caught a Twaite Shad, Alosa
fallax, from off the beach at Brighton.
Shad (click on the image for a closer look)
was about 48 cm long and like an oversized herring. Its scales were very
large (I kept some as they came off easily on handling).
Twaite Shad is a rare endangered migratory fish rarely caught in the English
Channel. It is the commoner of the two shad species found in British waters.
The other species is the Allis Shad, Alosa
the Twaite Shad and the Allis Shad are listed on Appendix II of the Bern
Convention and Annexes II and V of the Habitats Directive. They are protected
under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
Information and Later Report
was a mass stranding of 500+ Mauve
Stingers (small jellyfish), Pelagia
noctiluca, at Porthcothan, Cornwall.This is the most unusual of
the British species of pelagic jellyfish to wash up, but large swarms occur
in years of abundance.
being a small jellyfish, it has a reputation as a stinger,
in the Mediterranean.
the Sea Rocket, Orache etc, on the strandline, a Peanut
Plant has taken root.
captured a large Lobster, Homarus gammarus,
a Portland (Dorset) wreck which weighed about 5 kg, but it only had one
claw. The human foot in the picture is size eleven. Specimens over 5 kg
are only occasionally caught incidentally in other fisheries as large lobsters
cannot get into the pots. They are often covered in keelworms.
Blackford reports an Ocean
Sunfish, Mola mola, in
St Ives Bay, Cornwall. It was about a metre long, and think it is
the first for the year.
FOR FOOD AND FUN
shrimper Peter Talbot-Elsden, from Southwick (Sussex),
has produced a small booklet called “Shrimping for Food and Fun”
about catching the brown shrimp around the coasts of Britain. The shrimps
are caught in nets and the book features the various methods, firstly the
push-netting seen over the sand in shallow water in spring off the Sussex
coast. The famous Morecambe Bay shrimps were originally captured by cart
shanker shrimping with a horse and cart in deeper water off the Lancashire
coast, later replaced by a tractor. At Formby, they experimented with amphibious
vehicles after World War II. Nowadays, most commercial shrimping on the
east coast around King’s Lynn trawls from small boats using a net off the
stern. Shrimps are often cooked on board.
28 page book contains 40 photographs of shrimping through the ages. It
is available through Bookworms of Shoreham
and other booksellers and museums at £3.50.
booklet is also available through the British
Marine Life Study Society, but at £4 including postage and packing.
Talbot-Elsden manned the shrimp display at Adur
World Oceans Day.
netting the River Hayle, Cornwall, at low water for sandeel bait, the first
sweep brought a mixed bag of Greater Sandeels,
lanceolatus, and Lesser Sandeels, Ammodytes
tobianus,plus quite a few Lesser Weevers,
unusual aspect was the large number of lice on the sandeel and free swimming
in the bunt. Whilst ejecting the Weevers we noticed one fish had two lice
stuck inside its mouth. My mate caught a louse and promptly let it go as
it bit him. They were about 8 mm long. At this size they are only half
the size of the adults.
are isopods (wood-lice) and expert Tammy
Horton has confirmed that they are the parasitic species Ceratothoa
steindachneri. Other Sand-eel netters have
said that they have caught these parasites for years, which have to be
removed as they are capable of killing the Sand-eels.
to Thumbnails (Marine
Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group)
jellyfish with a bell diameter of 45 cm and one metre long was spotted
off Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, at 7:00
pm. It was creamy white with a pink-blue rim
so it was almost certainly the Barrel Jellyfish,
octopus. These large jellyfish are
only occasionally encountered off the Sussex coast.
have had four separate incidents of Sandeel
Ammodytidae) mass mortality in Ramsey Bay,
Isle of Man (a lump of rock in the middle of the Irish Sea) over the last
two or three weeks. Two events co-incided with rising new moon springs
and the most recent with rising full moon springs. There were no obvious
causes and as with the events in other areas we can only speculate on the
cause. The main question is why only these small fish? The mortalities
were, not surprisingly, accompanied by frenzied gull activity.
massive bloom of plankton has turned the seas around the Shetland Isles
a turquoise colour, stretching at least 60 miles, almost the whole length
of the islands, from Yell the second most northern island to Sumburgh Head
the southernmost tip. The organism was the coccolithophore
which is responsible for vast blooms covering up to 40 thousand square
miles of the oceans and can be seen from a space shuttle. Blooms this large
can change the climate.
This plankton bloom is non-toxic not thought to pose a threat to the salmon
farms on the Shetlands.
Book (see Chapter 6)
Report of a bloom off Cornwall
11 June 2003
the beach from Sutton-on-Sea up to Mablethorpe, East Lindsey (Easy Yorkshire),
we noticed thousands of dead starfish
ranging from 3-10 cm in size, along with large numbers of dead crabs and
some small shellfish. The starfish were almost certainly the Common
Starfish, Asterias rubens.
of coast seems to be particularly prone to large and massive strandings
of starfish and other marine life.
Report of a Massive Wreck
and Beachcombing Page
numbers of pelagic scyphozoan Pelagia noctiluca,
the Mauve Stinger
(small jellyfish), were spotted all along the east coast of Lundy, Bristol
Channel. I was participating in an English
Nature drop-down video survey and I found dense shoals of this beautiful
pelagic jellyfish. The density was probably in the region of 15 to 20 indivuals
per square metre at the surface.
Swarms of this jellyfish are unusual in British seas.
Jellyfish page 2
Jellyfish page 1
of the Blue Jellyfish, Cyanea
lamarckii, were seen whilst diving around the Lizard up to the
Helford river in Cornwall. Also seen in the Helford river was a Lion's
Mane Jellyfish, Cyanea
capillata, and a Compass Jellyfish,
staff at Porthkerris divers have recently seen vast numbers of By-the-Wind
velella, which turned the beach blue!
(literally) of By-the-Wind Sailors,
velella, (a jellyfish-like animal) are being washed up alive to
perish on the shores of Cornwall, now reaching up the English Channel as
far east as Polperro and Looe. All
are very small, around 15 mm in length, and still have fleshy body parts
was on Charmouth beach in Dorset doing a little fossil hunting and suddenly
found myself lying (best way to find tiny crinoids etc) in a wreck of tiny
jellyfish. They had a bizarre transparent float and were a vivid blue being
only around 25 to 30 mm long. These are By-the-Wind
famous Boar Fish,
aper, died after its aquarium sprung
a leak in the middle of the night. (It was caught from the Sussex shore
at Hove in November 2002).
bathed in a heatwave up to
C for the opening of the Adur Festival and
World Oceans Day 2003 on Coronation
Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. About
3000 people attended the event that was steady and busy throughout.
included live fish and lobster in aquaria, colouring and badge-making,
and dolphins, birds, shrimps, fish-tasting, touch-table, Shoreham shingle
beach flora and undersea colour photographs and videos.
thanks to all the participants, especially Len Nevell (British Marine Life
Study Society) and Steve Trewhella (Marine Conservation Society). The inflated
dolphin was provided by Steve Savage (Sea Watch Foundation).
groups had special exhibitions including the:
Marine Life Study Society including Shorewatch
Sussex County Council Countryside Unit
Watch Foundation (for Whales & Dolphins)
Sea Fisheries District Committee
(Undersea Biological Recording)
& District Ornithological Society
Oceans Day 2003
am - 4:00 pm
Information File on Adur World Oceans Day
Information File on Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day 2003 Images (by Ray Hamblett)
young Minke Whale,
acutorostrata, became stranded on the reef as the tide dropped at Longrock,
Penzance, Cornwall. The reef was at least 200 metres from the beach
so rescuers had to wade and swim out to it.
whale had cuts and scraps along the underside and the tail, but these were
luckily only superficial. As the tide rose and more help arrived
the rescuers, including experts form the Silver
Dolphin Centre were able to get the whale into the inflatable pontoons
and slowly move it away from the reef. After being checked over by the
vet, the whale was safely released back out into the open waters.
Report (Silver Dolphin web pages)
of By-the-Wind Sailors,
velella, (a jellyfish-like animal) are washed up on Sennen
Cove Wildlife Page
velella, are being reported again in the sea and washed up on the
strandline on the north Cornish shores and Salcombe Harbour, south Devon.
21 May 2003 Ray Lawman
has reported to Ruth Williams
that he there were about half a million Velella
velella at "Soapy Cove" on the Lizard, Cornwall.
Bain reports seeing a 5 metre long Basking
Shark, Cetorhinus maximus,in
St Ives Harbour, Cornwall, at dusk. This shark is the largest fish found
in the seas around the British Isles and is regularly seen off the south-western
coasts but only rarely actually enters harbours.
Larus audouinii, was added
to the list of British birds after a second summer bird was seen,
recorded and photographed at Dungeness, Kent.
Gull was formerly a rare and localised species.
It is still restricted to the Mediterranean as a breeding bird, but its
numbers have risen from about 1000 pairs in the early 1970s to more than
17,000 pairs by 1995. The species is partly migratory, the main winter
quarters lying along the Atlantic Coast from Morocco, as far south as Senegal
and Gambia. The increasing population has seen an increase in extralimital
records from France , plus three records from Switzerland. One of the French
records was from Boulogne-sur-Mer, just across the Channel from Kent.
15 metre long male
Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus,
was stranded alive on the English Channel (le Manche) coast at Oye-plage
(west of Dunkerque), France, but it died the following night.
discovery of a Giant
Goby, Gobius cobitis, found in
a rockpool above the half tide mark at Les Écréhous, Jersey, was a notable
discovery. This goby is a protected species
under the Wildlife
and Countryside Act Schedule 5. It has
always been known from the shores of Jersey but it is virtually unknown
on the northern English Channel coasts with occasional records from Cornwall
only. As it name indicates this goby is a 'giant' amongst the Gobiidae,
a family of small fishes. The Giant Goby attains lengths of up to 25 cm.
August 2003, a smaller Giant Goby was found
near the same location and this one measured 22 cm.
Nature & MBA articles on Giant Gobies
in British Sea Anemones
has been observed discharging eggs in an aquarium. This method of reproduction
has been suspected but there have been no observations in print before.
Whale, Physeter macrocephalus,
is washed up dead on the Norfolk coast. This time a 15 metre long whale
became stranded on an isolated sandbank on Stiffkey Marshes (NW of Wells-next-to-Sea).
The remote location has meant that even to get a glimpse of the huge cetacean
it was necessary to wade in the water. This is a different whale from the
one discovered yesterday.
Whale (Previous Report 2003)