Marine Life News Bulletin

May 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.
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

24-25 May 2009
There were some By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella,  washed up this weekend at Hell's Mouth, Llyn Peninsula, Wales. They were probably more like 30 mm in diameter.

20 May 2009
A wreck of several thousand By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, were spotted amongst the Devonshire rock pools due south of Newton Ferrers on the River Yealm estuary near Plymouth. They varied in size from very small, 4 - 5 mm, up to  70 - 80 mm all laid out in rows up the beach, graded in size by the wind, tide and topography, largest on the bottom.

Further reports have arrived from Cornish beaches including Praa Sands, Par Beach near St. Austell, and Kynance Cove.

Reports from the Cornish Mailing List
Full Report
BMLSS Velella

18 May 2009
A large wreck of millions of By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, started getting washed ashore and extended, at least several miles east from Penzance, south Cornwall. 
Velella Wreck (Photogrpah by Paul Semmens)

The specimens are very small, only a few millimetres in length. More Velella arrived on each tide

Report and Photographs by Paul Semmens
>16 May 2009
Billions of krill-like pelagic Hyperiid Amphipods (small crustaceans) were washed up on the strandline at Redcar and Saltburn in north-east England (North Yorkshire). The local people reported that the strandings of amphipods have occurred for several weeks prior to this report.

Amphipods (Photograph by Peter Tinsley)

A previous mass stranding of amphipods occurred on the North Sea coast in 1966.

Thousands more were discovered washed up at Whitby in North Yorkshire.

Report by Chris Whitehead
More Images

13 May 2009
About 50 specimens of the Bluefire Jellyfish, Cyanea lamarcki, were washed up on Havelet beach, on the south side of St. Peter Port, on the east coast of Guernsey and recorded at 5.19 pm.

Cyanea lamarcki  (Photograph by Richard Lord)

The jellyfish in the image measures about 30 cm across but most were much smaller.

12 May 2009
On my way home from work I was amazed to spot a Grey Seal, Halichoerus grypus, in the heart of Glasgow City Centre on the River Clyde. The seal surfaced seven times in 45 minutes between the Albert Bridge and the nearby tidal weir at Glasgow Green. The seal, which was at least two metres long, appeared stranded and disorientated. It did not stray from a very small stretch of the river for the whole time I observed it. BMLSS Seals

30 April 2009
A Saupe (or Salema), Sarpa salpa, was caught by the Looe trawler Guiding Light II, skipper Andy Giles about six miles south of the Eddystone reef (i.e. about 16 miles south of Plymouth). The specimen was 370 mm long, the body plump but elongated with ten longitudinal yellow stripes. This Sea Bream (Sparidae) has only been recorded once before in British seas at St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands (on Zostera beds at a spring tide) in 1983

List of NE Atlantic Sparidae


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) 2008


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.

10 May 2009

The nudibranch Goniodoris castanea
discovered on the south of Lihou Island causeway, west coast of Guernsey
on a colony of the Sea Squirt (Tunicata) Botrylloides leachi with two species of Flatworms (Platyhelminthes

Report & Photograph © by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sea Lord Photography



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.

Godrevy Lighthouse
Photograph © by Richard & Gill Long

Godrevy Lighthouse was completed in March 1859 and celebrated its 150th birthday this year. 

Godrevy Island is situated 3½ miles across St. Ives Bay, Cornwall. The bay facing the Atlantic is notable for the first strandings of each year, as well as Seals, Dolphins, Basking Sharks, Sunfish and Jellyfish

The National Trust owns all the coastline from Godrevy to Navax Point

Godrevy: Trinity House
Geology Information: Godrevy Area
Previous Image of Godrevy Seal Beach

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.


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

01825  765546





Two new interesting publications were received this month:

by Peter Stiles
Publisher: Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

Philip Henry Gosse was a popular naturalist who moved to Victorian Ilfracombe and wrote his natural science book ‘A Naturalist’s Rambles on the Devonshire Coast’. He later designed the first public aquarium, which opened in London. His activities also attracted other naturalists, including Charles Darwin and novelist George Eliot.

This book celebrates the link between Philip Henry Gosse and his rockpool adventures in Devon and contains lots of information about the life of this self-taught Victorian scientist and writer.

in conjunction with an Exhibition that finished on 25 April 2009.

Marine Fisheries Science Yearbook  2008/2009

Publisher:  defra

href="">To obtain a copy from the defra web site, click on this text

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. 

Bulletin Details

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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).
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.

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

    27 May 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?