Marine Life News Bulletin

...August 2016

     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
News 2016
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

August 2016
A huge 7.65  kg (17 lb) European Lobster, Homarus gammarus  (= H. vulgaris), was captured by free diver Joe Pike off Lannacombe Beach, south Devon. It was captured and taken to the National Aquarium at Plymouth for further captive study. It is the second largest European Lobster on record as a confirmed weight although from the size and weights of remains, even larger Lobsters could be extant.
19 August 2016
The asymmetric coloration of the baleen plates confirm that the baleen whale which stranded at Shankill in County Dublin, Ireland, was a juvenile female Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus
11 August 2016
Two divers at the Zeeland Bridge discovered a Sponge Crab, Dromia personata, for the very first time in murky seas off the Netherlands. The Wolkrab (Dutch name) takes its name from a brown-red, velvety hair. With its wide and high rising carapace and with powerful claws, it makes a strong impression. The bare ends of the claws (chelae) are sometimes coloured like pink nail polish and contrast sharply with the rest of the body. It is a southern species with its northerly point of distribution previously in the seas off Belgium and the Thames estuary where it is uncommon. It rear legs can hold a sponge in place for camouflage. 

5 August 2016

"John Coe" Killer Whale off the Hebrides
Photograph by Basking Shark Scotland

The famous Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, named 'John Coe" was spotted off the Hebrides. It is the largest bull Orca in the few remaining members of the 'Hebridean Community' of Killer Whales (or Western Community): a community living of the western seas of Ireland and Scotland. It is rarely seen but was spotted off Ireland on 27 June 2016.
John Coe (Irish Sightings Map)

1 August 2016
A Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was spotted by Lee Watson, (a volunteer with British Divers Marine Life Rescue, BDMLR),  "lunge feeding" (swimming through a shoal of small fish with its huge mouth wide open), bursting through the surface of the water off Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, east coast of Scotland. . 

BMLSS Cetacea

31 July 2016
Anglers caught a huge Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, estimated from measurements to weigh 167 kg (368 lb), from a boat off the coast of Cornwall.

BMLSS Thresher Sharks

July 2016
For a majestic month the residents of the Shetland Isles enjoyed views of several (maybe four) pods of the Northern Isles Community of Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, roaming up and down the rocky coasts of the archipelago, mainly seen from the east shores of Mainland, but nowhere were they predictable, seen coming close inshore under the cliffs and seen feeding on shoals of fish, ducks, seals and a Porpoise.

Shetland Wildlife  Orca Gallery


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


Killer Whales, Shetland Isles
Photographs by Ivan Reid

This pod of Killer Whales were seen off the west coast of Whalsay, under a low cloud and mostly calm dry conditions. The Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, were first spotted on the east side of the Calf of Linga an island which is situated off Symbister Harbour. The whales then proceeded into the north west travelling between islands Bruceholm and Hunderholm headed to a bight which lays off mainland Shetland called Bunnydale, here the whales frolicked around breaching and playing swimming upside down etc. They then left this location and headed south again around the island of Hunderholm and carried on proceeding south towards Nesting and Lerwick area. In the pod there were two large Killer Whales and three smaller cubs. The whales travelled at a speed around 6-7 knots into the south.

Killer Whale snacking on a Tystie
Photograph by Ivan Reid

"At one stage I lost sight of the Orcas and thought they had gone, only to see two of the bigger whales under the water: It seemed as if they were coming for the boat at pace, but they veered off and went under out of sight just feet from the boat side.
Commentary by Ivan Reid

Shetland News Report

Shetland Orca Sightings  facebook

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. 

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 Drongs, nr Eshaness, north St. Magnus Bay
Shetland Isles
Photographs by Ryan Leith

The Drongs are a spectacular series of granitesea stacks off the Ness of Hillswick. They are visible from the road between Hillswick and Eshaness, north-west Mainland, Shetland. These stacks are 1 km offshore and in water depths of over 70 metres just 100 metres away. They get a severe wave battering in their exposed location. Spot the person (Maurice Henderson) for the scale. 

Shetland Sea Stacks

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.


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






Shallow Seas (Collins New Naturalist Library)
by Peter Hayward (Author)

The Marine World: A Natural History of Ocean Life

The Marine World

Includes sections on all but the most obscure marine groups, covering invertebrate phyla from sponges to sea squirts, as well as plants, fungi, bacteria, fish, reptiles, mammals and birds
Incorporates information on identification, distribution, structure, biology, ecology, classification and conservation of each group
by: Frances Dipper (Author), Marc Dando (Illustrator), Mark Carwardine (foreword)
544 pages, 1500+ colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, colour tables
Wild Nature Press

Click on the book pictures for more information

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 2016
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
      31 August 2016 
Copyright  2016   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs