Marine Life News Bulletin

...Winter 2018

     ISSN  1464-8156

On-line connection to the British Marine Life Study Society web pages
Index for the Torpedo News Bulletins
Marine Life News 2018
Link to the forum for marine wildlife of the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining seas
Link to the main news page for 2014
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..


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 November - 7 December 2018
The Sei Whale, Balaenoptera borealis, that visited the harbour of Hobro (Ørnedalsbugten, an area of the Mariager Fjord waterway that travels from Hobro to the Kattegat sea), Denmark, eventually perished. It looked emaciated and ill and it made no attempt to swim away to the open sea.

23 November 2018

White-beaked Dolphin
Photograph by Justin Pollard

A dolphin washed ashore dead at Pevensey Bay, East Sussex, was discovered to be an unexpected White-beaked Dolphin, Lagenorhyncus albirostris, that is not normally found this far east up the English Channel. 

BMLSS Cetacea
CSIP: How to report a stranding

14 November 2018

Amongst the debris washed ashore on Chesil Beach, Dorset, included Goose Barnacles, Lepas anserifera, Lepas pectinata and Lepas hilli, and the rarer pelagic species Concoderma virgatum.

BMLSS Barnacles

12 November 2018
A surprise Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus, was spotted swimming in the tidal River Ouse (map) (tidal tributary of the River Humber) over 30 miles away from the North Sea. Any dolphin would be a surprise that far upstream of a substantial estuary but the pelagic Risso’s Dolphin is usually only seen to the west and north of the British Isles and does not normally inhabit the North Sea. 

BMLSS Cetacea

7 October 2018

Angler Jeff Fisk caught the southern fish known in England as the Pompano (also called a Derbio), Trachinotus ovatus, during a fishing competition off Chesil Beach, Dorset. It weighed 216 grams (7.6 oz). Other fish caught at the same time were Garfish and Mackerel.

Derbio is a warm water fish that is only rarely seen or caught in British seas, a moderately common shoaling fish in shallow water in areas of surge in the Mediterranean Sea and the adjacent Atlantic shores. This small fish (up to 35 cm long) is found in clear waters over sand or mud bottoms in the surf zone and also caught by anglers from rocky shores from the Bay of Biscay southwards. 
Previous Record 2014

3 October 2018
Six large Edible Crabs, Cancer pagurus, were landed at Littlehampton, Sussex,  from 25 miles offshore in the English Channel. The largest one weighed 4.4 kg (9 lb 4 oz) with a carapace width estimated at about a foot (300 cm).

Reports of Large Crabs

25 September 2018

Beluga Whale
Photograph by Neil Philips

A most unexpected discovery of an all white Beluga Whale, Delphinapterus leucas, seen actively swimming in the narrow part of the estuary of the River Thames, was first spotted by ecologist and ornithologist Dave Andrews, who said it had been feeding around barges near Gravesend in Kent. The video showed the whale looked in healthy condition despite being thousands of miles from its normal home in Arctic seas. 

Beluga are sociable toothed whales and a very agile like dolphins which enables them to catch fish and crustaceans. Their nearest normal habitat is Arctic seas, of Russia, north of Norway, where they need their echo-location to avoid the pack ice and to find blow holes and to come to the surface in open sea to breathe. 
Previous Report 2015Daily Telegraph Day 3 Report

22 June 2018

A tall black fin appearing above the surface of the water in Plymouth Sound was thought to be a rare appearance of a Killer Whale, Orca orcinus, off the south west coast of England.

BMLSS Cetacea

6 June 2018

Common Octopus
Octopus vulgaris
Photograph Gallery by Philip Shinton

At the depth of ten metres off the Dorset coast I discovered my first Common Octopus, Octopus vulgaris, in thirty years of diving. This was a very large octopus, at tip to tip about two metres long and his head was about double the size of a rugby ball. It seemed about as big as me. Octopuses are usually nocturnal, but this one was active in the daytime. 

The Common Octopus is most easily identified, if discovered in the English Channel, by having two rows of suckers. A hearsay reports says they were all wiped out in the cold winter of 1963. This octopus is a southern species at its northern biogeographical limit in winter off British coasts.
BMLSS Octopuses

18 May 2018
A Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, was spotted at Lerwick in the Shetland Isles. Bearded Seals are a non-migratory Arctic species that feed on molluscs including clams. Visits to the most northerly of the Scottish isles are rare and newsworthy.

Previous Report 2013


Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

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. 


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.

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

British Coastal Topography

British Coastal Topography

Flora and Fauna of Coast and Estuaries


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 did not take place in 2017 & 2018

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 2018
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
Copyright  2018   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs