March 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.

2 March 2005
A 157 kg male Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was sold at Newlyn market, Cornwall, caught by 7.5 metre Falmouth netting vessel Peter John II. The shark was caught approximately three miles from shore in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall.

BMLSS Sharks

24 February 2005

Sea Lamprey  ©  Richard Lord

Richard Seager brought me a live Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, in the late afternoon at 5:00 pm.  It had been attached to a Bass which was caught off the west coast of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.  The lamprey is about 20 cm long.
There have been a handful of other reports from the Channel Islands where this parasitic fish is rarely discovered. 
Full Report

Report and Photographs by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
BMLSS Sea Lamprey

16 February 2005
A single Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, followed the wash of the Sea Fisheries Protection vessel in the Looe Channel south of Selsey Bill in East Sussex. Dolphins are only occasional sightings off the Sussex coast. 
Sussex Dolphins

Photograph  ©   Sussex Sea Fisheries District Committee

                            Bottle-nosed Dolphin 
    Photograph ©  Sussex Sea Fisheries District Committee

Report by Robert Clark (Sussex Sea Fisheries District Committee)
BMLSS Cetacea (Whales & Dolphins)

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
National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme

4 February 2005
A seven metre long whale was cut free after becoming tangled in a crab pot rope and buoy. It was first spotted in Penrhyn Bay off the north Wales coast. It swam free with the buoy still attached. RSPCA Animal Collection Officer, Mark Roberts, was taken out on the Llandudno lifeboat and under spotlights was able to approach the whale, possibly a Minke Whale? The whale was unable to dive but was swimming quite strongly. After the ropes was cut away, the whale dived and disappeared.
The origin of the ropes and buoy was from off County Donegal, north-west Ireland. The species of the large whale was not identified but it seems most likely from the poor quality photograph and other reports to be a Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae.

Irish Whale & Dolphin Group Report
BMLSS Cetacea (Whales & Dolphins)
British Marine Life Rescue News (February 2005)

2 February 2005
A Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, is discovered on Carbis Bay, Cornwall, and because it seemed to be impeded by a parasitic growth, it was taken to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay.

BMLSS Turtles


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.


Shark Egg Capsules from the Orkney Isles
Photograph by Richard Land

These large egg case washed up on the shores of the Orkney Isles, north of mainland Scotland, have not been identified at the time of writing.

Egg Capsules of Rays & Sharks (Link to the Web Pages)

BMLSS Mermaid's Purses

Mystery from Hannafore

Photograph by Steve Tolley

These blobs are slightly larger than a Periwinkle, Littorina littorea

They were discovered at mid-tide at Hannafore beach, 
at Looe in southern Cornwall.
What are they?

Photograph by Stephen Tolley


Photograph by Chris Lloyd
Photograph by Chris Lloyd

The photograph and description before gives some idea of 
the size of the Lobster

22 June 2003
We captured a large Lobster, Homarus gammarus, off a Portland wreck which weighed about 6 kg, but it only had one claw. The human foot in the picture is size eleven. Specimens over 6 kg are only occasionally caught incidentally in other fisheries as large lobsters cannot get into the pots. They are often covered in Barnacles and keelworms.

Report by Paul Harrington

Looking into the lobster bays is a real education, with about 50% being right handed (the side of the crushing claw) with the rest left handed. Others seem to have a variety of claws that are not easily identified as crushing or cutting, but between the two. Colours vary from almost black to a very light shade of blue with some being pink.
Comments from Bob Alexander  (Weymouth)
Crustacean Page
Lobster Page
Lobster's Meal Time (BMLSS Scotland)
Lobster:  notes in captivity


Sunfish off St. David's Head south-west Wales
Photograph by Paul Howells

Sunfish are frequently seen off the south and west of Wales


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' 
    • Kathryn Birch: Overview of the CCW intertidal mapping data
    • Julia Nunn: Irish marine Mollusca in the collections of the Natural History Museum, Dublin 
    • Natasha Lough: Distribution and character of Sabellaria alveolata reefs around Wales 
    • Tammy Horton: Deep-sea scavenging amphipods of the north-east Atlantic 
    • Jean-Claude Dauvin: Marine census of benthic invertebrates in The English Channel 
    • Richard Warwick: An All Taxon Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) for the Isles of Scilly: Progress Report
    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.



    An Environmental Fayre

    Date: Saturday  4 June 2005
    Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    Venue: Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea
    Admission: FREE

    Adur will be one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham, heralding the start of the Adur Festival.

    The high tide will lap against the green at the start of the day long exhibition in the historic centre of Shoreham town overlooking the flooded River Adur

    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. 

    Under the shade of the marquees, displays of undersea creatures with lobsters and rockpool fish, the popular touch table, the whale and dolphin display, exhibitions of  underwater photographs, local environmental groups and much more to entertain and inform the young wildlife enthusiasts and all the family. There will be experts on hand to answer questions about life in the sea and on the seashore and activities to keep the youngsters occupied. Allow an hour on more to browse around and join in. 

    Adur World Oceans Day is joint effort by West Sussex County Council, Adur District Council, the British Marine Life Study Society, Sussex Sea Fisheries District Committee, the Sea Watch Foundation, Friends of Widewater Lagoon, the Sussex Ornithological Society, Shoreham and District Ornithological Society and various individuals with a special interest in the sea. 

    Steering Committee Contact Details:
    Andy Horton.
    British Marine Life Study Society
    Tel:  01273 465433   EMail:

    "World Oceans Day" Smart Group
    Group Home Page:

    World Oceans Day UK  Web Page



     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





    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 .


    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 to

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

         3 March 2005

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    Boar Fish, Capros aper