REPORTS AND NEWS
jack fish known as the Blue Runner,
crysos, was caught by a fisherman in a bass net just off Mevagissey,
Cornwall, and taken in to Chris Gilbertson
at Mevagissey Aquarium,
who passed it on to me for identification. This is thought to be the fourth
or fifth specimen of this fish reported in the UK.
jack family of fish (Carangidae) are widespread in the warmer waters of
the world, but the only member of the family which is common in the North
East Atlantic is the Horse Mackerel or Scad Trachurus trachurus.
Carangids seem to be being found more regularly as the temperature of local
Public Aquaria List
of the most extraordinary shark tales involved the discovery of a tropical
longimanus, that had badly lost its way and was discovered swimming
around a warship in a brackish water fjord near Gullmarsfjorden in west
Sweden. It died shortly afterwards. The shark, a male, was 230 cm long,
(total length), and weighed 65.65 kg. This is the first record in northern
European seas and it has never been discovered around the British coast.
A Swedish Museum in Gothenburg has now the shark for further examination.
White-tip Shark is found worldwide in epipelagic
tropical and subtropical waters between 20° North and 20° South
latitude. Its range is from Portugal to the Gulf of Guinea in the eastern
Atlantic. There are a few records from the Mediterranean Sea. It lives
in sea temperatures above 21° C. It is usually found over deep water
a long way from the shore. It is known to assocauite with Pilot
Whales and may follow boats or ships if a
constant food source is available. This shark has a reputation for attacking
could the shark have arrived in the fjord? The speculation could involves
man's activities as a discard from a deep water fishing catch?
Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon bidens,
has been found dead on the beach at Fishguard, south-west Wales. Earlier
in the day a similar whale was stranded at Llangrannog near Newquay in
Wales and successfully helped back into the sea.
trawling for sea bass banned in UK Territorial waters
Minister Ben Bradshaw has announced a unilateral ban on pair trawling for
seabass effective immediately at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.
ban will be implemented within the 20 km (12 mile) limit of the UK's waters.
This will not prevent the dolphin deaths but will prevent any more damage
to inshore breeding grounds.
20 metres long, 30 tonne, Fin
Balaenoptera physalis, was
washed up dead on the mud flats at at St Brides, West Usk, in south Wales,
near Newport on the shores of the Bristol Channel.
massive stranding of By-the-wind Sailors,
velella, has now been established
that it has stretched much further than just the Cornish coast and that
the numbers were in billions. Reports of large numbers of large specimens
and huge numbers occurred all along the Welsh coast as far north as Anglesey
and almost certainly further north as well.
on Constantine Bay beach, north Cornwall
were washed up at Woolacombe, north Devon in unprecedented numbers, estimated
up to 200 a square metre!
by David Jenkins via
Biodiversity Records Centre (DBRC)
Ho!, north Devon Velella
are two or three inches (50 - 75 mm) thick on the shore.
hundred By-the-wind Sailors arrived
on the beach on the Isle of Islay, west Scotland. The flesh rotted away
found on the shore between Newquay in Wales and Aberaeron with a
length of 60 mm +. There was one every three metres or so around the rocks
at Cei Bach thinning out in the sand areas. All were strikingly large compared
to those I have found before in south Wales and Cornwall before. All had
soft tissue and colour but were dead and disintegrating.
found large amounts of Velella velella
out off the Pembrokeshire coast back at the start of Septernber and the
ensuing storms seem to have deposited many of them on our beaches in the
west of Pembrokeshire (at least). Their small size make them easy to overlook
at sea and also on dark sand but they are exquisite jewel like creatures.
strandings on Velella
on the sandy beach at Polzeath, Cornwall
by Jonathan Smith
stranding of By-the-wind
Velella velella, occurred
all along the north Cornish coast from Sennen
Cove (near land's End) up to Polzeath (near Padstow) and beyond. (As
the gull flies this is a distance of 25+ miles and with all the coves and
inlets the shoreline is over double this.) Coming in on the top of the
tide, there were hundreds of millions* of them, all large, the largest
I found was 85 mm, and all them were intact. Millions of Barnacles
were washed up along the strandline.
Numbers not calculated. At Gwithian they formed a band 10 metres wide on
the shore and stretching for over a mile. The above photograph understates
the extent of the stranding.)
Barnacles, Dosima fascicularis (=Lepas),
coming in on the same tide as the Velella.
I've seen with my own eyes on Porthcothan (SW
8572), Treyarnon and Constantine and Paul
Gainey saw them on Gwithian, all in north
Cornwall. I'd be very surprised if they weren't all the way up the coast
and I'd number them in millions, all big. The Goose
Lepas, are occurring
in their usual quantity for this time of the year, if anything, less. To
give you an idea, on my beach, Pothcothan, 25 acres at low tide:
approximately one million, Buoy Barnacles:
2000+, Goose Barnacle
Barnacle, Dosima fascicularis
Barnacles were attached to floats that
they had secreted that had a texture like that expanding foam.
Wildlife Velella page
Jellyfish and other Medusae
sp., caught by an angler off the rocks of the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall,
in mid-September and taken to Matt Slater
at the Blue Reef Aquarium
for identification, will be a new British rod-caught record. It is
thought to be a Lesser Amberjack,Seriola
fasciata, which has never been recorded in Britain before, but could
turn out to be an Almaco Jack, Seriola rivoliana, which would be
the sixth for British waters, and the first taken by an angler.
six metres long Minke Whale,
acutorostrata, is seen in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall, when it surfaced
next to the boat on five occasions.
6 September 2004
helena, was recently caught just south of Mine Head, Waterford,
Ireland. This is the first record of this southern species from Ireland.
European Commission in Brussels rejected Britain's call for a ban on pair
trawling for bass throughout the English Channel to save dolphins.
Bradshaw, the fisheries minister, had asked
the European Commission for an emergency ban after hundreds more dolphins
were washed up dead on the beaches of the South-West this year.
Whale and Dolphin Watch (sponsored by BG Group, DEFRA &
Heritage Lottery Fund) took place around the UK with watches conducted
from about 200 sites from Shetland to Cornwall & the Channel Islands.
Richardson diving in 18 metres of water off
the South Devon Coast thought he saw the unusual echiuran species known
by the scientific name of Bonellia
viridis. Only the proboscis
was seen, which was about 60 cm long with a T piece 10 cm wide. When touched,
the expandable proboscis recoiled under a rock.
expect most people have not had a chance to see such a bizarre and unusual
of the this species discovered off Norway (to see how bizarre it is)
to the Second Photograph of the extendable proboscis by Rudolf Svensen
"spoon" worm is classified in the Phylum Echiura.
females of Bonellia viridis
are up to 2 metres in length, while the males are merely 1-2 mm (!) and
live as parasites within the uterus of the female! This is the most extreme
size difference between male and female (called "sexual dimorphism") found
in the animal kingdom!
is not only strange things about the bionomics of this peculiar animal.
For more information click on the link below:
viridis Information Page (by René Hessling)
distribution of Bonellia viridis around
the British Isles is unclear. I have not received any reports from divers
in British waters before, although off Norway it will be found in depths
of 25 metres, but usually deeper. It frequents shallow water in the
Mediterranean Sea, e.g. off Chios,
a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.
Echiurans (By Erling Svensen)
mola, photograph was taken
on 7th August 2004 about
half a mile off Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. I spotted the Sunfish on the
surface and I have seen them in the same area before. Normally when approached
they swim towards the bottom at high speed. This time the Sunfish swam
towards the boat and even allowed me to touch it, it made no attempt to
swim away. It swam around the boat a few times and came back to the swim
platform again. I could see it had sea lice on its back and I guess it
was trying to get them removed. The fish appeared to be in good health,
a fantastic site to see.
Bream is a southern species which is now believed
to breed off the south-west coast of Britain.
the River Hayle in Cornwall, in the evening, I caught three Gilthead
Bream, Sparus aurata, one of about
6-7 cm and two of about 16-20 cm long. All three were released. There
may well have been a large number of the little bream as my bait was attached
by small fish almost every cast.
Megaptera novaengliae, has
been in the Sound of Sleat, (separating the Isle of Skye with mainland
Scotland), feeding on large shoals of sprat, along with 20 to 30 Minke
I've spent many hours with it over the last week (we have a team up there
working on the Minkes
at the moment).
huge Atlantic Halibut, Hippoglossus
hippoglossus, weighing 190 kg was caught
from Vannaya Troms, Norway by Thomas Nielsen
from Vannaya Troms, Norway.
discovered a 1.93 metres (6 ft 4 in) long fresh shark washed up dead on
the beach between Hornsea
and Mappleton on the Yorkshire North East coast.
by Rae Atkins
shark appears to be a Porbeagle Shark,
nasus. There is a population of this large predatory shark in the North
Sea. Their occurence may match the Salmon
on which they prey. Specimens washed up dead on the beach are unusual.
sailed through hugh masses of By-the-wind
Velella velella, on route
from Larne (Northern Ireland) to La Coruna in Spain; it took us approximately
two days to clear them. Buoy Barnacles,
fascicularis, attached to floats that they had secreted, were also
present in very large numbers.
unfamiliar seaweed washed up in a rockpool at
(a small island reef six miles off Jersey) was
identified as the the non native species Grateloupia
filicina var. luxurians.
The main frond in the photograph is about 20 cm long.
by members of the Algae-L Mailing List
4 July 2004
diving at the Shiant Isles in
the in the Minch between Skye and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (islands
off north-west Scotland) I found the large starfish Stichastrella
rosea, an echinoderm I have never
seen outside of St Kilda.
still, I also found what looks like this starfish but it had seven arms
instead of the usual five. This starfish seems to be uncommon and found
off the northern and western coasts, usually in deeper water than 30 metres
so it is rarely seen by divers.
the entrance to the Cromarty Firth (NE Scotland), a pod of Bottle-nosed
Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, were
bow-riding a submarine! A surfaced submarine appeared heading out into
the Moray Firth and was quickly joined by a group of about ten dolphins;
some followed behind riding in the wake while a group at the front were
bow riding within a few metres of the vessel.
- August 2004
capriscus, are being caught by anglers, seen
by divers and even rockpoolers and caught by
trawlermen all around the south and west of the British Isles, notably
the Channel Islands, Sussex and Dorset coasts, and the coast of Wales.
on the Royal Adelaide
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