Marine Life News Bulletin

February 2009

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 News web pages for 2009
GATEWAY:  Further European Links
New EMail address
Courses (Marine Life)
Discussion Groups
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
National Biodiversity Gateway
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day
Link to Ray Dennis's Cornish Marine Life Reports for 2008
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.
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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

15 February 2009
Hundreds of Heart Urchins, Echinocardium cordatum, were washed in on the wide sandy beach at St Michel en Grève, (departement of Cotes d' Armor), a bay in northern Brittany. The tide appears to go out by as much as half a mile and the urchins were around the lowest tide mark (Chart Datum). 

Report by George East
BMLSS Heart Urchin Strandings

13 February 2009
Three Curled Octopus, Eledone cirrhosa, were caught by commercial fisherman Shane Petit from on one of the Casquet banks to the west of Alderney in the Channel Islands. Eledone cirrhosa has only one row of suckers along each arm. This octopus is scarce in the Channel Islands but a common species in the seas north of the English Channel. 

Report & Comments by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography
BMLSS Octopuses

11 February 2009 
Jamie Le Tissier found a white-shelled Ormer, Haliotis tuberculata, at ELWS on the rocky promontory off Cobo, on the west coast of Guernsey. 

Ormer (Photograph by Richard Lord)
Richard Tostevin, a retired ormer aquaculturist, has never seen one and was very interested in the discovery.
Report, Comments & Photographs by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography
BMLSS Ormers

9 February 2009
Guernsey commercial fisherman Steve Fallaize landed a Bogue, Boops boops, north of L'Ancresse off the north coast of Guernsey. It weighed 566 grams.

Photograph by Richard Lord

Bogue belong to the family Sparidae (Sea Breams). They are common Mediterranean fish, but uncommon in Guernsey waters where a few are caught every year.  All the Guernsey records I have for this fish come from the L'Ancresse area (north of Guernsey).  To give a sense of this fish's rarity Steve Fallaize has never seen this fish before and he has been fishing commercially in Guernsey waters since 1986. The scientific names is pronounced "Beau - ops" and not "boops".

Sealord Photography

1 February 2009
An unusual discovery washed up on the shore at Hauxley near Amble in Northumberland on the north-east coast of England was the decaying remains of an Oarfish (or Ribbon Fish), Regalecus glesne. This is a deep water species and the longest fish found in the oceans reaching a length of 11 metres. The last known British record was from Skinningrove, Cleveland on the north-east coast in 2003

BMLSS Oarfish

29 January 2009
Commercial fisherman Steve Fallaize caught a Two-banded Sea Bream, Diplodus vulgaris, in a gill net set over night one mile off L'Ancresse off the north coast of Guernsey. It weighed 1011 grams. 

Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey) Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

Sealord Photography

This fish is a new record for the British Isles.  It is principally a Mediterranean species and is also found on the Atlantic Seaboard of continental Europe and North Africa including Brittany where it is rare.

21 January 2009
This Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found on Broughty Ferry Beach, Dundee, east Scotland. 
Report and Photograph by Steph Gauld
Jake Gould and the Ray's Bream

20 January 2009
I found what I believe to be a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, on the beach at Montrose, Tayside, Scotland, just north of the South Esk estuary at 9.10 pm (about one hour before high tide). Although the fish was dead it looked very fresh, with no signs of decomposition or bird damage. Measured against my walking boots I would estimate its length to be approximately 55 cm.

Report by Bob Condie

Ray's Bream, Brama brama, continue their strandings on the east coast of England and Scotland.  Most of them are found dead on the beach, intact or scavenged by gulls, whilst occasionally they are discovered alive flapping in the shallow water surf. 
More Reports


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.

Brown Shrimp, Crangon crangon
photographed whilst snorkelling off Stonycove - a tiny little village
near Kinsale, County Cork. 
Photograph by Joe Bater on flickr




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.

Widewater Lagoon
A brackish water lagoon in Lancing, Sussex
Photograph by Andy Horton

On 2 February 2009 snow fell all over Britain including the south coast

Widewater Lagoon 2008

Widewater is a landlocked brackish lagoon approximately 1066 metres long and 90 metres at its widest point when the lagoon is in flood. It was created by Man from the original Adur estuary after been landlocked by longshore drift and violent storms. The waters are replenished by the sea, which filters up through the basin of the lagoon on very high tides, and also by rain water and a new pipeline.

Adur Coastal 2009

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.

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages27-29 March 2009
Porcupine Marine Natural History Society Annual Meeting 

Topic: Seashore to Sea Floor 

Venue: University of Plymouth, Davy Building Main Hall on Friday and Saturday 

Coxside Marine Centre in Plymouth on the Sunday, with access to microscopes and running seawater. 

Registration/putting up posters/chatting with mates 9.30 - 10.00 Main Hall Davy Building Friday 27 March 2009

The following speakers are confirmed; Roddy Williamson (Director of the Marine Institute University of Plymouth), Alan Hughes (updating the classification of deep sea sediment habitats, NOCS Southampton), Kerry Howell (updating the classification of deep sea hard bottom habitats, University of Plymouth), Chris Proctor (describing sea cave sponges in SW England), Sally Sharrock (Devon Seasearch co-ordinator) and Graham Oliver (Challenges in British Bivalve taxonomy), Karen Robinson (Mapping and Modelling Seabed biotopes) and John Bishop (Recent arrival of non-native species in the South West. 

Please contact the local organisers; Maria Campbell (, Fiona Crouch (, Keith Hiscock ( and Jason Hall-Spencer ( or call 0044 1752 232969) if you would like to attend and also let us know if you would like to give a talk or a poster presentation at the meeting.  In keeping with tradition we are planning dive trips and visits to the local shores on the Sunday. 


Understanding and celebrating our marine environment

Saturday 6 June 2009
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex
as part of the Adur Festival


Adur will be one of the UK leaders in presenting the eleventh environmental
exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. Find
out what lives in the sea and on the seashore off the Sussex coast, with
exhibits hosted by local experts and enthusiasts of the undersea world. Live
lobsters and crabs, a rock pool aquarium, the whale and dolphin exhibition,
a touch table of strandline exhibits found on the shore and other
interactive displays will be on display under the marquee on the green
overlooking the River Adur by the footbridge. For the third year running the
Friends of Shoreham Beach will be providing their own displays and playing
an important role in organising the day. Allow at least an hour for an
educational exhibition for the youngest to the oldest member of the family.
Exhibitors will be able to find the time to answer questions about marine
Admission is free.

Adur World Oceans Day is run by a committee comprising representatives of
the British Marine Life Study Society, West Sussex County Council, the Sea
Watch Foundation, Friends of Shoreham Beach and other groups, with support
from Adur District Council.

World Oceans Day was declared at the Earth Summit in 1992.

World Oceans Day UK Web Page


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 the European Atlantic
The Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Celtic Sea and coastal SW Ireland
by Dylan Walker and Graeme Cresswell
with the illustrations by Robert Still
WILDGuides  2008
£ 12.00 (includes standard UK P&P)
ISBN:  978-1-903657-31-7

This is the second fully revised and updated edition of this comprehensive guide to the identification of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) in the European Atlantic. Until very recently, most researchers and whale-watchers were unaware of the great variety of cetaceans that can be seen so close to the shores of western Europe. Indeed, it is only during the last decade, when detailed cetacean surveys have been carried out in earnest, that we have discovered how important this area is for cetacean biodiversity.

This field guide describes all of the 31 species of whale, dolphin and porpoise that have occurred in the European Atlantic. 

BMLSS Cetacean Book Reviews

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


Working to reduce Marine Pollution and to help the birds caught in it
Quarterly Newsletter
Registered Charity  803473


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 2009
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2009. Back copies of previous issues are still available. 

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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).
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Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors

     28 February 2009

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? oords="510,45" href="#">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?