Marine Life News Bulletin

March 2006

ISSN 1464-8156

Skye (Photograph by Jon Bramley)
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.

25 February 2006
An eel-like Red Band Fish, Cepola rubescens, was discovered at the wave-break  as the sea splashed against the shore at Highcliffe, Dorset. The fish was thrown back into the water and it was seen to swim off.
NB. There infrequently recorded fish lives in burrows offshore and is rarely seen with occasional live specimens seen out of its normal habitat when its burrows are destroyed by gales and other disruption. It may not be as uncommon as the few records indicate because its habitat means that it is rarely seen alive. There have been even fewer records of this fish being caught on an angler's line. 

Report by David Meadon
BMLSS Red Band Fish (under construction)

24 February 2006
An oiled and very old and worn Grey Seal, Halichoerus grypus, was washed up on the rocky shore at Cuckmere Haven (near the Seven Sisters), East Sussex. It was at the end of its life span and was euthanised. 
NB: Grey Seals are almost unknown off Sussex, where the Common Seal, Phoca vitulina, is only occasionally seen.

Seal Conservation Society
Marine Life of Sussex News

21 February 2006
A new record weight Angler Fish, Lophius piscatorius, weighed in at 78 kg with a total length of 164 cm, was captured in a net by Øystein Øye, from off Norway. 

15 February 2006
Another Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, was spotted near North Shore Road, Skegness (Lincolnshire) on the North Sea coast during the morning high tide. It was clear that it was dead after the tide receded. 

Head of the Sperm Whale on Skegness Beach
Photograph by Karla Ryder (Wymeswold)

The Natural History Museum took photos and limited samples of two dead Sperm Whales, Physeter catodon, in the Wash. Paul Jepson visited the one at Skegness, quite decomposed, a male, 14 metres in length. This means at least four Sperm Whales have been washed up on the East Anglian coast of Britain in February 2006.

BDMLR Forum Extra Information
Skegness Whale Report
Skegness Today
UK Cetnet (Yahoo Group)
BMLSS Cetacea

It is the tenth anniversary of the Sea Empress Tanker spillage at Milford Haven.
British Oil Spills

12 February 2006

Bass with a blunt head (Photograph by David Wilkinson)

Bass with a blunt head 
Photograph by David Wilkinson
(Technical Officer, Sea Fisheries, Commerce & Employment
Department, Guernsey)

This most extraordinary looking Bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, was caught off the coast of Guernsey, tagged and returned to the sea. Its blunt head looks like that of the Pagrus Sea Bream and several other fish. This Bass weighed an estimated 4.5 kg. 

Report by David Wilkinson via Richard Lord (Guernsey)

4 February 2006
A ten metre long Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, became stranded as the tide receded on the Humber estuary mud off Kilnsea, on Spurn Point, East Yorkshire. It was first spotted alive at about 10:00 am blowing in the shallow water. It quickly died as it was left clear of water on the low tide at 3:00 pm

UK Cetnet (Yahoo Group)
Organisation Cetacea
BMLSS Cetacea

2 February 2006
Over fifty Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, were bow riding our vessel with four Fin Whales,Balaenoptera physalis, four miles south-west of Dodman Point (above Mevagissey), south Cornwall. 


Magic Map now has a Coastal and Marine Resource Atlas


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.


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.

Fancy a Swim?

The limestone rocks on the shore at Wick on the north-west coast of Scotland are covered in a thin layer of snow in February 2006. These rocks have resisted the pounding of the North Sea over the centuries and adjacent to the picture, man has taken advantage of the natural shore formation by constructing an open air swimming pool called the Trinkie outside Wick Harbour. This is one of two pools that have been repaired for swimming in (i.e. not for Blennies).

Photography by Kirsty Grieve

Shore Topography Portfolio

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

The Sea Potato, Echinocardium cordatum, dug up by a bait digger,
immediately tried to bury into the substrate.  It used the spines on the
ventral surface to move the sand away from underneath it. As it buried
itself in the substrate it pushed up a ridge of silt and sand up in
front of it.  It can bury itself remarkably quickly for such a slow
moving animal.

Photograph and Report by  ©  Richard Lord (Guernsey)

BMLSS Echinoderms


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)

Link to the Porcupine Society web pagesPorcupine
Marine Natural History Society

24-26 March 2006
The Isle of Man Conference
Marine Natural History: Past, Present and Future

For those of you who are unaware, Port Erin Marine Laboratory on the Isle of Man will be closing its doors at the end of June 2006, after 114 years of service.

Events have been organised to mark the occasion and Porcupine Marine Natural History Society, having many members with past links to PEML, wanted to highlight the contribution of PEML to our understanding of the marine environment by holding the annual PMNHS conference at the marine station. 
This is a great opportunity to visit or revisit the laboratory one last time.

There will be two days of talks (Friday and Saturday) followed by a field trip on the Sunday. Laboratory space will be available and it may be possible to arrange diving for any truly hardy people! The Isle of Man has extensive and varied rocky shores and sandy coves and also has superb scenery, walks and many other tourist attractions. So you may wish to extend your visit by a few days. Unfortunately the Laboratory will be closing permanently in July 2006 so this may be your last opportunity to visit.

Call for papers: We would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to present a paper at the conference. Speakers will not be charged the conference fee but will be asked to make a small contribution for refreshments. 
Offers of papers to Séamus Whyte (

Posters: There is a space for posters adjacent to the lecture hall for easy viewing during coffee/ tea breaks. 
Offers of posters to Séamus Whyte (

Costs: The conference fee, which includes tea and coffee is £30 (£20 for students and unwaged). Non-Porcupine members may join the Society during the conference (by standing order only) for £5, a 50% reduction. If you wish to take advantage of this offer the total fee will be £35.

Details including location map, accommodation list, provisional programme & membership form (where appropriate) will be sent on completion of the booking form.

Booking Enquiries: Peter Barfield - or 01208 851040 



26 to 29 April 2006
Conchology Society Field Trip
Field Meeting to Anglesey 
Conchological Society of GB & Ireland

The primary aim of the meeting is to record molluscs from the intertidal of Anglesey and Lleyn Peninsula - but I am sure that there will be opportunities to record other taxa.

Julia Nunn
Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
Since the post 1991 marine molluscan survey of Anglesey was started, 47 new records for the area have been confirmed. Some of these are Graphis albida, Alvania beanii, Alvania carinata, Sepia elegans, Sepia orbigniana and Rissoa lilacina. Some records have only being previously recorded from western Ireland and north and west Scotland. This may be due to the possible existence of deep water off the end of the Lleyn Peninsula.

The purpose of this meeting is to examine some of the hot spot areas on the
south Anglesey and lower north Lleyn Peninsula coasts with particular interest in shell sand as this is where many of the new records have been turning up. The group will be looking at two areas on south west Anglesey, i.e. Aberffraw, and Rhosneigr and Porth Dinllaen on the Lleyn Peninsula. The latter is a uniquely sheltered location and hosts a large area of Eelgrass, Zostera marina.

There will also be two non marine sites on Anglesey at Llyn Maelog and also
at Newborough Warren which will be the first meeting point for the group at the carpark adjacent to Llyn Rhos-ddu SH 426 647 at 10.00 am on Wednesday 26
April 2006. From there the group will move on to Aberffraw to meet at the dunes
carpark at SH 357 690 at 1.00 pm for the first marine event.

Full programs can be obtained from Tom Clifton.

Conchological Society Programme of Events (Link)



10 June 2006

Date: Saturday  10 June 2006
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-by-Sea, as part of the Adur Festival.

Contact details:

Andy Horton
British Marine Life Study Society
Tel:  01273 465433

If you wish to participate, please let me know ASAP


 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:


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


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

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 Andy Horton and other contributors

       15 March 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 Purses