Marine Life News Bulletin

   January 2014

      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 main news page for 2014
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
How to obtain the book and review



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 but it can be viewed at larger resolutions.
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


13 January 2014

Fisherman Mike Ould (on FV Bronco TH74) landed a 39 cm long silvery sea bream (Sparidae) called a Bogue, Boops boops, fishing inshore off Babbacombe, south Devon, on the east facing coast. This Mediterranean fish is a scarce discovery off the British coast but there does seem to be a population in Babbacombe Bay and shallow seas around Devon and Cornwall as well as around the Channel Islands. The fish appears in small schools so where there is one, there are most likely more of them. 

Report & Photographs by Rachel Irish (Marine Management Organisation MMO at Brixham)

6 January 2014

Jan Leverton's Island
Porthcothan Bay
Photograph by Paul Challinor
Pom Pom Rock
Photograph by Mark Freeman
Dorset Landscapes

Exposed to the Atlantic swell, the Cornish coast suffered remarkable damage after a terrific pounding by the waves blown on to the rocky shore by gale force winds. On the northern rocky coast at Porthcothan Bay a scenic arch and free standing rocky outcrop was destroyed during the night. On the Dorset coast a substantial sea stack known as Pom Pom Rock at Portland was completely obliterated by the storm. 

4 January 2014

Portreath at low tide
Photograph by Helgar Palmer
Portreath at mid-tide
Photograph by Simon Bone
Simon Bone Photography

The end of the harbour wall and granite shelter at Portreath, north Cornwall, was demolished by massive waves propelled by gale force winds and high tides

3 January 2014

The promontory headland town of Ardrossan on the North Ayrshire coast (SW Scotland)
bore the brunt of the winter storms
Photographs (Storm Set 2014) by Peter Ribbeck

Waves battered the south and west coasts of Britain throughout the day, from Cornwall and the south coast, all up the western coasts to Scotland, propelled by high spring tides, gale force winds gusting to storm force and higher, and a small* storm surge

Waves battering the cliff at Rock-a-Nore the day after the cliff fall 
Photograph by Jude Hutchings
Waves at Birling Gap  on flickr
Photograph by Graham Huntley

The most dramatic storm damage occurred when a large area of sandstone cliff at Rock-a-Nore (now part of Hastings, East Sussex) fell into the sea at about 1:30 pm. There was also an appreciable chalk cliff fall near Birling Gap in East Sussex. 
(*The storm surge was 0.5 metres at Newhaven, Sussex.)

Strandline at Dawlish (south Devon) on facebook
Photographic Gallery by Andrew Cleave

Starfish and sand burrowing molluscs like cockles were deposited on the strandline in addition to the usual collection of Mermaid's Purses, whelk egg cases, etc. A Grey Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was washed onshore off the Gower, south Wales. Scores of the sea cucumber, Thyone fusus, were washed ashore on Newborough, Anglesey. 
The power of the waves was strong enough to move the sand in the shallow water and cause erosion of the shoreline and large displacements of sand and shingle. 
BMLSS Strandline

1 January 2014
The New Year was heralded in by overcast and damp weather. Gales battered all the English and Welsh coasts from dawn and throughout the day.
Beaufort Scale

December 2013
Four animals previously unknown to science have been discovered in deep water off Scotland during surveys by Marine Scotland. All were discovered around Rockall, the rocky islet 260 miles (418 km) west of the Western Isles at a suspected cold seep at depths of up to one mile (1.6 km). The new gastropod mollusc Volutopsius scotiae and bivalve mollusc Thyasira scotiae have been named after the research vessel MRV Scotia. Another clam, Isorropodon mackayi, was named after mollusc expert David Mackay. The probable new species of marine worm Antonbrunnia has still to be named as a species. 

Scotland's Marine Atlas

17 December 2013
A sub-adult Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, was washed ashore dead at Splash Point, Worthing, Sussex in the afternoon. It was a rainy day and I cycled past this point west of the amusement pier, I noted a flock of twenty Crows on the shingle but I did not look down on the syenite rock sea defences or else I might have spotted it. Credit for the discovery goes to Andrew Cole who was photographing a landscape shot of the rocks in poor photographic conditions. This may be the first discovery of a Loggerhead Turtle off Sussex as it was unexpected and I have not got records of a previous discovery. The turtle was damaged with a missing flipper and it had died out at sea and had been washed along until landfall on to this small promontory.
Loggerhead Turtle (Photograph by Andrew Cole)
15 December 2013
Leucistic Lobsters, Homarus gammarus, and Spiny lobster/Crayfish/Crawfish, Palinurus elephas, housed in a commercial holding aquarium at Cushendall, County Antrim.

These larger than normal Lobsters (> 2 kg) were caught around Rathlin Island, (north of Ballycastle) Northern Ireland. 

Photographs by Cathal McNaughton on facebook

BMLSS Lobsters

10 December 2013
New shellfish regulations have been introduced in Scotland and the islands to protect and regulate the fisheries. A Designation Order identifying 84 waters as ‘shellfish water protected areas’ has been made.


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

Lobsters caught around Rathlin Island, (north of Ballycastle) Northern Ireland.
Photographs by Cathal McNaughton on facebook

BMLSS Lobsters

Click on the images for the original photographs or links to more images

Glaucous Gull, Larus hyperboreus, with smaller immature Herring Gulls, Shoreham Beach East
Photograph by Jan-Paul Charteris on facebook 

10 -11 January 2014
A Glaucous Gull visited the Shoreham Harbour and it was seen on the Shoreham Fort and Southwick Beach side at the entrance at different times. This large gull is a very scarce Sussex winter visitor from the Arctic. 


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.

Porthcothan Bay

Before & After the Storm
Jan Leverton's Island
Photographs by Jane Darke

After centuries of pounding by Atlantic waves the north Cornish coast is used to its scenery changing, rocks being pummelled by the great power of the sea, holes appearing in the slate and over the night of 6 January 2014, Jan Leverton's Island was smashed in half and slate scattered over the sandy beach.

Porthcothan Beach looking down from the north at low tide, towards the former Arch Rock (now two stacks) 
and Jan Leverton's Island (smashed in half).

Click on the image for a more detailed study

Jan Levington's Passage

The rocky outcrop known as Jan Leverton's Island, surrounded by sand, was covered in slate after it was demolished by the power of the waves.

Porthcothan Bay (SW8572 geograph)

The missing rock outcrop can also be located on Google Maps
The little yellow man does not work on the bay sands or the coastal path

Trescore Islands showing the nature of the rocky coast 
Photograph by Mark Vanstone

Trescore Islands off Porth Mear, a rocky cove near (SW of) Porthcothan Bay between Newquay and Padstow on the north Cornish coast.

South West Coast Path – Padstow to St Ives

Cornwall is dominated by its granite backbone and Devonian slates. 
Geology of Cornwall

Click on the images for the original photographs or links to more images or maps

British Island Adventure

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.

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)

Links to the online fish key


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.


The fish is a Corkwing Wrasse
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 


Back copies of Glaucus are available but there is no formal membership at present. 

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
     16 January 2014 
Copyright  2014   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs