Marine Life News Bulletin

December 2015

     ISSN  1464-8156

Mediterranean Gull (Photograph by Jean-Paul Charteris)
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.
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

November - December 2015

Thousands of clumps of Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, attached to floating objects have been washed ashore all along the south coast from Cornwall to Kent. Those strandings occur very year, but it seems that more than the usual number were discovered this winter. Diligent beachcombers have discovered the tiny Columbus Crabs, Planes minutus. amongst the wrecks, as well as few of the other pelagic Goose Barnacles like Lepas anserifera.
Stalked Barnacles on Aphotomarine (by Dave Fenwick)
Barnacles at Aphotomarine

Thousands of By-the-wind Sailors, Velella velella, were washed ashore on various beaches in the south and west. 

12 December 2015
A Kemp's Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys kempii, washed ashore at Aberystwyth was still alive and is now in rehabilitation. 

These endangered turtles breed on the coasts of Mexico and are usually found in the Gulf of Mexico and was thought to have blown across the Atlantic Ocean. The turtle is likely to have suffered in the cold seas and would have succumbed if they had not been rescued.
BMLSS Turtles

8 December 2015
An astonishing discovery of the remains of a significant complex of Bronze Age buildings were revealed on a kilometre stretch of beach at Tres Ness on the island of Sanday in the Orkney Islands. The four thousand year old remains of 14 houses and stone tools, including knives, were uncovered by wind and sea that moved the sand dunes which had hidden them for over three millennia. 
According to Professor Jane Downes, the scale of the Sanday discoveries is unparalleled in Orkney. ""This must be one of the biggest complexes of Bronze Age settlement in the Scottish isles, rivalling the spreads of hut circles in other parts of mainland Scotland."  NB: The stones have in part been uncovered before but not identified as anything exceptional.

7 December 2015
A Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas,  was found dead stranded at Porthmadog in Gwynedd, Wales. The approximately 25 cm long turtle was thought to have possibly initially stranded alive, given its very fresh condition. The body of the turtle was recovered from the beach by Gwynedd Maritime Services and then taken to RSPCA Colwyn Bay for storage prior to pickup and transport for post-mortem examination by the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme UK  (CSIP). This is only the ninth record of this inhabitant of tropical seas (including the Atlantic coast of Spain and the Mediterranean Sea) found in the sea or on the shore around the British Isles.

Previous Record

6 December 2015
A Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, was washed ashore alive but in a moribund condition on the south-west Scotland shore in Ayrshire. It was moved to Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary (SSLS) in Oban, Argyll and Bute, for recovery and rehabilitation at but died of hypothermia on 9 December 2015. The problem is the seas around the British Isles are too cold for this tropical turtle.

BMLSS Turtles

27 November 2015

Goose Barnacles on Space Rocket
Photograph by Tresco Boatman

A large part of a space rocket floated across the Atlantic Ocean from Florida and acquired a large colony of Goose Barnacles on its one year journey. It eventually beached on Tresco, Isles of Scilly, with the assistance of local fishermen..

BMLSS Barnacles
BMLSS Strandline

26 November 2015

Stranded Juvenile Fin Whale
Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP)

A 10 metres long juvenile Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus, was washed ashore dead at Cleethorpes Beach, Lincolnshire. The over night tide washed the body of the huge whale off the beach and back into the Humber estuary

A long distant vagrant bird, a Pacific Diver, Gavia pacifica, turned up again at Marazion, Cornwall, where it had been seen in previous years. This bird is a North American bird whereas the similar Black throated Diver, Gavia arctica, is the one found in eastern Eurasia. 
Recent Reports 2015

Loon ID
Pacific Diver 2009

25 November 2015

Mauve Stingers at Perranporth
Photographs by David Fenwick Snr

Ten thousands of very small (about 20 mm diameter) Mauve Stingers, Pelagia noctiluca were washed ashore on Cornish beaches, notably at Perranporth and Porthtowan and other locations on the exposed north coast of Cornwall. This small jellyfish has a reputation a a stinger.

Report by David Fenwick Snr & others on NE Atlantic Cnidaria  facebook
BMLSS Jellyfish


Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

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

British Marine Life Study Society
facebook Page:

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. 

Mixed Sea Stars from Hoxa, Orkney
Photographs by Penny Martin

Merry Christmas from Orkney, with sea stars seen on a single dive at Hoxa on 18 December 2015.
The sea temperature was 7°C. 

Species: Feather-star Antedon bifida, Seven-armed Starfish Luidia ciliaris,
Common Sunstar Crossaster papposus, Bloody Henry Henricia sp., Cushion Star Porania pulvillus.

Echinoderms of the NE Atlantic on flickr

BMLSS Feather-stars

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


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 1 Mb in size.

The many faces of Loch Pooltiel, (map) Isle of Skye (NW)
Photographs by Andy Stables

Those who live at or visit high latitudes might at times experience colored lights shimmering across the night sky. Some Inuit believed that the spirits of their ancestors could be seen dancing in the flickering aurora. In Norse mythology, the aurora was a fire bridge to the sky built by the gods. This ethereal display the Aurora borealis, the Northern Lights is beautiful. 
What causes these lights to appear?

Loch Pooltiel is a beautiful sea loch on the north-west of the island of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, bordered on one side by Skye's highest cliff, over which waterfalls cascade  after heavy rain. At its head lies a picturesque beach of black, volcanic sand, where the gentle River Hamera flows through the Glendale Estate into the crystal clear waters of the loch. The Glendale Estate comprises several small hamlets. 

Loch Pooltiel is the most westerly loch on Skye opening seaward onto the Little Minch. Its remote location encourages wildlife that would not be present in more inhabited areas. It can be reached by a tarmacadam B884 road. There is a resident pair of White-tailed Eagles, Haliaeetus albicilla, are seen regularly and Golden Eagles, Aquila chrysaetos, occasionally visiting from nearby nests. In Summer, the stunning coastal waters and cliffs around Glendale are home to many hundreds of Guillemots, Razorbills, Fulmars, Kittiwakes and Shags. Puffins are also regularly seen off Neist Point in small numbers, although they do not nest on Skye. The attractive Black Guillemot, with its white wing-patches and red legs, is resident all year round.

Sea mammals include visiting Minke Whales, Killer Whales, Common Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises, and resident Grey Seals and Otters Lutra lutra. Underwater marine life is rich including visiting Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, in summer, Sea Trout, Salmon, and the invertebrate fauna that is rich and varied in sheltered Scottish lochs. Rockpool life does not seems to have been documented. 

Loch Pooltiel and Meanish Pier
Wildlife of Glendale, Isle of Skye
Sea Birds of Glendale, Isle of Skye

Aurora Borealis in Glendale, Skye
Glendale through the Seasons
Climate/Weather at Glendale

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

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.

13 June 2015 
Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the sixteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. 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. Exhibitors were available to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants included Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life

World Oceans Day on facebook
Adur World Oceans Day on facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day

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






The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline

This richly illustrated guide will become a steadfast companion for beach visitors wishing to identify what the sea washes up
By: Steve Trewhella (Author), Julie Hatcher (Author)


304 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations
Wild Nature Press

Fish Atlas of the Celtic Sea, North Sea, and Baltic Sea
Based on international research vessel data
Author: edited by Henk J.L. Heessen, Niels Daan, Jim R. EllisPrice: € 79,50
An in-depth reference work on marine fish, this is the first complete overview of all marine fish species found in the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Celtic Sea. Whereas European research mainly focuses on species of commercial interest, this atlas documents current data of all Western European fish species caught in the period 1977 to 2013.

How to obtain the book and review




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 2015
Please join the facebook group for free. Formal membership of the Society has ceased.  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.


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.

Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors
     21 December 2015 
Copyright  2015   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs