Reports 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

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Spring 2006

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For more reports click on the seasonal buttons below:

Link to the News Reports, October to December 2006



25 June 2006
Martin Elliot and myself have recorded large numbers of Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, off West Cornwall in perfect sea conditions throughout the day. Because of movement between the morning and evening it is hard to be exact on numbers but involved a minimum of 60 animals and a maximum of 100.

BMLSS Basking Sharks

18 June 2006
An exceptionally large European Lobster, Homarus gammarus, was caught by Louie Smith, aged 16, off Deal pier in Kent. It weighed 5 kg (11 lb 3 oz).

BMLSS Lobsters
17 June 2006

Swordfish (Photograph by Paul and Angie Symons)

Amidst so much excitement that the camera could be found immediately, a three metres long (including the sword)Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, swam past our dive boat off the south coast of Devon, off Teignmouth (near the wreck of the Galicia). 

Report by Jackie Hazel & Paul Fenton (Tiger Charters)
Photograph by Paul and Angie Symons
BMLSS Swordfishes

15 June 2006
The River Walks TV company with Charlie Dimmick filmed on Lancing beach (at the Shoreham end near Widewater), referred to as Shoreham-by-Sea, featured shrimping with Peter Talbot-Elsden (British Marine Life Study Society).

The documentary focuses on the River Adur and will be broadcast in October 2006.

12 June 2006
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was caught and landed in an eel-bow-net at Skalderviken, south-west Sweden by Hasse Edelin. The fish measured 53 cm and weighed 1.5 kg.
Hasse Edelin with the fish Brama brama (Photograph by Kent Andersson)
Hasse Edelin with the Ray's Bream, Brama brama.
Report and Photograph by Kent Andersson

There have been several reports of this pelagic fish washed up dead on North Sea coasts over the winter of 2005-6. 
Discussion and Extra Information

10 June 2006

Photograph by Ray Hamblett

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham, as part of the Adur Festival.

Adur World Oceans Day 2006 was bathed in a heatwave, but the show was over before the warmest day of the year so far was recorded as the air temperature measured 25.8 ºC at 5:40 pm. The crowds were concentrated in the morning because of the dubious alternative afternoon attraction of England versus Paraguay in the World Cup 2006
Len Nevell with the Spiny Spider Crab
John Knight & Kathy Eels on the Strandline Table

Len and Wayne Nevell and Samantha (British Marine Life Study Society), and Marc Abraham (PETS) presented the lobster and large crustacean display, Andy Horton (BMLSS) with the rockpool aquaria, John Knight and Kathy Eels (West Sussex County Council Rural Strategy Unit) with the strandline display, David and Marion Wood (FOWL) with the shingle flora photographs, Dee Christensen (Nature Coast Project) with the help of the Beach Wardens, Steve Savage (Sea Watch Foundation) dolphins exhibit and ORCA (Organisation Cetacea), the national cetacean group based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
Images 2006

Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve was declared at Adur World Oceans Day 2006.

8 June 2006
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

c. 8 June 2006
A Sea Horse, Hippocampus sp., was spotted and collected in a bucket by Edward Wilson (aged 8) near the entrance of the outer harbour of Brighton Marina, Sussex. The adult fish of an estimated height of 150 mm (6 inches) was seen to swim away in a healthy condition. The identification was confirmed by a photograph. Sea Horses were regarded as rare from the seas off Sussex until this year. 

Report by Patrick Wilson

7 June 2006
The largest* Atlantic Halibut, Hippoglossus hippoglossus, ever recorded was caught and landed by professional net fisherman Rolf Larsen (62 years old), at Stamsund, Lofoten, Norway (within the Arctic Circle but with seas warmed by the Gulf Stream). This massive fish weighed 282 kg and would have probably weighed 290 kg when first caught. The difference was because of the loss of blood after capture. Its total length was 262 cm. The fish was sold for display. 

Nettavision News Report (with a photograph)

(* My current information has the previous largest as 266 kg and 365 cm long.)

BMLSS Halibut
BMLSS Large Halibut
Halibut (Wikipedia)

22 May 2006
Thousands of dead Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, were seen on the beach at Lydd-on-Sea, Kent. All the starfish were strewn along the high tide line, and for every step I took I passed 20 to 30 dead starfish. I walked about half a mile along the beach and the line of dead starfish seemed never ending in both directions. Some of the starfish were laying on the sand and in the sand pools but these too were dead. Also, about 30 Sea Mice, (an annelid worm), Aphrodite aculeata, were found washed up dead.
NB: This discovery followed two days of gales. 

Report by Wendy Carrig
BMLSS Echinodermata

28 April 2006
An extremely interesting report of three Sea Horses, Hippocampus hippocampus  reported by Southwick (West Sussex) fishermen; the fishermen say they are the first caught for several years and other fishermen are reporting them in their fixed nets several miles offshore. The identity of these fish has not been verified personally, but Sea Horses are known to be rarely captured from the Sussex coast.

Hearsay Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
Short-snouted Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, washed up on the beach at Felpham (near Bognor Regis) West Sussex in late March 2006.

Photograph by Dee Christensen (Nature Coast Project)

BMLSS Seahorses
27 April 2006
The small crustacean on the right was discovered on the shore at Eastbourne, Sussex.

This is Alpheus, the Snapping Prawn and not Axius. Note the absence of the triangular plate that extends to a minor rostrum between the eyes. It is Alpheus macrocheles, a scarce species found on the south coast of the British Isles (in British seas). 

ID help from the CRUST-L Forum

13 April 2006
My diving work boat Scavenger was engaged in mooring recommissions in the bay (natural harbour) named Cove on the South side of St Agnes, in the Isles of Scilly, when Jolene Allsop, a professional diver working with me, disturbed a Puffer Fish at rest in a heavily kelped underwater marker buoy at about three metre depth and with very good visibility (in excess of 15 metres). Jo has seen Puffer Fish before in tropical waters and was able to observe this 15 cm fish long enough to have no doubt as to it's identity. 

The vagrant Oceanic Puffer Fish species rarely seen in British seas is Lagocephalus lagocephalus

A 3.5 metres long Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was washed ashore dead on Kingsdown Beach near Deal, north-east Kent. It rolled in and out with the high tide before becoming permanently lodged on the beach. The whale had a large gash mark on its side. Humpback Whales are a deep water species more usually discovered in the Atlantic to the west of the British Isles.

BBC News Report
Whales and Dolphins in British Seas (by Steve Savage)
BMLSS Cetacea
ORCA (Organisation Cetacea) Report (with images)
Magic Map now has a Coastal and Marine Resource Atlas

The Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum


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