dolphins and porpoises - that are known to frequent our coastal waters. These included minke whales, northern bottlenose whales, orcas (killer whales), bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises, common dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins, white-beaked dolphins, Risso's dolphins and even humpback whales were spotted.
During last years event we had six actual sightings along the Sussex coast. 

If you are interested in taking part in this years watch, usually one of the weekends, please contact me via this group or on my own Email (stevep.savage@ntlworld.com) please let me know and I will tell you more about how to get involved. More information soon. You can find out what was seen in last years watch by clicking on the logo below to the Sea Watch Foundation website.

Thanks to those of you who took part in last years watch.


 Public Aquaria List
?  What to do if you find a stranded whale or dolphin  ?

If you find a LIVE stranded or injured whale or dolphin on the beach you must send for help QUICKLY. A whale or dolphin stranding is an emergency and the speed of response by a professional rescue team is perhaps the most crucial factor in determining whether or not an animal can be returned to the sea alive.

0300 1234 999
0300 1234 999
0131 339 0111
0845 201 2626
01534 724331
00 44 1481 257261

British Divers Marine Life Rescue
01825  765546




The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom has recently launched a new full colour magazine, GLOBAL MARINE ENVIRONMENT, which will appeal to people who wish to read accurate, interesting and entertaining articles about the world's oceans and its inhabitants.
Much of the source material for this new magazine is the Journal of the Marine Biological Association (JMBA). Whereas the journal is full of excellent scientific papers, GLOBAL MARINE ENVIRONMENT takes some of the most interesting studies and, in full colour, writes a more understandable summary of the findings.

The first issue of Global Marine Environment may be purchased in hard copy for £1.75 (see below) or downloaded from the web at the following


Information provided by Richard Lord (Guernsey)



ISBN  0-9522831-5-8

Available from:


Philip Henry Gosse 1852-1856

The first aquarist
William Alford Lloyd 1815-1880 

On June 6th 1853 William Alford Lloyd, a 38 year old married bookbinder employed at William Brown’s bookshop, 130/31 Old Street, London, wrote to the eminent Victorian scientist, Professor Richard Owen, requesting a complementary Sunday viewing ticket to the Regent’s Park Aqua Vivaria; as he could ill afford the entry fee on his meagre salary. Responding positively to this bold request, the professor and lowly bookbinder became firm life-long corresponding friends.
Within 12 months of his first visit to the Aqua Vivaria, without leaving the employ of William Brown’s, Lloyd opened a small shop selling parlour aquariums and everything concerned with them; with his equally knowledgeable wife serving behind the counter. With an endorsement from Professor Owen, such was the success of the small shop in St John Street Road, and with public interest changing from ferns kept in Warington Cases to the new craze of parlour aquariums, Lloyd sought larger premises; which would allow him to work full time in the business. Using virtually all of the capital gained from the small shop, he proudly opened his “Aquarium Warehouse” at Portland Road, Regent’s Park in the late winter of 1855.


Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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 be replied to as this service is discontinued. 


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

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 Andy Horton and other contributors

     24 July 2005

Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.7 and other programs
Boar Fish, Capros aperLen NevellMarc AbrahamJohn Knight