Marine Life News Bulletin

January 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.

21 January 2008
Timber on Worthing Beach (Photograph by Vivlonsdale) Dead Seahorse (Photograph by Craig Vernoit) on Brighton Beach

A dead Short-snouted Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, was discovered by Craig Vernoit on Brighton Beach just to the east of Brighton Marina amongst tonnes of timber from the Greek-registered Ice Prince. 
BMLSS Seahorses
Shoreham Beach

Timber from the Greek-registered Ice Prince, which sank about 26 miles (42 km) off Dorset after a storm on 15 January 2008, began getting washed up on Worthing Beach in the evening of 18 January 2008 and and tonnes of pine planks littered the Sussex beaches from 20 January 2008. The usual debris was on the strandline including the eggcase of an Undulate Ray, Raja undulata. It measured 67 mm long and 48 mm wide. A Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, was washed up dead west of Brighton Marina. 
BMLSS Whales & Dolphins (by Steve Savage)
Adur Coastal 2008
BMLSS Eggcases
Adur Coastal 2008

 6 January 2008
A Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was  found on the beach on the high tide line at Machir Bay, north west coast of Islay, Scotland. 
Discovery by Alistair MacCormick (Islay)
Triggerfish Reports 2008

5 & 14 January 2008
We have a report from Mr Meale who spotted what appears to be a Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola, found on Eccles Beach, Norfolk on 5 January 2008. A further report in the EDP published on Monday 14 January 2008 shows a picture of a Sunfish found on Sea Palling Beach, Norfolk.

BMLSS Sunfish

3 January 2008
A rare Kemp's Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys kempii, was washed up at Porth Ceiriad on the Llyn peninsula, north-west Wales. 
Kemp's Ridley Turtles are listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union, with only 35 records of the Kemp's Ridley species in UK and Irish waters. According to the Marine Conservation Society the latest estimates suggest that only a few thousand adult females still nest on only one stretch of beach on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. 

BMLSS Turtles

A Grey Seal, Halichoerus grypus, was washed up dead on the shore at Sheringham in Norfolk with a large 35 cm wound reminiscent of a predator attack. The jury is out on the cause of the wound which could be as a result of fishing activity. 

Report and Photograph on the Sun Newspaper Web Page

 Discussion on the Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Yahoo Group
Large Shark 1968

The previous week in Kent we had a dead seal turn up with large wounds on it. They were circular and about 50 mm in diameter.


1 January 2008
Another dead juvenile Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta,  was recovered by staff from the Islay and Jura Seal Sanctuary after it washed up near Ardbeg, on the island of Islay,  the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, western Scotland. 

Marine Conservation Society


29 December 2007
A juvenile Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, was discovered washed up dead at Ardnave on the island of Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, western Scotland. 

Marine Conservation Society
BMLSS Turtles

A Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, is spotted in St. Loy's Cove, south Cornwall, unusual so late in the year. 

15 December 2007
A Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, was discovered dead off the south Wales coast near Aberavon. The animal, which is about 4.5 metres long, was reported floating in the Port Talbot harbour area earlier in the day. It is probably the same whale that was seen alive one week earlier Earlier Report

Ray Fallaize with the record Couch's Bream (Photograph  by Richard Lord, Guernsey)14 December 2007
Ray Fallaize caught a record Couch's Sea-Bream, Pagrus pagrus, on rod and line from a boat in Guernsey waters on 28 April 2007. His capture has been accepted by the British Record Angling Committee. It weighed 6 lb  9 oz  7 drams (3 kg)
Link to the Full Report & Photograph

Report and Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography
British Sea Angling Records (boat)
BMLSS Couch's Bream
BMLSS Sea Breams

8 December 2007
A Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, was observed and photographed off Mumbles in south Wales. It came within 30 metres of the pier at Nab Rock. 

Report by Lyndon Lomax (Pembokeshire Birds Blogspot)

Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, are rare in British seas, but have been observed more frequently in recent years. They can be identified by their large white pectoral fins. From a distance they resemble Fin Whales, but Humpbacks raise their tails before diving.
Whales & Dolphins in British Seas (by Steve Savage)
UK Cetnet (Yahoo Group)

24 November 2007
Striped Blenny (Photograph by Dawn Watson)We saw what we initiallly thought was a Striped Blenny, Parablennius rouxi, off Plymouth. We dived at 50° 17.363N and 004°  00.187W out of Fort Bovisand. It was a flat sandy bottom with low (1 metre) rocky ridges covered in mixed animal turf at between 22 metres and 24 metres in depth. There were loads of sponge species and quite a few pink seafans and Imperial Anemones, Aureliania heterocer
This blenny is a Mediterranean species and this would be the first record off the British coast. 
The ID is not clear. It could be the Variegated Blenny Parablennius pilicornis. The head tentacles and subsequent observations make this other southern species more likely. 

Report and Photograph by Rob & Dawn Watson with Sally Sharrock

 UK Diving » Plymouth » Diving from Bovisand


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.

Compass Jellyfish, Chrysaora hysoscella
Photograph by Derek Haslam

Marlin Information Page for
Chrysaora hysoscella

Chrysaora hysoscella occurs in coastal waters all round the British Isles.

Mauve Stinger, Pelagia noctiluca 
Photograph by Darrell Campbell 

3 November 2007
The first swarms of thousands of the small (25 mm cap diameter) Mauve Stingers, Pelagia noctiluca, appeared off the surfing coast at at Hornish Point, South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. 

This was not the first time that swarms of these jellyfish had damaged the salmon fisheries. In August 2002 there was a massive fish loss on the east coast of Lewis by small jellyfish clogging the salmon gills. There were also reports off Ireland in 1998. 
Full 2007 News Report

BMLSS Jellyfish (1)
BMLSS Jellyfish (2)



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.

Thirle's Door (Photograph by David Shand)

Thirle's Door, Duncansbay Stacks, Caithness, Scotland
Photograph by David Shand

Duncansbay Head is one of the most northerly parts of the Scottish mainland, near John o' Groats
The rocks are red sandstone eroded by the strong currents of the Pentland Firth.
The etymology of thirl is probably from the OE ÿrel, a hole, a perforation; an aperture.

Birds of Duncansbay Head

flickrBritish 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.

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


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

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

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.

ISBN:  0-00-220031-7

Amazon Web Site

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
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

     27 January 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? 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?