Marine Life News Bulletin

...March 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


March 2016

Sea Hare
Photograph by Paula Lightfoot

Huge numbers of the large Sea Hares, Aplysia punctata, were discovered on the shore at Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire  "They are all over the shore, not just in rockpools, we had to be very careful not to step on them!"
They have also been found at Kettleness (hundreds), Filey Brigg, Selwick Bay, Flamborough Head, South Bay Scarborough, Selwicks, South Landing and Boggle Hole, all on the Yorkshire coast. The first ones were found in November 2015

The interesting and newsworthy aspect of this prevalence is that occurrences in these vast numbers are are highly variable from year to year.  Only in rare years are the spawning aggregations seen in such enormous numbers.
BMLSS Aplysia
12 March 2016
A tiny and brightly colourful hermit crab was discovered by volunteers on a Cornwall Wildlife TrustShoresearch’ survey at a Castle Beach, Falmouth. The tiny hermit crab measuring only six millimetres in length hasn't been recorded in Cornish waters since 1985. The species which doesn't have a common name is only known as Clibanarius erythropus (from the Latin meaning soldier, clad in mail with red legs!) This is a southern species which is common in Channel Islands and along the French coast.  

BMLSS Hermit Crabs in Devon

7 March 2016
A Bluemouth Rockfish, Helicolenus dactylopterus, was captured in a creel in the Minch, western Scotland. This deep water fish is common off Norway but not so often caught in shallow water. 

Previous Report

2 March 2016
A young male Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was washed ashore dead at Traigh Hamara at the southern end of the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. The whale looked like it had perished after becoming entangled in fishing nets. 

BMLSS Cetacea

A Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, was rescued on Vazon Beach, Guernsey, Channel Islands. It was accompanied by a Columbus Crab, Planes minutus

BMLSS Turtles


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. 


      Padstow Lobster Hatchery   

The eggs change colour as they develop, at first they are dark green, then black and finally they begin to turn red as the embryo develops and consumes the yolk to reveal itself though the transparent outer layer. Hatching occurs over several nights in batches of a couple of thousand at a time, when the stage 1 larvae are released into the water column by a shake of the female’s tail and pleopods (=swimmerets), to begin their planktonic stage.  Padstow Lobster Hatchery: Biology of the European Lobster

Padstow Lobster Hatchery    facebook

BMLSS Lobsters

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

Jellyfish Guide
by Matt Fletcher


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.

Bun Glas Cliffs at Slieve League, Donegal, Ireland
Photograph by Howard Porter

Are these the tallest marine cliffs in Europe at 601 metres (1972 ft)? 
A sheer precipice descending to the Atlantic Ocean. 

It depends on the definition of a cliff. In geography and geology, a cliff is a vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. The usage definition in Old English (medieval) usage is the same and appears to have always had a different meaning to slope or shore. 
 A perpendicular or steep face of rock of considerable height. Usually implying that the strata are broken and exposed in section; an escarpment, esp. (in modern use) a perpendicular face of rock on the seashore, or (less usually) overhanging a lake or river. (OED)

450 million years ago north-west Ireland belonged to a landmass (Laurentia) that is now mainly represented in North America, whereas the rest of Ireland lay beyond an ocean several thousand miles to the south and belonged to another tectonic plate. As the two plates moved toward each other, a mountain-building phase developed that is sometimes known as the Caledonian. 
Ireland and Plate Tectonics

cf: Beachy Head is 162 metres (531 ft) above sea level.

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 will be 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 will present the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) take an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presents the whale and dolphin exhibition.   Exhibitors are available to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants will include 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 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
      30 March 2016 
Copyright  2016   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs