MARINE WILDLIFE REPORTS 1996
Reports received of Marine Creatures sighted, stranded or landed during
A list compiled by Raymond Dennis
29/12/95 A pod of about 20 Bottlenose Dolphims
were seen during the day in the Bay off St.Ives.
8/1/96 Divers looking for explosives or other dangerous items while
clearing Poole Harbour after it was vacated by the Royal Navy found a very
large Lobster. Its weight was 15lbs and it was found a new home in an aquarium.
18/1/96 Several Common Dolphins have been found washed up along the
south coast of Cornwall between Falmouth and Fowey during the past two
weeks. Two others were found near Trefusis Point in the Fal Estuary SW817334
on Sunday January 7th. This pair showed distinct signs of net damage.
21/1/96 Two dead porpoises were found today washed up on the high tide
line at the western end of Praa Sande Beach SW574281
22/1/96 1996 has seen a poor start in the number of dolphin corpses
washed up on Cornish beaches. Up to January 18th 17 dolphins or porpoises
and a Pilot Whale have been found, in comparison with only 2 last January.
And only 20 for the whole of 1995. Several of these corpses have clear
signs of net damage. Mike Townsend of the Newlyn based Cornish Fish Producers
Organisation said that fishing methods currently employed by by Cornish
boats do not net dolphins and Cornwall Wildlife Trust agree that Cornish
boats are not responsible for these deaths, but pelagic and mid-water trawls
currently used in Cornish waters by boats from other countries definitely
do kill dolphins. Five of this years corpses have been taken to the Ministry
of Agriculture Veterinary Investigation Unit at Polwhele for post-mortem
2&3/2/96 Pods of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen in the Land's
End, Sennen and Cape Cornwall areas on Fri 2nd and Sat.3rd. One pod was
reported as being of at least 30 animals in a feeding frenzy.
4/2/96 A pod of about 12 to 15 Bottlenose Dolphins, from medium to
large size animals, were seen heading south westward pass Trewellard Zawn
SW370350 at 1230 hrs. and again moving south pass Carn Gloose SW352312
at 1330 so they were moving at just over 3 m.p.h. or 5Km.p.h.
9/2/96 A pair of Seahorses, Hippocampus guttulatus (=H. ramulosus) which were netted
off Plymouth some weeks ago and taken to Weymouth Sealife Centre have given
birth to a batch (several dozen) young. It is planned to release these
young seahorses into the English Channel later in the year when the water
is warmer, for they will be at the extreme northern limit of their normal
10/2/96 A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins was seen off Penzance harbour
between 1300 & 1400 hrs. The observer though there were about 30 dolphins
in the pod.
11/2/96 A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen off Penberth SW405226
at 1400 hrs heading westwards. Estimated number in pod 8 to 12.
7/4/96 A pod of 4 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen off Treveal Cliff near
the Carracks Rocks SW465407.
15/4/96 A small pod of 3 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen off Godrevy
SW575425 during the day.
27/4/96 A Basking Shark was seen off Porthgwarra near the Runnelstone
SW371203 but time or size were not given.
28/4/96 A Basking Shark was seen off Porthcurno SW388216 during the
day, but again time and size not given.
29/4/96 A small pod of about 6 dolphins were seen off Penzance harbour
from Newlyn at about 1400 hrs. They were lost from view for several minutes
and then were seen again near the Gear Pole. They then disappeared again
but were seen further out in the bay a few minutes later. The may have
been following a Trawler which left Penzance harbour at about that
time. They were thought to be Bottlenose Dolphins but a good enough view
of them was not obtained for positive identification.
5/5/96 A Basking Shark was seen between Cape Cornwall and the Brisons
SW345315 during the afternoon. It submerged when approached by a fast small
boat and was not seen again.
11/5/96 A Basking Sherk about 14ft long was seen just outside St.Ives
Harbour SW522406 between 1130 and 1200 hrs.
12/5/96 Seven Basking Sharks were seen together off the Manacles SW825205
during the afternoon, one of which was very large. There were also two
small pods of Bottlenose Dolphins in the area.
13/5/96 Three Basking Sharks were seen off Coverack SW788184 at 0700hrs.and
observers followed their progress north-eastward to a position off Dean
Point SW810205 at about 1100 hrs. This a distance of just over two miles
or a speed of just over half a mile per hour. They were probably feeding
at the time. Sizes were not given.
15/5/96 A Basking Shark was seen about half way between Mousehole and
Lamorna off Penzer Point SW468247 at 5.p.m. It submerged at
the approach of a dive boat and was not seen again.
20/5/96 Two Basking Sharks were seen off Slinke Dean SW463245 from
21/5/96 boat on both Monday and Tuesday. They were about 15ft long.
29/5/95 A Storm Petrel was seen feeding from the surface of the water
just outside Penzance Harbour during the day.
4/6/96 Three Basking Sharks were seen off Tol-Pedn-Penwith SW364215
at 1000hrs, They were between 12 and 15 ft long.
8/6/96 A 12ft Basking Shark was seen about one mile off St. Michael's
Mount, Mounts Bay SW500286 at 1100 hrs
10/6/96 A Sunfish was seen off Kemyel point SW465237 during the morning.
Reported as being more than 2ft across.
20/6/96 A pod of several Bottlenose Dolphins including juveniles
spent most of the day at Sennen Cove and along to Gwynver beach SW357271
playing around boats and swimmers.
25/6/96 An otter was watched for some time feeding on Mussels in Lamorna
Cove SW452241 close to the shore.
28/6/96 A report this week stated that a Common Dolphin carcass found
washed up on a Newlyn Beach in March had obvious knife marks and had flesh
removed as if cut for steaks for eating.
6/7/96 A pair of Bottlenose Dolphins, each about 10ft long, spent some
of the day in St.Ives Bay playing around swimmers and small boats, and
were said to have jumped over canoes a few times. They had been seen in
the bay on a couple of days earlier this week. A diver is hoping to get
underwater pictures of this pair to compare with pictures taken last year
to see if these are the same dolphins returned.
13/7/96 A Sunfish was seen on the surface about half way between the
Lizard and Gwennap Head in positon approximately SW530170.It was about
18/7/96 A Basking Shark about 18ft long was seen at 1500 hrs off Carn-du
20/7/96 Two Basking Sharks, one 8ft long and the other 25 to 30ft long
were feeding in Gwavas Lake Mount's Bay position approximately SW483285
at 0830 hrs. A diver in the water with them reported 3 Lamprey, each about
2ft long, were attached to the larger shark. The sea was flat calm and
many unidentified fish were jumping out of the water. Also in the area
were many Aurelia aurita and a few Rhizostoma pulmo jellfish. The
water was thich with plankton.
20/7/96 4 Basking Sharks were seen feeding in Mount's Bay at 0930 hrs
in position approximately SW481273. One shark was about 15ft, two were
about 13ft and the other about 8ft long. The water was thick with plankton
and flat calm and the sharks were feeding. On of the 13ft long sharks had
4 distinct white squarish patches across the top of the gills on the left
21/7/96 A Basking Shark was seen about 1 mile south of Lamorna SW453225
at 0800 from a passing boat. Estimated size was 15ft.
21/7/96 A Basking Shark was seen 2 miles off Pendeen SW377358 at about
midday. It was reported as being about 15ft long.
3/8/96 A 10ft Basking Shark was seen from a passing divers boat off
Tater-du SW440226 during the afternoon.
5/8/96 A pod of about 20 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen playing and
leaping in St. Ives Bay off Carbis Bay SW539399 at 1300. Some of the people
in small self drive pleasure boats seemed to have been a little intimidated
and returned to the harbour when the dolphins arrived, did they think they
were looking at sharks? The pod included a few juveniles.
6/8/96 A small pod of Risso's Dolphins were seen in Mount's Bay not
far from the Gear Pole SW481292 at 11a.m..
6/8/96 A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen in St.Ives Bay during
7/8/96 A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen in Mount's Bay at 0730
from a passing boat soon after leaving Penzance Harbour.
10/8/96 A 1000 lb Swordfish was landed at Newlyn Fish Market
during the week. Reported as being the largest specimen ever landed there.
12/8/96 A 10ft Basking Shark was seen from a passing boat about 10
miles north of Hayle and a pair of small cetaceans, thought to be porpoises,
broke surface just two or three times near the same boat about 8 miles
12/8/96 A small cetacean was collected from the beach at Porthmeor
St.Ives by the Coastguards. Described as being about 5 to 6ft long with
a long beak. Probably a Common Dolphin.
13/8/96 3 Adult and one juvenile Bottlenose Dolphins were ay Gwynver
Beach SW359278 near swimmers during the day.
13/8/96 An Opah, (Lampris guttatus) was landed at Newlyn Fish Market
by MFV Boy Antony, skipper Antony Hosking, It was caught at 70M on the
Labadie Bank, south of ireland.
15/8/96 A pod of 5 or 6 Bottlenose Dolphins have spent ther last few
days in St.Ives Bay. They have been seen from St. Ives to Gwithian at times
quite close to the shore but not associating with swimmers.
15/8/96 A pod of 6 to 8 Bottlenose Dolphins have spent the last two
days at Sennen Beach SW356267 swimming around people in the water.
15/8/96 A seal has been seen close to swimmers near Battery Rocks SW478296
over the past few months. Seals have not been common in this area for many
19/8/96 Three Sunfish was seen from a passing boat approximately
2 miles off the coast between Lamorna and the Bucks Rocks during the afternoon.
Many Sunfish have been reported off St. Ives this week and it is also reported
that fishermen have been gaffing them on the surface and selling them for
19/8/96 A small pod of Bottlenose Dolphin was seen out in the bay off
Sennen and shoals of small fish were at the same time among the surfers
on the beach.
21/8/96 A small pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen off Sennen.
22/8/96 A seal was in Penzance Harbour during the evening at about
22/8/96 Tuna boats returning to Newlyn Market have had by-catches of
swordfish,Porbeagle and Pilot fish this week.
5/9/96 Bottlenose Dolphins have been seen in St. Ives Bay on each of
the first four days of the month. Reports state that two small pods have
been moving from one end of the bay to the other.
9/9/96 Three Basking Sharks were seen during the early morning just
offshore near Perranuthnoe SW538291. Sizes not given.
11/9/96 A Grey Seal which has been associating with swimmers off Battery
Rocks Penzance recently is getting tamer and was nudging swimmers today.
19/9/96 A report in today's West Briton newspaper states that a 30lb
Opah was found washed up on Gwithian Beach recently and was taken
to the Marine Biological Association at Plymouth.
20/9/96 A pod of several Bottlenose Dolphins spent 4 or 5 hours jumping
and entertaining watchers on the beach at Long Rock SW500310 during the
22/9/96 A Leatherback Turtle was seen close inshore at St.Agnes SW719519
23/9/96 A pod of about 6 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen jumping about
off Praa Sands SW580275 today and yesterday.
24/9/96 A small pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were off Chyandour SW482305
25/9/96 The Bottlenose Dolphins were off Chyandour again at 1730.
26/9/96 A whale has been identified as a Humpbackfrom a video taken
by a Mr.Bailie as it moved eastwards across St.Ives Bay sometime in August.
6/10/96 A large pod of dolphins were seen about 2 miles south of Boscawen
Point SW431228 at 0945 heading eastwards but stayed to follow dive
boats for about 30 mins, before heading eastwards again. Estimates of numbers
in the pod ranged from 30 to 60 animals.
6/10/96 A Basking Shark was seen near the Runnelstone SW370201 at 1100.
Size estimated to be from 8 to 10ft, when seen from a passing dive boat.
9/12/96 A single Bottlenose Dolphin, about 8ft long,was seen from a
crabber fishing boat about 4 miles off Lamorna SW452242.
10/12/96 Two Minke Whales were seen north of Pendeen Watch SW379359.
12/12/96 A pod of 12 or more dolphins have been seen off the western
end of Porthmeor Beach , St. Ives on most days this week. They are reported
to be white or very lightin colour underneath, dark upper surface and verypointed
beaks and quite small, all about 5 or 6ft long. They are very fast moving
and jumping out of the water quite a lot. These were probably Common dolphins,
but could be Stripped or White Sided Dolphins
12/12/96 There is a report in the Cornishman newspaper today
of 4 Fin Whales seen off Cape Cornwall, inside the
Brisons Rocks SW344314, on Friday 6th Dec. They were there for over an
hourand were first spotted at 1130. The largest was reported to be over
90ft, but this must be an exaggeration for thew largest recorded size for
a Fin Whale to date is 85'-6".
15/12/96 A pod of approximately 60 Porpoises were seen from The Lizard
16/12/96 2 Fin Whales were seen from cliffs in the Porthcurno area
17/12/96 A single Bottlenose Dolphin was seen from a crabber fishing
boat about 4 miles off Lamorna SW452242 in same position as the one seen
on Dec 9th.The dolphin was about 8ft long and presumably the same one.
23/12/96 A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen in Mount's Bay off
24/12/96 A pod of 4 Fin Whales were seen heading westward off Treen
Cliff SW403223 during the morning and were seen later heading eastwards
from Gwennap Head SW366215
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