Marine Life News Bulletin

November 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.

9 November 2007
A tidal surge threatened the east coast of England. Low pressure and strong winds caused the surge. Norfolk and Suffolk had eight severe flood warnings. High tide occurred at 7:41 am at Great Yarmouth where the surge waters caused minor flooding and at a few other places along the coast.

5 November 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was identified by staff at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary after a chalet attendant found it on the town's beach. Up to 20 in (50 cm) in size with sharp teeth, the fish are common near Iceland. 

Chris Holden with the Ray's Bream on Cleethorpes beach
4 November 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was discovered by our Dalmation dog flapping around on Cleethorpes beach (near Grimsby) at low tide. It died shortly afterwards. Its identity was confirmed by its row of sharp teeth. 

Early November
More reports have come in of Ray's Bream, Brama brama, washed up on the beach in Norfolk. Four  reports via Hunstanton's Sea Life Centre show individuals washed up at Snettisham, Heacham and Hunstanton.

1 November 2007 
A large nine metres long whale was washed up dead in the Humber estuary. It was probably a Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalis.

28 October 2007
A Quahog Clam, Arctica islandica, dredged up off the coast of Iceland was thought to be between 405 and 410 years old and the oldest animal* alive on Earth until it was killed. Researchers from Bangor University in north Wales said they calculated its age by counting rings on its shell. 
(*This may exclude cnidarians.)

16 October 2007 
Large Helford Sea Hares
Tony Sutton was diving on the eelgrass bed at 5.7 metres depth in the Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area, Cornwall, when he came across some exceptionally large greenish brown sea-hares (35 cm) which attracted his attention. When he returned a few days later with his camera he was able to take some excellent pictures which indicated the species Aplysia depilans. Confirmation of this identification was established by Dr Paul Gainey when one of the animals was taken briefly from the water. 

Full Report and Photographs on the Helford VMCA News web pages

14 October 2007
Aplysia fasciata at the National Marine Aquarium
A specimen of 30 to 35 cm and weighing 1.5 kg was caught in Poole Bay, Dorset, just outside of Poole Harbour in a trammel net by John Green of the FV. Serendipity. It was caught in 3 - 4 metres of water on sand on a flooding tide, while fishing for sole and bass. Subsequently a further four large sea hares have been caught by fishermen in the same area.

Sea Hare, Aplysia fasciata 
Photograph by Doug Herdson

It was brought into the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth where it is now on show as our "Feature Creature" in our recently refurbished Shallow Waters, Hidden Depths exhibit, where it is devouring very large quantities of sea lettuce Enteromorpha latuca.
Previously, only six specimens of this southern species of sea hare have been recorded in British seas. 

Sea Hare (Photograph by Steve Potter)

Aplysia, the size if which (between 30 & 35 cm) indicates that it is Aplysia . fasciata. It was photographed swimming in Helford River, Cornwall. It was seen by Steve Potter on 25 August 2007

Information from Stella Turk MBE

Aplysia fasciata is the largest and the rarest of the three species of sea hare found in the British Isles. It is an Atlantic species, found from the Channel to Angola (South west Africa and to Brazil) and also throughout the Mediterranean. It appears to reach its northern limit in Ireland and along the English Channel coast. 
It is one of the largest sea slugs in the world. The other two British species are the relatively common Aplysia punctata variable in colour and growing to 20 cm; and the rare Aplysia depilans with different shaped back lobes, brown or green and growing to a maximum of 30 cm. 

BMLSS Molluscs
BMLSS Aplysia
Sea Slug Forum Species List

4 October 2007
Ray's Bream, Brama brama, appear to have been relatively common off the west coast of Ireland this year. They are frequently taken by Spanish registered long-liners while targeting Hake. Almost five tonnes were taken off the north-west coast and landed into Killybegs by a single vessel. Another two tonnes were landed on 18 October 2007.

BMLSS Ray's Bream


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.

Painted Goby, Pomatoschistus pictus  (Photograph by Derek Haslam)

Painted Goby, Pomatoschistus pictus
at Connemara, Southern Ireland 

Photograph by Derek Haslam

Derek Haslam's Photo Gallery on  flickr

BMLSS Gobies



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.

Rocky Shore at Berwick-on-Tweed  (Photograph by Maurice Kilday)

Rocky Shore at Berwick-on-Tweed
Scottish borders

Photograph by Maurice Kilday

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.

16-17 November 2007

Marine Conservation Society Conferences

"Future for Sustainable Seafood", Friday 16 November
MCS Annual Conference "Oceans 2007", Saturday 17 November
Both events at "Action Stations", Royal Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth

MCS is holding two unique events on Friday and Saturday - the "Future for Sustainable Seafood" Conference on Friday 16th November, with speakers including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (writer and broadcaster), Sheila Dillon (Presenter, Radio 4 Food Programme) and others: and the "Oceans 2007" Conference on Saturday 17th November, with speakers including Richard Girling (author and journalist, Sunday Times) and Paul Appleby (BBC Saving Planet Earth series producer). 

There is still time to book - but please confirm your booking before 12 noon on Thursday 15th November to guarantee your place.

Find out more and book online for "Future for Sustainable Seafood" (cost £50 Individual, £85 Organisation)
Find out more and book online for "Oceans 2007" (Cost £35 Individual, £60 Organisation)
Or telephone 01989 566017 to book your tickets today.

We look forward to seeing you there! 


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

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

     14 November  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?