Marine Life News Bulletin

February 2008

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 Marine Life News 2008
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 Ray Dennis's Cornish Marine Life Reports for 2007
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.

Spiny Seahorse (Photograph by Robert Jones, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, U.K.)26 February 2008
The Angel Shark, Squatina squatina, Short-snouted Seahorses, Hippocampus hippocampus, and Spiny Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus (=H. ramulosus), will gain protection against being killed, injured, or taken from the wild from 6 April 2008 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
In addition, the possession or selling of the the Short-snouted and Spiny Seahorses’ will become an offence. It will also become an offence to damage or obstruct the Short-snouted and Spiny Seahorses’ place of shelter or disturb them in their place of shelter.

BMLSS Seahorses
Angel Shark: Red List of Endangered Species

23 February 2008
Two Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaengliae, were seen from the French coast off Le Portel near Boulogne-sur-Mer at the eastern end of the English Channel. 

UK Cetnet Yahoo Group

18 February 2008
A 6.2 metre long baby Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalis, was discovered washed up dead on a beach on the Lizard, south Cornwall. Local resident Derek Chapman had watched the whale swimming back and fore just off the beach at Porthallow the day before it stranded. He was very concerned to see it come in so close to the shore and realised that this was unusual. He later found it dead among the rocks.
Fin Whales are the second largest animal on earth and only eight stranded animals have been recorded in Cornwall, the first in 1781.

BMLSS Cetacean News Reports
Fin Whale (Cornwall 1999
Fin Whales Strandings Index 2004
Fin Whale washed up dead on the Isle of Wight 2007

15-22 February 2008
A Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, seen swimming in the northern Irish Sea off Portaferry, Northern Ireland at the first date was eventually washed up dead. It weighed over 200 kg.

3 February 2008
A dead juvenile Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, beached alive at Putsborough on the north Devon coast. It was rescued from the cold British seas and transferred to the Blue Reef Aquarium at Newquay, Cornwall. To the amazement of the discoverers Diana and Pauline Bussell, a little blue crab crawled out from underneath the dinner plate-sized shell of the turtle. This turned out to the alien hitch-hiker known as the Columbus Crab, Planes minutus, which occasionally gets washed up on the shore with floating driftwood and other pelagic debris.

BMLSS Turtles

31 January 2008
A male Striped Dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, a relatively uncommon sight in inshore Cornish waters, was stranded alive on an ebbing tide on the south coast at Church Cove, Gunwalloe, near Helston. The dolphin was lying on the beach not far from the surf.  At first sight, it looked relatively unscathed but it was later found to have a bad injury and was euthanased. This was only the 14th Cornish stranding record for this species of dolphin and only the second one stranded alive.

BMLSS Cetacea
Whales & Dolphins in British Seas (by Steve Savage)
Cornish Wildlife Mailing List
British Divers Marine Life Rescue

28 January 2008 
Guernsey commercial fisherman Rick Ferbrache brought me a Red Sea Bream (=Blackspot Sea Bream), Pagellus bogaraveo, caught off Portinfer Bay on the north-west coast of Guernsey.  It weighed 454 grams and was 32.6 cm long (total length).

Red Sea Bream, Copyrighted Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

Red Sea Bream were common in Guernsey waters until 1984 and then they disappeared.  During the last year or so they have been making a comeback to Guernsey waters.

Report and Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography

BMLSS Sea Breams

24 January 2008

Aplysia depilans (Copyright photograph by Richard Lord)

I discovered the southerly species of Sea Hare, Aplysia depilans, photographed above, a long way down the shore of  Belle Greve Bay shore on the east coast of Guernsey. The intertidal zone contained many more of the Common Sea Hare, Aplysia punctata, which comes inshore to breed in early spring. 

Report and Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography

BMLSS Sea Hares
BMLSS Molluscs


Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

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

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

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.

Seahorse with its tail wrapped around a Worm Pipefish (Photograph by Michelle Legg)
Seahorse in the shallow surface waters of Brighton Marina (Photograph by Michelle Legg)

Short-snouted Seahorses
Photographs in the wild at Brighton Marina
by Michelle Legg

Short-snouted Seahorses, Hippocampus hippocampus, and Spiny Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus (=H. ramulosus),will gain protection against being killed, injured, or taken from the wild from 6 April 2008 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981



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.

Beachy Head - where the chalky South Downs meet the sea - and its lighthouse on the English South Coast looking out over the English Channel.

It is an attractive spot for walkers, sightseers and photographers.

Photograph by Geoff Penn

Beachy Head rises 162 metres (530 feet) above the sea at its highest point and is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain. The main reason for Beachy Head's popularity is the wonderful panoramic view which can be seen from the cliff top. If you look east you see the beaches and town of Eastbourne, the pier and the harbour, and then on to Pevensey Bay and Hastings.

Geology & Archaeology at Beachy Head

How far is the Horizon?

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.

11 March 2008
6:00 pm (arrive from 5:00 pm) - 7:30 pm
Shark Biology and Conservation
Scientific Seminar,
Venue:  Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London
Free admission for the talks
Booking in advance only for the dinner
Contact: Joy Hayward

Zoological Society of London Scientific Meetings

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages28-30 March 2008
The Porcupine Marine Natural History Society will be holding its annual meeting at Menai Bridge, Bangor, north Wales this year. There will be two days of talks (Friday and Saturday) followed by a field trip on the Sunday. The theme of hotspots is to enlighten the delegates to those locations or habitats that, through their natural (or otherwise) diversity of life, inspire biologists to investigate them.

Full Details
Booking Form

11-15 November 2008

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity 
Valencia, Spain

The exploration of marine biodiversity: scientific and technological challenges
To review the current understanding of marine biodiversity, its role in marine ecosystem functioning and its socio-economic context
To assess current and future threats and potential mitigation strategies for conservation and regulation of marine resources
To identify future research priorities

First Announcement (Link)
Full Details (Link)


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





by Lucy Beckett-Bowman

Consultant: Andy Horton
Usborne Publishing   £3.99

Usborne Beginners Series
Level One (very young children)

ISBN 978-0-7460-8864-7

BMLSS Notes for a Primary School Teacher

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
(Collins New Naturalist) (Paperback)
by Peter Hayward
Collins 2004

ISBN:  0-00-220031-7

Amazon Web Site

Paperback. Pp 288. Colour & b/w photographs, illustrations, charts, maps and bibliography. Fine copy. "New Naturalist" Seashore is a comprehensive, authoritative account of the natural history of the seashore.

BMLSS General Guides
BMLSS Advanced Guides


Decision-making in Marine Mammal 
Rescue and Rehabilitation

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

WET THUMB (Marine Aquariology)

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 2008
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2008. 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
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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

     29 February 2008

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?