Marine Life News Bulletin

July 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 July 2008
A large male European Lobster, Homarus gammarus, weighing in at 5.88 kg (12 lb 15 oz) was captured by fisherman Jack Baker and has found a home as a special exhibit at the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth. It was one of the largest lobsters captured in recent years and many lobster fishermen will spend a lifetime without capturing such an enormous one. 
BBC News Video

Notes on the sizes of  Homarus gammarus

6 July 2008
A large European Lobster, Homarus gammarus, weighing in at 4.25 kg (9.45 lb) was caught on rod and line by angler Neil Ridley off West Hoe Pier, Plymouth. It was returned to the sea. 

BMLSS Lobsters

3 July 2008

Broad-billed Swordfish
Photograph by Colin Smith 
(Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales)

A Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, was discovered washed up dead on Barry Island beach, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.  It was carefully examined by Dr Peter Howlett, (Curator of Lower Vertebrates, National Museum, Wales) who confirmed the identification and found it to be a young specimen 2.24 metres long and between 60 and 80 kg in weight.  It had been dead only a few days, but it had been scavenged by other creatures and it was not possible to determine the cause of its death.

Full Report
BMLSS Swordfish Reports

29 June 2008
Another huge Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus, was discovered and brought ashore by Paul Worsley diving in Lyme Bay, Dorset. It was estimated to be 300 mm wide across the carapace and a crab of this size would be the largest on record. (The largest recorded specimen known was 285 mm wide.) Its huge size can be verified by the photograph in the Western Morning News but unfortunately the crab was eaten before a tape measure could put on the shell and photographed to verify the crab as the largest on record. 

26 June 2008
A huge Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus, was captured and brought to the surface from a plastic barrel on the sea floor at Balaclava Bay off Portland, Dorset. The male crab was not measured but estimated to be about 30 cm wide across the carapace. It was found a home in Weymouth Sea Life Centre. Both its massive claws were intact and bigger than my hands.

Capture and Report by Paul Martin
with the help of companion diver Mary Harris 
Dorset Echo Report
BMLSS Edible Crab

22 June 2008
An injured Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus, was discovered swimming in the River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland, and it is not expected to survive. This is a deep water species. 

Whales & Dolphins in British Seas (Link)


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.

Snakelocks Anemone

Snakelocks Anemone, east Worthing beach, Sussex

1 July 2008


I was badly stung all over my back and bottom by a Snakelocks Anemone, Anemonia viridis, whilst in a rock pool at Dancing Ledge in Dorset, part of the Purbeck Coastline in the south west of England.

After a long swim in the sea as well, I got out and immediately felt a rapid burning sensation like my skin was on fire. The area bubbled up in patches, very similar to a dense collection of nettle stings. Interestingly, the stings on my bottom form a neat and rather unattractive line on the edge of my bikini bottoms. There were other people in the water at the same time but they had long shorts on or wet suits, so the stings couldn't penetrate. I did hear from another swimmer that a little girl who was only wearing a bikini like me, had also suffered an attack.

I took the above photograph about ten minutes after getting out of the water. The area remained very hot and very very tender for about two days. During the following week it began to go down then it formed in red welts that look like chronic eczema. It's become itchy and inflamed and I started to use calamine lotion again to soothe it. 

Full Report
Stings from Snakelocks Anemones
Sting Pain Index

Report and Sting Photograph by Rosie Sanders



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.

The rockpool with the Snakelocks Anemones
at Dancing Ledge (see the species feature above)
Photograph by Rosie Sanders

The rock pool that was artificially created by a headmaster of a local boarding school sometime in the early 20th century. It forms a perfect intertidal swimming pool that attracts lots of families and bathers 


22 June 2008
Broad Ledge, Lyme Regis, after a small landslip
Photograph by Peter Glanvill

On the evening of 6 May 2008, a 400 metre (1,312 ft) section of land slipped onto the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. Local Police described the landslip as the "worst for 100 years.

Lyme Regis is famous for its Liassic fossils as well as being an area interesting for marine wildlife. For thousands of years the soft cliffs at Lyme Regis have been crumbling in the seas revealing a rich seam of fossils, notably ammonites and in past some notable dinosaurs.   

Blue Lias is a sequence of layers of limestones and shales, laid down in Jurassic times, between 195 and 200 million years ago. In geology, it corresponds with the Hettangian stage of the Jurassic. It is the lowest of the three divisions of the Lower Jurassic period and, as such, is also given the name Lower Lias. It is a prevalent feature of the cliffs around Lyme Regis and Charmouth, on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, where it exists in layers of limestone interspersed with softer clay. 

Dark & Deep (Diving & Caving) by Peter Glanvill
Lyme Regis to Charmouth (Geology)
Lyme Regis Museum and Mary Anning
Rockpooling at Lyme Regis (BMLSS)

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.

11-15 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





Sharks in British Seas

Richard Peirce
138 pages, colour illustrations, line drawings, colour & b/w photos.
Lots of newspaper reports.

Publisher:  Shark Cornwall
Softcover | 2008 | £9.99 

ISBN: 978-0-955869402 

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. 
    We also publish the SHOREWATCH Newsletter and
    the TORPEDO Electronic News Bulletin.

    The Glaucus 2002 CD-ROM was sent out to Premier BMLSS members in January 2003.

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. 

Bulletin Details

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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

     31 July 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?