Marine Life News Bulletin

...September 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


17 September 2016

For the tenth time this year  the famous Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, named 'John Coe" was spotted by local fishermen, Gordon Mackinnon and Ritchie Simpson, off Canna and to the west of Skye, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Interestingly, all other confirmed reports of John Coe in 2016 have been of him alone, whereas Gordonís photos clearly show him with another male.
The West Coast Community of Killer Whales consists of four males and four females, and they are not known to interact with any other Orca populations in the north-east Atlantic.

15 -16 September 2016

Photographs by Craig Nisbet

A large cetacean was spotted struggling around the rocks at Tur Ness, Noss, in the Shetlands in the evening. British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) were alerted, but sadly a juvenile Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus, was discovered belly up the following morning. It was estimated to be about 11 metres long as the dead body floated back and forth across Nesti Voe. 

15 September 2016
The small nudibranch Thordisa azmanii discovered by Bernard Picton in the Isles of Scilly was a first record of this southern species for the British Isles. It was on the sponge Raspailia ramosa and may have been eating it? 

A Blue Runner, Caranx chrysos, was caught on road and line on the boat "Emma Kate" fishing for Mackerel out of Padstow, Cornwall. This is a southern species of fish rarely (less than once a year) caught in British seas.  This shoaling fish is unusual north of Portugal. 

Blue Runner
Photograph by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Another Blue Runner was landed at Brixham, south Devon, by Dave Brown from his small boat "Thankful". 

BMLSS Blue Runner Report 2001
Another Atlantic Blue Marlin, Makaira nigricans, was washed ashore dead, this time at Porthcurno Bay, on the south coast of Cornwall.  Previous Report 2016

14 September 2016

A Silver Dory (=Sailfin Dory), Zenopsis conchifer, was landed at Cawsand, Cornwall. This is a deepwater fish found in more southern seas are only rarely accidentally caught around the British Isles and even more rarely reported. BMLSS Sailfin Dory

4 September 2016

A most astonishing discovery of a tropical sea bird called the Red-footed Booby, Sula sula, was found on St. Leonards Beach, East Sussex.  Gail Cohen found the underweight bird alive and the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called to rehabilitate the lost bird to RSPCA Mallydams Wood at Hastings.

This bird has not been seen in Britain before and it is still a mystery of how the bird arrived from its normal tropical home.

Killer Whales in West Out Skerries
Photographs by Ivan Reid

Photograph by John Swancott3 September 2016
An early morning walk on a windy Freshwater East Beach, Pembrokeshire, SW Wales, produced a surprise discovery of a dead Atlantic Blue Marlin, Makaira nigricans, in water shallow enough for a collie dog to try and haul the large fish inshore. Discoverers John and Helen Swancott estimated the fish to be 2.4 metres long. This extraordinary find was the first record for the UK. 

BMLSS Swordfish & Marlins

28 August 2016

Killer Whale and Calf
at Whalsay, Shetland
Photographs by Ivan Reid

A small pod of Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, comprised of two adults and three calves, visited the west coast of Whalsay, Shetland, and put on an extraordinary display in calm weather. 

Killer Whales at Whalsay (Gallery)
Shetland Orca News Report

Shetland Orca Sightings  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. 

Tiny Swimming Crab,  Liocarcinus pusillus
Photograph by Jane Morgan
on Seasearch Cornwall  facebook

This tiny colourful crab was spotted amongst the Maerl beds of the Fal Estuary, Cornwall.
It caused a bit of a problem with its identification at first as this crab is not spotted very often because of its small size, rather local distribution and tendency to hide. 
ID by Andy Horton and confirmed by Cédric d'Udekem d'Acoz

Fal and Helford SAC

Glasswort at Widewater, Sussex
Photographs by Andy Horton

In the third quarter of 2016, the salt marsh, estuarine and brackish lagoon flora has a tendency to turn red, the halophyte plants vary to the extent to which they change colour form year to year. The general picture in he bottom left also contains Seablite

The first flowering plants that begin to grow on our salt marsh are pioneer species like Salicornia sp (Glasswort). The young green plants can be seen colonising bare tidal mud in summer. 

FSC (Field Studies Council) Flora of Salt Marsh

Marine, coastal and halophytic habitats
1310 Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand


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.

26 September 2016

Aurora, Colbost, Isle of Skye
Photograph by Andy Stables

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