Marine Life News Bulletin

December 2007

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
Link to the British Marine Life News 2007
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 2006
Link to Sealord Photography
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

Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning



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.

24 November 2007
The long standing (since 1987) UK shore caught Bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, angling record (19 lb) was broken by a fish that weighed 8.95 kg (19 lb 11 oz 12 dr) caught by local angler Steve Cave at Sandown Pier, Isle of Wight. The bait used was whole squid. The world shore caught angling record is 9.40 kg (over 20 lb). 

British Sea Fish Angling Records

21 November 2007
A five metre long Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was landed at Newlyn Fish Market and was caught by skipper of the Imogen, Roger Nowell, whilst trawling for squid and John Dory off Land's End. It weighed weighed  510 kg (1,125 lb) and was the heaviest on record landed at Newlyn. Comparatively, the angling record fish weighed 146 kg. Commercial fishermen have landed Thresher Sharks up to 400 kg before. 

BMLSS Sharks

> 21 November 2007
A massive swarm of billions of jellyfish known as Mauve Stingers, Pelagia noctiluca, covering several square miles and to a depth of 11 metres, wiped out Northern Ireland's only Salmon farm, killing more than 100,000 fish at Northern Salmon Co. Ltd. The Salmon were kept in two large nets about a mile off the coast of the Glens of Antrim, north of Belfast.  The Salmon hatchery is on Glenarm River deep within the Castle Estate and the smolt were transferred by helicopter to pens in Glenarm Bay. The extent and size of the jellyfish swarm was unprecedented. 

Pelagia is more typical of warmer waters but does regularly occur in County Cork, Irish waters during October-December when it is carried up here via the Jet Current (a current that runs up along the Bay of Biscay and off the west coast of Ireland). So its not unusual to see Pelagia in the late autumn. However, it is probably unusual to see such numbers and such widespread occurrence, i.e. offshore, west and the north coast of Ireland and Scotland. How far they head north depends on the strength of the winds and currents which vary from year to year. There are records of Pelagia washing up in large numbers off the coast of Ireland going back 100 years (Delap sisters), more recent reports off the west coast of Ireland (1998), and in the mid 1960s, enormous numbers were reported in the Irish Sea.

BMLSS Jellyfish
Research References for Pelagia noctiluca

19 November 2007
A Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, was seen at Chanonry Point area on the coast of the Moray Firth near Inverness, Scotland, having been there for about two weeks. 
Link to a Photograph

Report by Farnboro John on the Bird Forum
BMLSS Bearded Seal page

16 November 2007
I found a dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, on Balnakeil Beach by Durness (north coast of Scotland) last week, washed up following recent gales. It came in with thousands of little jellyfish. These jellyfish were very small and blew away quickly on the wind.
These were Mauve Stingers, Pelagia noctiluca. (AH)

Report and Photographs from Donald Mitchell

3 November 2007
The first swarms of thousands of the Mauve Stingers, Pelagia noctiluca, appeared off the surfing coast at at Hornish Point, South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Their sting was a bit nippy but not as bad as the larger brown jellyfish we normally get and they made me come out in a raised rash on my hands and face which stung long after I was dry.
Full Report

Report from Daniel Skivington
BMLSS Jellyfish


Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

With the closure of Smart Groups at the end of November 2006 most of the 7500+ messages have been filed at:

Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Jiglu

For ongoing messages please transfer to the Yahoo forum as I think you will find that easier to use.

Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean 
Yahoo Group
New Group:

Images can be uploaded to flickr.

Wet Thumb (Marine Aquariology) Forum Link


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.

Callionymus lyra

Photograph by Derek Haslam

Derek Haslam's Photo Gallery on  flickr


At least not all the Puffins, Fratercula arctica, have to feed on pipefish. This Puffin was photographed on Skomer Island off the south-west Welsh coast 
on 13 June 2007.
Photograph by Rob Lind



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 250K in size.

December Sunset, Dornoch Beach,  Scotland 
Golden intertidal sands seaside of the established machair sand dune system 
Photograph by Jamie Buchanan

Aerial shot of the coast of Perranporth, Cornwall
This west facing rocky shore bears the impact of the Atlantic rollers 
and erodes out embayments of golden shell sand.

Photograph by Terry Moran

flickr British Coastal Topography

First enquiry by EMail to

New EMail address


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.


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





Whales & Dolphins 
of Great Britain
by Dylan Walker and Alex Wilson
CETACEA Publishing 2007
ISBN-10: 0-9556144-0-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-9556144-0-8

If you would like to see whales and dolphins in British waters, Whales and Dolphins of Great Britain is the book for you! A comprehensive and easy-to-use field guide to all of the regularly seen species, it also shows you how, where, and when to go and see these spectacular marine mammals, with 38 boat operators and 16 outstanding land-based viewpoints listed. The text is packed with information on how to book a trip; including the species that are likely to be seen, how to get there, and what photographic opportunities are available. If you love whales and dolphins and enjoy seeing the British countryside, this book is a must you never know when you might need it! 

Whales and Dolphins of Great Britain is the first in a series of regional whale and dolphin watching guides being published by Cetacea Publishing. 

CETACEA Publishing, Nook Farmhouse, Ashby Road, Shepshed, Loughborough, LE12 9BS. Telephone: 0845 388 3053. Fax: 0845 108 6386. 
E-Mail: Website designed by de Wilson-Wildman LLP 

BMLSS Cetacean Book Reviews

Click on this image for a link for further details

The Gulf Stream
by Bruno Voituriez 
Publisher:  UNESCO 
ISBN:  92-3-103995-4 
222 pages, figures, glossary, bibliography

The Gulf Stream
Amid contemporary scenarios of potential climatic catastrophes and global warming that might be imagined to bring a new ice age, the powerful image of the Gulf Stream rising from the Florida Straits and flowing to the north Atlantic inevitably provokes questions about its ecological significance and whether it might ever stop.

Coastal Plankton
Photo Guide for European Seas

by Otto Larink & Wilfried Westheide
reviewed by Wim van Egmond

ISBN  0-9522831-5-8

Available from:



Eastern English Channel Habitat Atlas for Marine Resource Management
is available for download 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. In future, I expect the publication to be in an electronic format. 

EMail Address

New EMail addressEMail address for messages to the British Marine Life Study Society 


Membership 2007
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2007. Back copies of previous issues are still available. 

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).
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.

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

     6  December  2007

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?