Marine Life News Bulletin

July 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.


25 July - 2 August 2015

Members of the public are invited to take part in dolphin, whale and porpoise surveys around the UK as part of the 14th National Whale and Dolphin Watch. The data collected during the event will help in developing a snapshot of the distribution of dolphins, whales and porpoises around the UK. This is an opportunity for everyone to become involved in the research which goes into understanding and protecting these magnificent creatures.
Sea Watch Foundation

BMLSS Cetacea


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

July 2015
Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, are seen every year off the western shores of the British Isles as the they follow the plankton on which they feed on enormous quantities. 

Dorsal Fin of a Basking Shark, St. Kilda
Photograph by Jim Frost

Basking Shark Scotland reported fifty of these huge sharks off the Hebrides in a day's sailing. 

BMLSS Basking Sharks

July 2015
With large numbers of jellyfish recorded washed up and in the shallow seas around the British Isles, there were also numerous sightings of the Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola, which feeds on jellyfish and other medusa. The photographed Sunfish was caught off Dorset. 

BMLSS Sunfish
Barrel Jellyfish Reports

19 July 2015
A Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, with a measured weight of 123 kg was caught on road and line by Dai Pig off Milford Haven and the measurements made it the largest recorded Thresher Shark angled off Wales. It was returned to the sea.

BMLSS Thresher Sharks

July 2015
The "low bushy blows from a snow-white Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae," was reported by skipper Pat Collins and crewman Gerard Minihane about 14 miles off Baltimore, West Cork, south coast of Ireland  The whale surfaced close to their fishing vessel.

16 July 2015
A Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, was spotted at sea near the Skerryvore Lighthouse, (12 miles SW of Tiree), Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

BMLSS Turtles

15 July 2015

Starry Smooth-hounds
Photographs by George Heath
Selsey & Medberry Blog

An exceptional sighting of a group of over fifty sharks seen in a shallow sandy pool at RSPB Medmerry, near Selsey, West Sussex, were seen on a rising tide in the morning. The pack of adult sharks were identified as Starry Smooth-hounds, Mustelus asterias, and many of these predatory sharks was about up to 1.5 metres (5 ft) in length, and with the typical triangular shark fins sticking out of the knee-deep water. The consensus opinion that this was a hunting pack that had possibly followed prey into the shallow water and got trapped at low tide. 

12 July 2015
An extremely rare vagrant, a Black-browed Albatross, Thalassarche melanophrys, made an unexpected to visit to RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk. It was likely that the albatross was blown off course. This large pelagic bird is globally endangered and normally found over the southern oceans, and breeds on various islands throughout this extensive region. 

9 July 2015
Thousands of Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, were washed ashore at Westward Ho! north Devon. And probably in other places on the rocky shore facing the Atlantic Oceans. It was a prelude to numerous strandings all around the British coasts, depending on which way the wind was blowing. 

Moon Jellyfish
Photograph by Thiago Bosque

27 June 2015

Hudsonian Whimbrel, Numenius hudsonicus, (left) and Eurasian Whimbrel (right) 
showing difference in underwing colour
Photograph by Jean-Paul Charteris

RSPB Pagham Nature Reserve


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. 

A Study of Acontia
Photograph by Becky Hitchin

To the unpractised eye the two animals in the photograph may not easily be discerned. Attention is drawn to the the two stalked eyes of the Hermit Crab, Pagurus prideaux, cloaked with the mutualistic sea anemone Adamsia prideaux, The purple threads are acontia expelled through the column of the sea anemone which wraps itself around the adopted shell of the hermit crab. The acontia contain stinging nematocysts which are emitted readily as a defence mechanism when the anemone is attacked or under threat. This defence also serves to protect the hermit crab. Other sea anemones found in British seas emit acontia, noted regularly in Sagartia elegans and the other hermit crab commensal species Calliactis parasitica

Hermit Crab, Pagurus prideaux, cloaked with the sea anemone Adamsia prideaux
Photograph by Andy Horton

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.

Edge of the World

Boreray, St. Kilda
Photograph by Jim Frost

St Kilda is an ancient extinct volcano in the North Atlantic Ocean rising above the waves about 64 km* (40 miles) west-northwest of North Uist. The isolated archipelago contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The photograph on a clear day captures the uninhabited island of Boreray, a lump of rock with a height of  384 metres (1,260 ft) above sea level at Mullach an Eilein
Boreray is formed of a breccia of gabbro and dolerites. The island is important for breeding sea birds including thousands of pairing Gannets.
(*main island of Hirta, Boreray is 66 km from North Uist.)

Boreray, Stac Lee & Stac an Armin
Photograph by Kieran Campbell Photography

A cloudy view of Boreray from Hirta, the largest island in the St. Kilda archipelago. Hirta lies on the south-west rim of the former volcano and Boreray lies on the north-east rim. Google Maps shows the distance from the far side of Hirta to the far side of Boreray is 9.82 km (6.1 miles), the rim of the volcano. The two named large sea stacks are Stac Lee & Stac an Armin.

On Stac an Armin, in July 1840, the last Great Auk, Pinguinus impennis, seen in the British Isles was caught and killed. The 75 year old inhabitant of St Kilda told Henry Evans, a frequent visitor to the archipelago, that he and his father-in-law with another man had caught a "Garefowl," noticing its little wings and the large white spot on its head.

The resident population of St. Kilda all left for good in 1930.

Visiting St.Kilda

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.

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






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
     28 July 2015 
Copyright  2015   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs