Marine Life News Bulletin

August 2006

ISSN 1464-8156

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 the Cornish Marine Life Reports (by Ray Dennis) for 2005
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

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages

Marine Life Society
South Australia ***

De Strandwerkgemeenschap




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 and can be viewed satisfactorily at a resolution of 1024 x 768.
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.

17 August 2006
A Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, was seen in Brixham Harbour, Devon, near the Lifeboat station. It was about 2.5 metres in length. 

During a routine aerial survey for marine wildlife off the southwestern tip of Cornwall this morning, researchers from the University of Exeter School of Biosciences, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and Cornwall Wildlife Trust counted 18 Basking Sharks. They were concentrated on the north coast and spotted during the two-hour aerial survey.

BMLSS Basking Sharks

13 - 14 August 2006

Buoy Barnacles on White Park Bay beach (north Antrim)
Photograph by Dave Harrison

Large numbers of Buoy Barnacles, Dosima fascicularis, were found stranded on the north coast beaches of Northern Ireland, e.g. Portstewart Strand and White Park Bay (County Antrim). There were at least six of these batches seen on the White Park Bay beach during the walk

Buoy Barnacles are attached to floats that they had secreted that have a texture like that of expanding foam.

BMLSS Barnacles
Earlier Report (received after this one)

August 2006
Twenty one years after they were reintroduced, the hard work by conservation groups, volunteers, the police, local communities and landowners, has paid off with the two hundredth White-tailed Sea Eagle, Halieetus albicilla, chick fledging in the wild on the Isle of Skye. 

12 August 2006

Minke Whale (Photograph by Adrian G Fitzwilliam)

A Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, was discovered washed up dead on the rocky coast at Seascale in Cumbria (NW England). A Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, was also washed up dead within 10 metres of the whale. 

Report and Photograph by Adrian G Fitzwilliam
BMLSS Cetacea

c. 9 August 2006
A vagrant 18 kg (40 lb) Big-eyed Tuna, Thunnus obesus, was a rare capture by a commercial net fisherman 70 miles off Land's End and 2,000 miles adrift of its usual habitat in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It is only the third capture on record from British seas.

BMLSS Tunnies

7 August 2006
Peter Dent spotted a two metre long Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, (58 lb = 26 kg) thrashing about in his salmon net a mile off Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland (north-east England). Because of its size and the damage it was causing the fish had to be killed.

Peter Dent (with Phillip and Imogen) and the Swordfish (Photograph by Alan Charlton)

Peter Dent (with Phillip and Imogen) and the Swordfish
Photograph by Alan Charlton
Northern Federation of Sea Anglers Society (NFSAS) 

This is the first recent record of a Swordfish being caught off the British mainland coast, although there have been both sightings and Swordfish washed ashore dead this century. This fish was thought have to have been following the Mackerel shoals. 

BBC News Report
Notification from Doug Herdson, (National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth.)
Earlier Devon Report 2006
BMLSS Swordfishes

3 - 7 August 2006

Bouy Barnacles (Photograph by Alison)

Buoy Barnacles from Connemara
Photograph by Alison

Thousands of the stalked Buoy Barnacles, Dosima fascicularis, are washed ashore on the beaches of Connemara, County Galway, south-west Ireland. They were stranded all along the west coast of Ireland. 

Report and Photograph by Alison
BMLSS Barnacles

1 August 2006
Another Short-snouted Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, was discovered washed up on the strandline, near Brighton Pier (=Palace Pier) by beginning of Volk’s Railway (TQ 315038). The discoverer was a Mr J Chapman.

BMLSS Seahorses

17 June 2006

Swordfish (Photograph by Paul and Angie Symons)

Amidst so much excitement that the camera could be found immediately, a three metres long (including the sword) Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, swam past our dive boat off the south coast of Devon, off Teignmouth (near the wreck of the Galicia). 

Report by Jackie Hazel & Paul Fenton (Tiger Charters)
Photograph by Paul and Angie Symons
BMLSS Swordfishes



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

Cornish Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2005


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.

Photographs can now be directly uploaded to:



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.

Duckpool, north Cornwall
Photograph by Nicolas Jouault

The coast from Bude past Maer Cliff to Northcott Mouth and Sandymouth and towards Morwenstow provides dramatic views, no more so than Duckpool. Surrounded by high cliffs Duckpool nests in a valley, three miles North of Bude, near to Kilkhampton. It can be reached by travelling down narrow country lanes with high hedges. 

Shore Topography Portfolio

flickr Coastal Images
Species Study

21 August 2006

Topknot (Photograph by Bob Kell)

While shore fishing from Pittenweem breakwater on the east coast of Fife in Scotland on Monday, I caught a smallish flatfish which I have identified as a Topknot, Zeugopterus punctatus.

 Report and Photographs by Bob Kell
The commensal worm can be seen venturing out from the gills. 

Topknot (Photograph by Bob Kell)

BMLSS Topknots

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. 

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)

 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 launched a new full colour magazine, GLOBAL MARINE ENVIRONMENT in 2005, 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)


Coastal Plankton 
Photo Guide for European Seas

by Otto Larink & Wilfried Westheide

reviewed by Wim van Egmond

ISBN  0-9522831-5-8

Available from:


Encyclopaedia 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


Membership 2006
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2006. 

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

       31 August 2006

Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.7 and other programs
Boar Fish, Capros aperLen NevellMarc AbrahamJohn KnightUrchin fossil (out of scale) dating the pebbles at 85 million years oldMermaid's PursesPeter Talbot-ElsdenCharlie DimmickAndy HortonSamanthaThe crab was called Rooney because of its missing leg. Nobody asked about the brain cells of a crab?