Marine Life News Bulletin

January 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.

27-28 January 2007
After the gales even more (at least seven over the weekend) reports of Snake Pipefish, Entelurus aequoreus, were received from the east coast of England from Northumberland to Essex. Some were washed up dead and others were returned to the sea alive.

Snake Pipefish washed up at Immingham on the River Humber estuary. 
Report and Photograph by Martin Hopper
BMLSS Pipefish

28 January 2007

Triggerfish (Photograph by Janey Young)
I spotted a dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, on the strandline between Clymping and Littlehampton West Beach, West Sussex.  It looked like it had been dead for quite a long time. 
Report and Photograph by Janey Young

21 January 2007
The huge 276 metre long container vessel Napoli was deliberately grounded one mile off Branscombe Bay, Lyme Bay, Devon, on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The ship contained 1650 tonnes of fuel oil plus diesel and some of this leaked over the following days causing an oil slick several kilometres long and fatally oiling at least 600 sea birds, mostly Guillemots in the first four days. 

BBC News Reports:
Oiled Birds
Oil Slick

BMLSS Oil Disasters page

14 January 2007
TwoTriggerfish, Balistes capriscus, were washed ashore dead on Croyde Beach, North Devon.

Report by Jon Turner

A Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was washed on the beach at Aberdyfi  (=Aberdovey) in north-west Wales. It was dead with its eyes missing but otherwise intact and was estimated to weigh about 500 grams.

Report by John Mason
13 January 2007
A Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was found dead at Splash Point, Seaford, East
Sussex. It was about 30 cm long with its dorsal and pectoral fins rotted away, leaving the two dorsal fin spines but otherwise intact. Seaford Bay faces south west: there has been an almost continuous period of high winds and heavy seas since before Christmas 2006.
Report by Peter Martin

12 - 14 January 2007
I found a fresh dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, on Porthtowan beach in Cornwall. It was about  30 cm long. Two days later I found another one twice the size of the first one. 

Report by Rowland Herman

10 January 2007
I found a dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, after the tide had just turned the way down to Liniclate beach on the Isle of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, western Scotland. Triggerfish are not so often found this far north. 

Report by Calum Campbell

A dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was found on Constantine Bay beach, north Cornwall. (SW 858 748)

Report by Amanda Bertuchi

8 January 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was caught by professional fisherman Björn Österling, off south-west Sweden in a bottom net. It weighed 1.36 kg with a total length (including caudal fin) of 52 cm. 

Report by Kent Andersson
Previous Report with Photograph
6 January 2007
Two freshly dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was discovered on to Ynyslas Beach near Aberystwyth, Wales with Goose Barnacles and By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella. 

Report and Photograph by 
Chris Bainger (Shrewsbury)
Grey Triggerfish (Photograph by Chris Bainger)

1 January 2007

Starfish (Photograph by Wednesday Livingstone)

Common Starfish on the chalk bedrock at Seaford
Photograph by Wednesday Livingstone

The thousands of Common Starfish, Asteria rubens  on Seaford Head beach, East Sussex, were now reduced to about fifty seen on a small patch at low tide. 

31 December 2006
A dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was discovered on Rottingdean beach east of Brighton amongst dozens of dead Starfish, Asteria rubens

Report by Bernd Eggen

26 December 2006
Three dead Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, were discovered on Perranporth beach, south Cornwall.

Report by Sue Hocking via Stella Turk MBE on the Cornish Mailing List

BMLSS Triggerfish


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.


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 200K in size.

Snow on Shoreham Beach

Shoreham Beach, Sussex
Larvikite (a type of syenite) rock sea defences imported on large barges from Norway to stabilise the shingle beach and impede the longshore drift.

24 January 2007
South-east England woke after an overnight flurry of snow even on the beach pebbles and rocks.

Shore Topography Portfolio

flickr Coastal Images
Species Study - 1

Columbus Crabs, Planes minutus

Columbus Crabs, Planes minutus, (Photograph by Richard Lord , Guernsey)

14 December 2006
Guernsey commercial crab fisherman, Chris Marquis found these Columbus Crabs, Planes minutus, with a float and a mass of Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, floating somewhere near the island of Herm in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Channel Islands.

These crabs are rarely recorded pelagic life with British records only from the extreme west coasts, with the only Cornish records of the crab before December 2006 coming from the 19th century. 
Planes minutus is also called the Gulf-weed Crab because the largest population of this abundant crab is believed to inhabit the open Atlantic Ocean area known as the Sargasso Sea.
December 2006 Reports
Previous Report from the Channel Islands
Previous Report from Belgium

Species Study - 2

Nudibranch, Acanthodoris pilosa

Acanthodoris pilosa, a nudibranch (Photograph by Richard Lord, Guernsey)

5 January 2007
The nudibranch, Acanthodoris pilosa, was discovered in Belle Greve Bay under a large boulder on the edge of the Fucus serratus zone on Guernsey's east coast, Channel Islands.

Report & Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

Sealord Photography

This nudibranch comes inshore to spawn in the early months of the year. On Sussex coasts this is usually January and February. 

More Information on the Sea Slug Forum

Sea Slug Forum Species Index

BMLSS Nudibranchs


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)

Sunday 25 March 2007 10:00 am 5:00 pm
Fish Identification
Venue:  Shipwreck Heritage Centre and Underwater World, Hastings.

Kent and Sussex Seasearch are holding a Seasearch Specialist course:
An introduction to fish identification for divers led by Dr Frances Dipper, author of the book `British Sea Fishes'.
Introduction to the form and function of fishes, life history, feeding and reproduction range of fishes seen by divers in British and Irish waters
How to identify fish under water and a visit to the aquarium's temperate water tanks
Conservation of fish in our waters.
This is a basic, introductory course, aimed at divers wishing to improve their fish recognition skills, and to take part in Seasearch surveys. However you do not need to be a Seasearch diver to attend.

Clicking on the logo above and below this text will link you to the Seasearch web pages with more details of their Training Courses etc. 

 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





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.


Click on the image for the electronic versions
Marbef Outreach
Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning

Newsletter on biodiversity education, with a polar pullout for children with its focus on the Arctic. 

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:



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

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

       31 January 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?