of marine wildlife from all around the British Isles, with pollution incidents
and conservation initiatives as they affect the fauna and flora of the
NE Atlantic Ocean.
optimum viewing read in 800 x 600 using medium fonts
Microsoft Internet Explorer (best) or Netscape
small patch of loose sponge-covered flint rocks with small bits of chalk
at Lancing beach, Sussex, proved
unusually rich in small rockpool life at the
very low tide (TQ
018 034). The
discoveries included a Pimplet
Anemone, Anthopleura ballii, another anemone
species that has never been recorded this far east before.
Tursiops truncatus, has
been seen in Weymouth Harbour, and it is believed to have followed a trawler
through the narrow inlet.
- 24 March 2002
the female whales gave birth as the lifeboatmen preventing it from beaching.
authentic report, the calf was bodily lifted by a farmer and put back into
pod of between 30 and 40 Pilot
Globicephala melas, became stranded, or nearly stranded,
at near Camp in North in Tralee Bay, County Kerry, Ireland, and were prevented
from beaching and helped back out to sea. 18 of these whales (actually
dolphins with a bottle-shaped head) perished, but many were coaxed back
into the sea on the first day. On the following day, 10 to 12 whales were
spotted the shallow water of Fenit Harbour, but they did not become beached
and the Fenit lifeboatmen were able to escort them back into deeper water.
pod of six Killer Whales,
orca, are seen from the Fetlar ferry in the Shetland Isles. (Fetlar
is an island in the north-east of the Shetlands.)
twenty dead Lesser Octopuses, Eledone cirrhosa, were
scattered over a stretch of about 200 metres of Killiney beach, Co. Kerry,
Equinox at 19:03 GMT (UT).
18 March 2002
badly composed whale is washed up on Saligo Bay (NR
209672) on the west coast of Islay, Argyll,
the outermost island of the Inner Hebrides. The whale has been identified
(needs to be confirmed) as Cuvier's
Beaked Whale, Ziphius cavirostris, which is a deep water whale
rarely seen alive and rarely washed up on the most westernmost shores of
Britain and Ireland.
Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Co. Sligo, Ireland 2000)
a few days of gales a large standing of Common
Cuttlebones, Sepia elegans, is
a reasonably common on Cornish shores. However, the stranding of over 100
cuttlebones on Polperro beach, south Cornwall included seven specimens
of the rarer species Sepia orbignyana.
Pages (Matt Stribley)
of Common Starfish,
rubens, are washed up on the beach at Holkham, Norfolk, on the east
coast of England after sustained north-easterly gales.
14 March 2002
List of Species
a sustained period of north-easterly gales, there was a massive
stranding of marine animals and weed on the Yorkshire shore (north-east
England) between Fraisethorpe and Barmston (East Yorks: Holderness).
The most noticeable of the animals washed up were hundreds of thousands
starfish mostly of the Common
Asteria rubens, but
other species were present. The list of interesting animals washed up included
including Lobsters that were still alive,
etc., a wide variety of fish, sea
polychaete worms, molluscs
and tonnes of seaweed. This is the largest stranding
recording on these web pages.
& Beachcombing Page
26 February 2002
a few days of gales, Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, have
been washed ashore on the shores of Cornwall and south Wales and probably
1991, a small Boar Fish was caught by a fisherman off south Cornwall and
spent several years in Mevagissey Aquarium.
was brought up in a net set for Red Mullet,
surmulatus, at 12 metres off the island of Guernsey in the Channel
Islands. The Boar Fish
is rarely caught because it is small (59 grams and a total length of 153
mm) and escapes the nets and because it usually lives at greater depths
than most nets are set. The same fisherman caught a Tadpole
Fish, Raniceps raninus,
the day before. This latter fish is widely distributed but solitary for
most of its life so again it is rarely caught.
Sussex Record of a Boar Fish
Dolphin Identification Notes
massive stranding of between
120 and 150 Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, occurred on
the beach at Pleubian on the Côtes d'Armor, Bretagne (Britanny),
on the English Channel (le Manche) coast of northern France. This stranding
occurred at 3:00 pm just before the low spring tide.
to people who witnessed the event on this sandy shore, the first dolphin
beached itself followed by its congeners.
This prompted a rescue by the Fire Brigade, the Police and the public who
were able to help 20 of the unfortunate dolphins and actually lift them
up and put them back into the water. Unfortunately despite strenuous efforts
48 dolphins perished, but about 90 survived.
reason for the stranding is not known but the topography of the bay and
the large tidal range were probably contributory.
Numbers for Stranded Cetaceans
Stranding Exercises in Scotland
Divers Marine Life Rescue
a week of gales, the Mantis Shrimp illustrated
was discovered on the tideline at Calshot Spit, Hampshire. It is probably
Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group - members only)
Gull investigating a dead Harbour Porpoise as a food source
Blackrock Sounds, northern Cardigan Bay, north Wales
by Kelvin Jones
Phocoena phocoena, was
washed up dead on Blackrock Sands near Morfa Bychan near Portmadoc in north
Wales. This itself is not a particular unusual event in view of the hundreds
of dolphins washed up dead on English Channel coasts. Porpoises are common
in the north of Cardigan Bay and used to get caught up in fixed nets before
the fishery was halted.
Gull feeding on the carcass on 10
by Chris Galvin
this porpoise was graced by a visit by an Ivory
eburnea, an nearly all-white Arctic species
which may have been blown further south by the recent storms. This gull
is a very rare vagrant to Wales and England.
on the Surfbirds News Page
species recorded in Great Britain
reports of stranded cetaceans for Cornwall reached 45 this year.
numbers of dolphins are washed up dead on the French coast with reports
of about 300 deaths. The French newspapers showed the dolphin carcasses
piled up high on the beach.
(In previous years the numbers
have been recorded at 26.)
batter the coasts of Britain, coinciding with exceptionally high tides,
resulting in localised flooding, with the strongest winds across lowland
least 50 small cetaceans,
mostly dolphins, have been washed dead up on English Channel coasts during
this month. Dolphins are washed up dead every year, but there seems to
be at least double the normal numbers this year. Although, the cause of
death is not known for sure, most people seem to think that fishing activities
are to blame. The cause of the increase is less clear; it could be because
of the bad weather has washed more ashore, it could be because more are
being caught because of increased dolphin numbers, or increased fishing
effort, or it could be because more people are reporting their grisly discoveries.
largest numbers of cetaceans are washed up on westerly coasts, notably
Cornish shores, but the strandings stretched as far east as the Isle of
Wight and Sussex where an intact Porpoise was cast ashore as well as a
information can be found on the following efora:
Mammals of the English Channel Smart Group
Wildlife Mailing List
Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group
with adult, 19 May 2001,
swimming against flood tide, and shallow water
by Nicolas Jouault, Jersey
Numbers for Stranded Cetaceans
Marine Wildlife Reports 2001 (by Ray Dennis)
& Dolphin Society Report & References
Sharks and Rays page
Cuckoo Ray, Raja naevus, was discovered in a rock
pool in Cove Harbour , Berwickshire, SE Scotland by Ben
Tindall, Harbourmaster. It was an adult full
grown specimen at 60 cm. The shallow water species of ray is rarely recorded
in pools, although the Thornback Ray, Raja clavata, has been recorded
in very shallow water in February in the English Channel. The Cuckoo Ray
has not been extensively studied. It is a southern species found
all around Britain and in the Mediterranean Sea and it lays its egg cases
all through the year with possibly a peak in January. This ray could have
found its way into the rock pool as a result of fishing activities. This
is common off this North Sea coast and has been recorded in harbours before.
lay eggs after a 25 year absence
Beach, Shoreham Harbour, Sussex.
notable discovery were large Dogwhelks,
lapillus, averaging 50 mm in length (all a dirty white colour) and
one group were laying their egg capsules. This was unknown on this shore
since the TBT pollution wiped out
the breeding population in the 1970s. A chemical component called tributyltin
in anti-fouling paints caused female Dogwhelks to develop a condition called
imposex which prevented them from breeding.
Report on the BMLSS Turtle Page
Nicolson reported a decomposed Leatherback
Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, washed ashore on the Dale beach
at Walls (west Mainland) in the Shetland Isles.
Marine Turtle Stranding Network
2.88 metres long female Pygmy Sperm Whale,
breviceps, was washed up dead on Thurleston Beach in Devon. This is
an extremely unusual stranding of a deep sea whale. Scientists from the
Natural History Museum in London have taken DNA samples in an attempt to
discover from which population this whale came from. The cause of death
was unknown. This species is much commoner in the southern hemisphere.
The presence of a population west of the Bay of Biscay is possible. This
whale is classified as a Vagrant in the British
History Museum Department of Zoology
Whale Stranding Recording Scheme (includes excellent photographs)
Squid: Full Report
deep water trawler after Blue Ling and Hake etc. caught a female Giant
Squid, Architeuthis dux, amongst the large haul of fish. With
a mantle length of 127 cm it is a medium-sized specimen with some of the
tentacles missing. Therefore, the total length could not be measured, but
it is estimated to be about 5.5 metres with a weight of about 60 kg. the
specimen will be prepared for display at the National
Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, ‘Creatures of the Deep' zone from
is believed to be the 25th Architeuthis recorded in British waters
University Giant Squid site (by Dr Martin Collins)
Octopuses and Squids
empty fuel tanker "Willy" becomes stranded on rocks off Kingsand, near
Plymouth, Devon. This is a small 3000 tonne cargo vessel with 100 tonnes
of fuel oil. Leaking fuel poses a threat to a Site of Special Scientific
Interest (SSSI) off the coast at Cawsand. However, the main concern is
that the ship will explode if the fuel vapours are ignited.
Tanker Disasters: Oiled Bird Count
capriscus, are washed up dead on Cornish shores. The Hocking
family (Sue, Richard, Emma and Rebecca) found
eight Triggerfish on Porthtowan beach, Cornwall.
from Stella Turk (Link)
Lobster, Scyllarus arctus, was caught in a lobster pot at a
depth of about 60
about 3 miles south east of St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly , just before Christmas
by Barry Bennett. Realising
that it was an unusual and interesting find Barry put it in a display tank,
which he maintains in the Harbour Master’s Office in St Mary’s.
arctus is a warm waters species found in the Mediterranean, and in
the Eastern Atlantic from Morocco to the English Channel but is rare north
of the Bay of Biscay. They live on stony ground, in caves, and can
also be found on muddy bottoms or in seagrass beds. They use the
large spade-like scales at the front of the head to burrow into mud,
or gravel between and under stones. Only 15 have been confirmed from British
seas all from off Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly or off Plymouth.
Report (CD-ROM only)
EARLIER REPORTS CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW
Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum.
& Information on the Wildlife of Shetland http://www.wildlife.shetland.co.uk/
Smith's Cornish Mailing List
Send a message to the list
SW (Cornwall Wildlife Trust web pages)
Marine Wildlife Reports 1999 (by Ray Dennis)
Marine Life Study Society
The BMLSS (England) site commenced on 1 January
Andy Horton, Webmaster
2002 © British Marine Life