Marine Life News Bulletin

April 2013

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
GATEWAY:  Further European Links
New EMail address
Link to the British Marine Life Study Society Facebook page
Courses (Marine Life)
Link to the Fishbase web pages
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
World Register of Marine Species
National Biodiversity Gateway
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day
Link to Sealord Photography
Link to the Aphoto pages

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

Marine Wildlife Reserve
Link to Jim Anderson's Scottish Nudibranch (and other sea slugs) web pages

7-14 years
Oakley Intertidal 
on facebook
Fish & Sharks of the 
NE Atlantic
New Photographic Gallery 
on flickr
Link to the Sealife Survey on facebook (Marine Biological Assoc. of the Uk.)
Link to Coastal Topography on flickr
  Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland



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 Internet Explorer using medium fonts at a resolution of 1024 x 768.
Subscribe and unsubscribe options are at the foot of this page.


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 April 2013
A Yellowmouth Drumfish or Shadefish, Argyrosomus regius, was discovered in Looe Fish Market (south Cornwall) and was caught in a trawl south-west of Eddystone Lighthouse. This southern fish is a rare occurrence in British seas with only three records since 1998. The fish was 54 cm long (TL) and weighed 1.35 kg. 

Yellowmouth Drumfish or Shadefish, Argyrosomus regius
Photograph by by Clive Palfrey

The book name Meagre or Maigre was a transcription mistake in an old book and I have discontinued its vernacular use. This large fish is identified by its yellow mouth
The Yellowmouth Drumfish, also called the Shade-fish, may still be common off the African Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. Adult fish can attain a length of 1.9 metres and weights of 48 kg (100 lb). It is also a fine sporting fish and extremely good eating. Because, it is reported to inhabit shallow seas, it may have been over-fished off the European coast centuries ago.

Report by on MarLIN  facebook
BMLSS Drumfish

13 April 2013
The first two Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, of the year (off Cornwall) broke the surface of the sea between the Lizard Point and Falmouth, south Cornwall.
"A good seven to eight metres in length feeding about 60 cm down, mouth wide open. We were able to interact carefully with this huge mysterious creature for about 15 minutes, during which time we were giving some exciting views." 

11 April 2013
A dozen Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, were spotted off Slea Head, County Kerry, Ireland by Nick Massett. 

Previous Report 2013

9 April 2013
A new fish has been added to the British list with the extraordinary discovery of the deepwater and little known Jellynose Fish (family: Ateleopodidae) Ijimaia loppei caught in the Western Approaches to the English Channel.

Click on the text for the image (not yet copyright cleared for use)


Report & Image by Nick Pope on MarLIN  facebook

Jellynoses are deep-water, bottom-dwelling, marine fish. They are known from the Caribbean Sea, eastern Atlantic, the western and central Indopacific and the Pacific coast of Central America. Their skeletons are largely cartilage (hence "jellynose"), although they are true teleosts and not at all related to Chondrichthyes
Jellynoses (Wikipedia)

6 April 2013
A wreck of seabirds and crustaceans and other animals washed up dead on a Yorkshire shore at North Bay Beach, Scarborough included one of the more unusual squids in British seas. It is thought most likely to be the Hard Squid, Todarodes sagittatus. . The total length of the squid was estimated at 60 cm. This is the first report of this squid on these News Reports


Hard Squid, Todarodes sagittatus
Photograph by Steven Wignill

Over 200 dead Puffins were found between Filey and Scarborough, on the Yorkshire coast, in the wreck as a result of bad weather. 

BMLSS Squids
Information on the Biology of Squids in UK waters

6 April 2013
The first inshore Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, sighting records of 2013 came from off the Dingle Peninsula off Ireland. In common with recent years, it was land-based effort watchers at Slea Head, County Kerry (Nick Massett) and another sighting off the south coast of Ireland off Ram Head, County Waterford (Andrew Malcolm & Ann Trimble) that confirmed the annual inshore spring movement. 

30 March - 8 April 2013

Sperm Whale blowing in Oban Harbour
Photograph by Wendy Clark Photography
on flickr

A 10 metre long deep water Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, made an unexpected and surprising visit to the shallow waters of Oban Bay in south-west Scotland. It has been unable to negotiate its way out of the horseshoe-shaped bay and has attracted many visitors over a sunny Easter. 
Its long stay in the harbour does not seem promising for its survival.

Sperm Whale tail fluke showing in Oban Harbour
Photograph by Mark Hows on flickr


Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

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

Link to the British Marine Life Study Society Facebook pageBritish Marine Life Study Society
facebook Page:

This Wall is now working properly and members can now post on it. This is designed for quick less important chatty news items. Photographs can be uploaded quickly which is only possible on the Yahoo Group by going to the web page.

Images can be uploaded to flickr.

Wet Thumb (Marine Aquariology) Forum Link
Lots of marine wildlife reports from Shetland on facebook
Photographs include undersea, sea mammals and birds. 
Click on the image to connect


All reports by Andy Horton unless the credits are given 
to other observers or reporters.

Cornish Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2009


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.

Mermaid's Purse and Sea Fan
Photograph by Chris Roberts

"Desperately trying not to damage any of the gorgeous pink seafans and a Lesser-spotted Dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula comes along and ties it egg cases on to one." (Chris Roberts)

"Regular rockpoolers are likely to have come across 'Mermaid's Purses', containing the eggs or young of the Lesser-spotted Dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, lying amongst the debris on the tideline. These egg capsules that have been dislodged after being laid by the adult female dogfish are doomed to perish. Some, if not most, of the capsules are empty. However, on many occasions I have found a live embryo inside, some of them nearly ready to break free from the capsule. (Jim Hall)

Young Dogfish just released from the purse. It is helpless at first and just lies around on the floor of the aquarium.

Lesser Spotted Dogfish

BMLSS Mermaid's Purses

Click on the images for the original photographs


Shorewatch Biological Recording


Shore Topography Series

The name of the particular coast should be included and any other interesting information including 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 350K in size.

Knockvologan, Isle of Mull, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Photograph by Chris Parker

The Isle of Mull is home to over 250 different bird species including the White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla, which was reintroduced in the nearby island of Rùm and migrated to Mull, where it now has a stronghold. Basking Sharks Cetorhinus maximus, Minke Whales, porpoises and dolphins are among the sea life that can be seen on boat tours from Mull.

This study shows the pink granite that is a feature at Knockvologan, Isle of Mull, Inner Hebrides

Mull has a complicated geology born out of fire when the supercontinent Pangaea split apart, Scotland separating from Greenland

Ross of Mull Granite

The pink, or red, biotite granite has been dated at 414 MY (plus or minus 3 MY) with probable dimensions of 12 x 6 miles, with half its outcrop covered by the sea. (It has a total area of about 20 square miles.) The dark veins within the granite are tonalite.

Geology of Mull

Mull Historical & Archaeological Society

Click on the images for the original photographs

British Coastal Topography

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.

8 June 2013

Adur World Oceans Day
Family event. Find out what lives in the sea and seashore, with live lobsters and crabs, a rock pool aquarium, whale and dolphin exhibition, touch table and activities for children.

The thirteenth Adur World Oceans Day 2013 will take place in the marquee on Coronation Green, by Shoreham Footbridge at the High Street end on the second Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) took an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presented the whale and dolphin exhibition with the life sized replica of a Bottle-nosed Dolphin.

World Oceans Day on Facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day

The footbridge will not be open by then so the access is only available from the Star Gap Hard western end. 

Participation is inclusive and any other environmental, wildlife, marine-based, community groups, horticultural clubs, heritage societies, schools, lifeboat groups etc. on the education-based theme (no selling) is invited with advance pre-booking. Interactive activities get preference for the space available. Stalls with an electrical supply (enough to run computers) is provided free of charge for participants.

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages
For details of the Porcupine Marine Nature History Society meetings click on the link on the left


 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

Would you know what to do if you found a whale stranded on a beach?

Each year anywhere between five and 50 whales, dolphins and porpoises are washed up on Britain's beaches.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue, a volunteer charity, was set up in 1998 to rescue them.

BBC News Report

01825  765546







Series: Collins Complete Guide
Collins Complete Guide to British Coastal Wildlife
Paul Sterry and Andrew Cleave
384 pages, approximately 1600 colour photos
Harper Collins

List price is £17.99   Offers available

This comprehensive guide contains all the information for the the beginner seashore enthusiast and plenty for the experienced rockpooler, snorkeller and seashore visitor to make it an essential and first or second choice purchase.

A full review will appear in the November issue of Torpedo

Popular Guide Books (Link)


Publisher: marine scotland

Scotland's Marine Atlas

Scotland's Marine Atlas is an assessment of the condition of Scotland's seas, based on scientific evidence from data and analysis and supported by expert judgement.

Click on the image for the free publication

Published: 27 March 2013 
ISBN (EPUB): 9781782564485 
ISBN (MOBI): 9781782564478 

EBook Reader Software (Adobe Digital Editions)
Change the font size to small for square monitors.


This is a book about an ocean that vanished six million years ago: the ocean of Tethys, named after a Greek sea nymph.  The oceans are important to climate and environment, and therefore to life on Earth. The story of Tethys is also a story of extinctions, and floods, and extraordinary episodes such as the virtual drying up of the Mediterranean, before being filled again by a dramatic cascade of water over the straits of Gibraltar. 
Click on the image for a review of this book

Dorrik Stow
300 pages, 15 b/w illustrations and maps.
Oxford University Press
ISBN-13: 9780199214297

A Field Guide to Marine Fishes of Wales and Adjacent Waters

by Paul Kay & Frances Dipper 
£19.95 incl. p&p
Soft cover

With 256 pages and numerous photographs supported by drawings, this book is the most comprehensive photographic guide to marine fish currently available in the UK. Published for the Marine Conservation Society with support from the Countryside Council for Wales. 

Click on the image to order this book through the Marine Conservation Society


July 2010

PS: A second revised edition of the book has been published. 


Publisher: Graffeg
Publisher's Review (click on this text)
Review by the City and County of Swansea

This is the book I should have written (and I dare say a few others as well) and is a much needed introduction to the world of the seashore and the hobby of rockpooling. It is a photographic guide to most of the common species encountered which is much appreciated as newcomers and even experienced rockpoolers will try and match up what they have seen to a visual image (and photographs work better than line drawings) and this will usually get them the correct species, (unless there are two very alike species and then you will need a specialist identification guide like the Collins Guide to the Seashore).

However, the seashore is a rich and interesting habitat with a myriad of species and 225 pages of this large pocket guide are comprehensively covered to suit the enthusiast.

Extract from the foreword by Keith Hiscock:
"Being able to names to what you see and, better still, to use your observations to add to our knowledge about the natural world is what this book is about."

But the book for a popular audience is more than this. It starts from the assumption that the parents and teachers and older children are unfamiliar with the seashore environment.


by Andy Horton (August 2010)

Oakley Intertidal on Facebook

BMLSS Guide Books

June 2009

My larger shrimp net, the same design that appeared on River Walks

The Edible Seashore (River Cottage Handbook No. 5)
by John Wright was published

Not just a cookery book: you have to go down to the shore and catch or collect the food yourself. The 240 page hardback book (with an index) is exceptionally well produced in quality of the binding, paper as well as the quality of writing, information and clear useful colour photographs. It is well organised into nine chapters:

Conclusion: Highly recommended, essential purchase ***** (highest five star rating).

BMLSS Shrimping

Marine Fisheries Science Yearbook  2010

Publisher:  defra

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

(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 2012
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2011. Back copies of previous issues are still available. 

Bulletin Details

For technical reasons, TORPEDO is no longer being sent out by EMail. It is simply easier to view the bulletins on the web pages.

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 1024 x 768. 
Viewing should be possible on Mozilla 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 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 other web page editors.

Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors
     30 April 2013
Copyright  2013   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs