Marine Life News Bulletin

...March 2017

     ISSN  1464-8156

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.


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


29 June 2017

Cliff Fall at West Bay 
Photograph by Jon Spence

Another large cliff fall occurred on the Jurassic Coast, at West Bay, Dorset. Between 1500 and 2000 tonnes of fine-grained sandstone collapsed into the sea. The fence between the South West Coast Path and Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club has been left hanging after the large rock fall.

27 June 2017
Black-browed Albatross, Thalassarche melanophris, was photographed by Gertrud Welte visiting the Gannet colony at Staple Newk (at RSPB Bempton Cliffs) on the Yorkshire coast.  Albatrosses are extremely rare in the North Atlantic and only seen as long distant vagrants. 

25 June 2017

Killer Whale, Orca orcinus, and calf
from RV Celtic Explorer over the Porcupine Bank
Photograph by Niall Keogh

BMLSS Cetacea

22 June 2017

Seaford Head
(the chalk is white but in the low level light of late afternoon appears in orangey hues)
Photograph by Jeff Griffin

Fifty thousand tonnes of chalk cliff crashed into the sea at Seaford Head, East Sussex. Such was the sheer size of the fall that it took ten minutes for the chalk dust to disperse leaving a huge of chalk rubble at the foot of the cliff. There where no injuries to people who would have in danger both on the cliff top and on the seaward undercliff side. Large cracks appeared in the cliff and further two large falls occurred in subsequent days. 

Coastal Topography facebook

Wrinkled Swimming Crab
Photograph by Chris Stevens

A swimming crab,  Liocarcinus corrugatus, was caught off Guernsey by Chris Stevens at 74 metres depth over a rough bottom. This southern species is not often recorded around the British Isles.

30 May 2017

A most extraordinary unprecedented of a newly born two-headed conjoined Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, was captured in a trawl off the Hook of Holland, Netherlands. It had died just after birth. Unfortunately, the carcass was returned to the sea.
"“Normal twins are extremely rare in cetaceans, there is simply not enough room in the body of the female to give room to more than one foetus. Symmetrical conjoined twins, such as this Porpoise, are thought to result when two separate embryos fuse together or a zygote only partially splits,”  said  Erwin Kompanje, of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam.& Curator of Mammals at the Natural History Museum, Amsterdam.

25 May 2017

Sea Spider
Ammothia hilgendorfi
Photographs by Keith Alexander

An almost unprecedented discovery of a strange sea spider on Worthing Beach was an extraordinary surprise. It looks nothing like the native pycnogonids! This means it was probably an alien species and almost certainly Ammothia hilgendorfi which was discovered once before in 1978 in Southampton Water. This specimen contained eggs.  It originates in the tropical and temperate North Pacific littoral zone of south-east Asia.


Norway Bullhead
Photograph by by Robin Somes

A small sculpin Norway Bullhead, Micrenophrys lilljeborgii, was discovered in the upper reaches of Southampton Water; several hundred miles away from where he should be, and around 18°C warmer. 

2 April 2017
An Arctic Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, was an extraordinary discovery off the Belgium coast at Middelkerke, with footage covered by drone and video. Bowhead Whales are normally found north of the Arctic Circle, the nearest shore views off Greenland and northern Iceland.

Previous Sighting 2016


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. 

Patterns in the sand made by Fries's Goby
Photograph © by Peter Bardsley

"I watched a Fries's Goby dance around the mud in 25 metres of water in Loch Fyne creating this pattern in an attempt to attract a mate. It was the first time I noticed this rarely recorded  behaviour.  the fish noticed I was watching and soon disappeared into a hole. "

Comments by Peter Bardsley

Fries's Goby, Lesueurigobius friesii
Photograph © by Peter Bardsley

Fries's Goby, Lesueurigobius friesii, is a small widespread but little known fish that shares burrows with the Nephrops prawn (=Scampi).  "There is a possibility that these fish act as look-outs for their Scampi hosts, benefitting from shelter and food scraps."

Comments by Peter Bardsley

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.


North Ronaldsay Sheep feeding on Kelp
Photograph by Jennifer Vidal

North Ronaldsay Sheep eat seaweed. There is a stone dyke all the way around the edge of the island that keep the sheep on the shore. The dyke means they are on a strict seaweed-only diet. The supply is abundant, thanks to powerful winter storms that pile a buffet up onto the coastline.

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.

8 June 2017
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 in and around this day.

For technical and resource reasons, Adur World Oceans Day may not take place in 2017

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

Not reviewed

544 pages, 1500+ colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, colour tables
Wild Nature Press

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 2017
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
      19 July 2017 
Copyright  2017   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs