Marine Life News Bulletin

September 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.

23 September 2006
We dived in Brighton Marina in the same area (near the entrance) that the adult Short-snouted Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, was discovered in June, and over a period of a few hours we spotted about a dozen juvenile Seahorses ranging in size from 10 to 25 mm. They were not all found together. This looks as if there is a population breeding in the marina. 

in Brighton Marina

Photograph by
Michelle Legg

Seahorse in the shallow surface waters of Brighton Marina (Photograph by Michelle Legg)

All Seahorses are a protected species in British seas and collection for whatever reason is illegal.

BMLSS Seahorses

A Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was discovered washed up on Castletown beach, near Thurso, on the extreme northerly tip of mainland Scotland. These southern fish a now regularly seen in the English Channel but are unusual so far north and was not immediately recognised by the local people.

Report by George Shearer from the Caithness Forum
BMLSS Triggerfish

15 September 2006
Fisherman Geoff Blake was stunned when he discovered an unusual 30 cm long fish in his regular morning catch off Ventnor, southern Isle of Wight. The fish was  identified* by the fisherman as the first ever Lesser Amberjack, Seriola fasciata, to be found in British seas. All four of the Amberjacks of the North Atlantic Ocean are vagrants in British seas and there are only 17 confirmed records of the other three species. This fish was caught in 6 metres of water, just 200 metres from the shore. 
(*Identity to be confirmed. These fish are difficult to identify, sometimes requiring a count of the gill rakers. Recent fish caught have been the Almaco Jack, Seriola rivoliana.)

2004 Amberjack Report
BMLSS Amberjack Notes

13 September 2006
A vagrant Atlantic Tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis, was caught in a stake net on
the banks of the River Severn near Newport. The fish is now in the National Museum and Galleries of Wales with the Curator of Vertebrates, Peter Howlett.
This tropical fish is likely to be the first one ever caught in British seas. It is a sluggish offshore fish that often floats on its side near the surface in the company of floating objects.

9 September 2006 
Steve Trewhella and Julie Hatcher found about sixteen Compass Jellyfish, Chrysaora hysoscella, washed up on the beach at Sandymouth Bay, near Bude in north Cornwall
Photograph  by Richard Lord (Guernsey) Photograph  by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

Amphipod Hyperia galba on a Compass Jellyfish
from Yerseke Marina in the Netherlands
Photographs © by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

A number of these contained the symbiotic amphipod crustacean Hyperia galba alive inside them. These are remarkable little creatures with large green eyes, and as adults they are only found in jellyfish.

BMLSS Jellyfish-1
BMLSS Jellyfish-2
BMLSS Hyperia

6 September 2006
A 210 kg (gutted weight) Thresher Shark, Alopias, was caught in the North Sea, landed in Sweden and put on sale in Finland.

BMLSS Sharks

August 2006

This attractive crab was brought in by a potter from Milford Haven, south-west Wales. It is about 40 mm wide and is now alive and well in the Silent World Aquarium at Tenby. It is the species Monodaeus couchi which is seldom recorded and may be one of the rarer crabs from the seas around the British Isles. BMLSS Crabs

31 August - 1 September 2006
A pair of Northern Bottle-nosed Whales, Hyperoodon ampullatus, were washed up alive on the Lincolnshire coast (North Sea east coast of England) and despite strenuous attempts by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue using pontoons to float the whales, the female died on the scene, and the male towed 1.2 km out ot sea and seen to swim away, was found washed up dead at Seacroft, near Skegness,  on the second day.

Previous Stranding in London

25 August 2006
An unusual discovery of a fresh but dead 27 kg (60 lb) Tuna was found on a soft mud bank at Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, south Wales, by local angler Nick Roberts and it was pulled ashore with some difficulty by three teenagers. The exact species is not known at present: the most likely species is the Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus. 

7 August 2006
A vagrant 18 kg (40 lb) Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares (originally identified as a 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 second capture on record from British seas.

BMLSS Tunnies



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.

Ilfracombe (Photograph by David)

Shore at Ilfracombe
Photograph by David

The coastline between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin is backed by lofty cliffs and etched with many sheltered covers and bays.  From Ilfracombe, the coastline stretches for over 6 km to Combe Martin, a smaller town in a setting of sea, cliff and valley.  There is a striking contrast between the irregularity of rocky shores, sandy stretches and all the intergrading types of shore along this coastline, presenting a rich variety of environments for a varied assembly of flora and fauna.

Script by Aethne Cooke

Metamorphic rock, originally from layers of sandstone, shale, and assorted mineral layers typically present in ocean beds. Some rust, so means at least one iron substance is present in it as well/

Comments by Dawn D

Shore Topography Portfolio

flickrCoastal Images
Species Study

Sipunculus nudus
Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

29 March 2006

The peanut worm (sipunculid) Sipunculus nudus which was dug up by a bait digger in Belle Greve Bay on Guernsey's east coast, just north of St. Peter Port. The animal was about 132 mm long and weighed 33 grams. Of course, with the extended introvert it would be longer. It was quick to bury itself.

The bait digger revealed on the same stretch of beach the echinoderms
Echinocardium cordatum, and Leptosynapta inhaerens and the bivalves Ensis siliqua and Dosinia lupinus.

Report by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

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

Bulletin Details

If you receive this Bulletin direct from the British Marine Life Study Society it will contain only hypertext and image (*.htm *.gif & *.jpg) files.
Recipients can only unsubscribe if the Bulletin is received directly from the BMLSS.
Permission is granted to forward the Bulletin on unaltered. However, you will have to include the images separately. 
To save download times, only new images are included with each Bulletin.
The Bulletin is designed to be viewed on Internet Explorer using medium fonts
at a resolution of 800 x 600. 
Viewing should be possible on Netscape and other browsers.

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).
The page set-up can also be amended in Netscape Composer and other web page editors, and this has the advantage of enabling the specified number of pages to be printed and the information about the file (name, path, date) to be deleted.

Some of the images may not display if you have changed your directory for downloaded files. The images may also not display properly if your settings on your EMail software do not allow you do this automatically. When received in Pegasus the format is changed slightly, but the bulletin is still readable 

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

       30 September 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?