Marine Life News Bulletin

...June 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

27 June 2016
The famous Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, named 'John Coe" was spotted back off the extreme south-west coast of Ireland, seen by Nick Massett off Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry. This whale is quite easily recognised by the large notch on the base of the trailing edge of his dorsal fin, a feature which makes him unique and easily recognisable. John Coe is perhaps one of the best known Killer Whales in the seas around the British Isles, having been first photographed by Dr. Peter Evans, Sea Watch Foundation, 33 years ago, off the Scottish Hebrides back in 1983. He was of adult age even back then, and as with many members of this ageing remnant sub-pod of eight adults, he is old by any standards. Today there are grave concerns for the future survival of this pod whose territory extends into Irish waters. One major concern is that it is  many years since there has been any new additions to this group, and zero recruitment means that this group will ultimately die off; something which would be a great loss to our marine biodiversity.

21 June 2016
Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, have been known since 2007 to attack and kill Harbour Porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, in the Moray Firth off north-east Scotland. However, this action is rarely captured on camera as it occurs when the dolphin tosses a young porpoise in the air.  Bottlenose Dolphins of the Moray Firth

18 June 2016
A famous Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, named 'John Coe", distinguished by a large notch in its dorsal fin, was video-filmed off west of the coast of Mull swimming past the  'Cairns of Coll', Inner Hebrides, Scotland.  'John Coe" is the alpha male of the 'Hebridean Community' of Killer Whales and has also been seen off Ireland and Wales over the two decades, first recorded by its individual name in 1992

Click on the image for the video recording

Famous Killer Whales (Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust)

June 2016

Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, make their annual summer pilgrimage to the seas of the western coast of Scotland. The first image is a still from aerial footage in calm seas off the Hebrides on 12 June 2016. The second still (from a video) photograph shows a 3 metre long juvenile Basking Shark with an adult. Click on the images for the video recordings.

Videos on Basking Shark Scotland  facebook


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. 

Moon Jellyfish
Aurelia aurita
Photograph by David Hall

Common Jellyfish (also called Moon Jellyfish), Aurelia aurita, do not sting humans. The threadlike tentacles around the edge of the bell can sting, and may occasionally catch small swimming animals for food, but their stings - like minute harpoons fired by springs - are not powerful enough to pierce our thick skin. They feed mostly by trapping microscopic plankton in a film of mucus which flows over the surface of the bell and is picked off as it reaches the edges by the thick mouth tentacles underneath. They swim by pulsing the bell, pushing themselves slowly forwards through the water. Inside the top of the bell you can see four rounded pinkish masses, which are the gonads.

Script by Jane Lilley

Moon Jellyfish are found all around the British Isles and all the warmer and temperate oceans of he world. They are generally found close to the shore and some populations maintain their lief cycle in enclosed harbours. 

BMLSS Moon Jellyfish

Cnidaria of the NE Atlantic

9-armed Common Starfish
Asterias rubens
Photograph by Keith Summerbell

This most extraordinary Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, has none identical arms of equal length. It was photographed in the remote Loch Ewe, a fjord on mainland Scotland in the north-west bordering the North Minch
The most likely explanation is that the extra arms grew as a result of an injury when he starfish was small, but then the arm lengths may be uneven. Have you encountered a multiple arms starfish before? 

Loch Ewe forms part of the larger Wester Ross Marine Protected Area where flame shell beds, maerl beds and northern
feather star aggregations occur in the mosaic of sea lochs, bays and near shore island channels.
This complex landscape is a legacy from the end of the last ice age, when the ice sheet that once covered most of Scotland retreated.

Wester Ross MPA

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are recognised globally as one way to support our marine environment. A well managed network of MPAs will protect important marine habitats and species, deliver benefits for our marine environments, support coastal communities, help sustain marine industries, and provide for recreational uses. 

Location in Loch Ewe
Google Maps Location (Link)

Starfish, Brittlestars and Feathers
(by Keith Summerbell)

Echinodermata of the NE Atlantic

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.

Sunset over Loch Ewe
Photograph by Noel Davies

Loch Ewe is a 10 miles (16 km) long sea loch in the remote region of Wester Ross in the northwest highlands of mainland Scotland.
It contains the Isle of Ewe of 760 acres that rises to 72 metres (236 ft) above loch level. 

Mellon Charles is a small village about 3 miles north west of Aultbea on the eastern shore of Loch Ewe.

Pier at Loch Ewe
Photograph by Jonathan Carrick

View from the south of the north facing loch that opens into the North Minch and has provided a sheltered and protected haven for maritime and naval shipping from ancient times up to and including the present day. 

70 years ago during World War II, this sea loch was the gathering point for cargo ship convoys prior to setting sail for Russia. Escorted by allied warships, the ships would ply the treacherous seas of the North Atlantic taking supplies to Murmansk and Archangel to support the Russian forces against Germany. The last convoy sailed from Loch Ewe on the 30 December 1944. Altogether 481 merchant ships and over one hundred naval escort vessels left Loch Ewe for Russia in a total of nineteen convoys. For many hundreds of men who made the ultimate sacrifice, the cold grey water of the North Atlantic is their resting place. For these men the enfolding arms of Loch Ewe and the outer isles fading in the distance was the last sight of land they had, before the Russian convoys exacted their terrible price paid in human lives.

Loch Ewe still has some military significance with the refuelling pier on the lower right still being used to refuel Naval ships.

Wartime Loch Ewe and Shipwreck Incident

Geograph: Loch Ewe

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.

11 June 2016
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 seventeenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of the seashore aquarium and the 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 Man and the Sea exhibition with a video microscope. Exhibitors were available to find the time to answer questions about marine life. World of Widewater exhibited a display and information about the brackish water lagoon and local nature reserve.
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






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