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 2008

Link to Marine Life News 2008

BMLSS (England) Index
BMLSS (Facebook)
Link to the British Marine Life News 2007

Norwegian Marine***
to Other Sites
(Click on Text)
Smart Group
British Marine Wildlife
Group Photo Pool
Encyclopedia of Marine Life 
Articles in other Journals. Publications

Monthly Marine News Bulletin
Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database
 Cetacean List (NE Atlantic)
CEFAS Marine Monitoring

Snail Mail
Link to Ray Dennis's Cornish Marine Life Reports for 2007

World Oceans Day 2008
BBC Buoy Table (Sea Temperatures, Wave Heights etc.)
Magic Map now has a Coastal and Marine Resource Atlas


01825  765546 


 0207 942 5155 


For more reports click on the seasonal buttons below: 

Link to the News Reports, October to December 2008



11-15 November 2008

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity 
Valencia, Spain

The exploration of marine biodiversity: scientific and technological challenges
To review the current understanding of marine biodiversity, its role in marine ecosystem functioning and its socio-economic context
To assess current and future threats and potential mitigation strategies for conservation and regulation of marine resources
To identify future research priorities

First Announcement (Link)
Full Details (Link)



29 June 2008
Another huge Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus, was discovered and brought ashore by Paul Worsley diving in Lyme Bay, Dorset. It was estimated to be 300 mm wide across the carapace and a crab of this size would be the largest on record. (The largest recorded specimen known was 285 mm wide.) Its huge size can be verified by the photograph in the Western Morning News but unfortunately the crab was eaten before a tape measure could put on the shell and photographed to verify the crab as the largest on record. 

26 June 2008
A huge Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus, was captured and brought to the surface from a plastic barrel on the seafloor at Balaclava Bay off Portland, Dorset. The male crab was not measured but estimated to be about 30 cm wide across the carapace. It was found a home in Weymouth Sea Life Centre. Both its massive claws were intact and bigger than my hands.

Capture and Report by Paul Martin
with the help of companion diver Mary Harris 
Dorset Echo Report
BMLSS Edible Crab

22 June 2008
An injured Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus, was discovered swimming in the River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland, and it is not expected to survive. This is a deep water species. 

17 June 2008
I found a dead White-beaked Dolphin, Lagenorhyncus albirostris, on Baleshare Beach, on the west coast of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides in the morning under a bright blue sky. It was 2.10 metres long. 

Whales & Dolphins in British Seas (Link)

June 2008
A rare female Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata, was captured in a trawl net by Worthing fisherman Brian Davey about eight miles off Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex.The ray which was about 60 cm long and can deliver a 220 volt electric shock. It was kept alive found a home at Brighton Sea Life Centre

Shoreham Herald News Report

This is the rarer of the two electric rays recorded in British seas and is extremely rare off Sussex. This fish can grow up to 60 cm in length. It is not known to breed in British seas and fish are likely to have migrated up the English Channel in summer.
BMLSS Sharks & Rays
BMLSS Marbled Electric Ray
Sussex Rare Fishes
Sussex Marine Life Reports 2008
Adur Nature Reports 2008
BMLSS Shark & Ray News

14 June 2008

Venue: Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea
Admission: FREE
Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, as part of the Adur Festival.
8 June 2008
A Yarrell's Blenny, Chirolophis ascanii, was spotted by Shirley Sweeney in a rockpool near Kilberry on the north west coast of the Mull of Kintyre, west Scotland. This is the first report of this small fish on the shore from the BMLSS web pages. 

 BMLSS Yarrell's Blenny

Yarrell's Blenny (Photograph by Jamie)

9 June 2008
At least 26 Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, died after becoming stranded in Porth Creek up the Percuil River, Cornwall. (The Percuil River meets the Carrick Roads sea inlet near Falmouth.)  These were just a small group of many more dolphins in the Carrick Roads around Falmouth. 

Whales & Dolphins in British Seas (Link)
BMLSS Cetacea

5 June 2008
In the early hours a large Stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, was caught by an angler Ken Canning off the beach at Pagham Harbour, Sussex, and released back alive. It weighed between 65 lb and 72 lb; this should be a BR (R-C) FC record
“This magnificent fish which was probably around 72 lb as that’s what it weighed first time but it slipped of the sheet. When weighed second time it was still touching the floor but we were concerned with the health of the fish so settled on 65 lb 2 oz then returned it.” 

British Shore Caught Angling Records
BMLSS Shark & Ray News

3 March - 26 May 2008 onwards

Bearded Seal (Photograph by Rob Baxter)
A Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, was spotted at Loch na Keal on the Isle of Mull, a large island in the Inner Hebrides, western Scotland. The healthy seal had hauled itself up on to some dry rocks when it was first seen. Subsequently, it has been unpredictable in its movements. 
The Bearded Seal was first seen by David Woodhouse (Mull Wildlife Expeditions) on 3 March 2008.
Photograph by Rob Baxter
Report by David Sexton (RSPB, Mull)
BMLSS Bearded Seals
Andy's Mull Blog

May 2008
A surprising capture of a Pacific Humpback Salmon,Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, specimen caught by Louis Hunter in the River Tweed near Berwick-upon-Tweed on the English-Scottish border, is the first to be caught in a British river by rod and line, weighed, verified, and submitted to the British Records Fish Committee (BRFC). The committee has recorded it as a new species on its game list. The fish weighed 1.6 kg. 
 Its origins are likely to be the Barents Sea, where the Russians introduced thousands of Humpback Salmon 40 years ago as part of a large breeding programme.
Over the last 10 years some of these have successfully bred in rivers in Norway and Iceland. It appears they have begun to cross the North Sea to Britain, although there is no evidence yet to suggest they are breeding here. There has been anecdotal evidence of fishermen accidentally snaring them in trawler nets off the east coast.

11 May 2008
A female Deep-water Red Crab, Chaceon (=Geryon) affinis, was captured in deep water (300 metres) off the west off the Orkney Isles, north of Scotland. It survived a number of days in a boats vivier tank before being transferred to an aquarium. 

Red Crab (Photograph by Alan Jackson)

The Orkney fishermen call them "Red Crab" but they are not common.

ID by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography

This geryonid crab Chaceon affinis has been widely reported from both the North & South Atlantic as well as the Indian Ocean in depths ranging from 410 to 2047 metres. In the NE Atlantic, it has been recorded from N & SW Iceland, W Norway, SW Rockall, Ymir Ridge, Wyville-Thompson Ridge, W of St Kilda & WNW Butt of Lewis (Scotland), and NW Skellig Islands (Ireland) at 160-193 metres. Significant quantities have been taken by deep-water crab potters off the west coast of Ireland.

Ref: Quigley, D.T.G., Flannery, K. & Holmes, J.M.C. (1994) First record of the crab Chaceon (=Geryon) affinis from Irish waters. 
The Irish Naturalists' Journal 24(11): 460-461.
More Information & Photographs

8 -9 May 2008
Guernsey recreational fisherman Andy Marquis discovered the pulmonate slug Celtic Sea Slug, Onchidella celtica, at St. Martins Point, Guernsey. (I have been looking for them for a decade without success!) 

Photograph by Richard Lord (fully copyrighted)

The following day my wife and I found 278 individuals in the Fucus spiralis zone on the vertical face of a rocky outcrop. I submitted the record to Dr. Charles David of La Société Guernesiaise and the Guernsey Biological Records Centre and he provided further information of their occurrence in the Bailiwick of Guernsey: Moulin Huet Bay (south coast), the Gouliot Caves (Sark), and Burhou and the Chausey Islands. The ones I have seen have been much blacker. 

Sealord Photography

Early May 2008
A Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was seen feeding at the surface off Portland, Dorset, exceptionally early in the year. 

Report by Paul Martin
BMLSS Sharks
BMLSS Shark & Ray News

6 May 2008
A 400 metre (1,312 ft) section of land slipped onto the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. Local Police described the landslip as the "worst for 100 years.
BMLSS Lyme Regis Notes & Links

24 April 2008
A Short-snouted Seahorse*, Hippocampus hippocampus, was discovered on the filtration plant at Shoreham Harbour. It was alive when found but died shortly afterwards. (*assumed to be this species).

Dead Seahorse (Photograph by Craig Vernoit) on Brighton Beach

Seahorses are now a regular occurrence about two miles offshore.

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
BMLSS Seahorses
Sussex Marine Life Reports

11 April 2008
A most extraordinary angling capture of the Korean Rockfish, Sebastes schlegelii, occurred from the charter vessel "Desire" at Oosterschelde near Goese Sas, in a coastal inlet in the Netherlands. 
Menno Soes quotes Yoshiaki Kai (who wrote some papers on Sebastes) who is willing to be referenced as having identified it as Sebastes schlegelii. According to him schlegelii is the only species with three lachrymal spines.
This is fish is native to the eastern Pacific Ocean but is transferred around the world in the aquarium and aquaculture industry. 

April 2008
 A Conger Eel, Conger conger, was caught in a beam trawl off Brixham, Devon, was  photographed at the Brixham Fish Market after it had been gutted prior to auction and it still weighed 60 kg (134 lb 2 oz).
Conger Eel Records
Squid eggs (Photograph by Andy Horton)
There has been at least half a dozen reports of Squid eggs frequently washed up on the shore along the English Channel coast.

BMLSS Squid Eggs

BMLSS Beachcombing

3 April 2008
On a Orca Sea Safaris two hour marine wildlife safari out into Falmouth Bay and beyond, we saw three pods of Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, the first was 7.5 miles ESE from St Anthony Head where 10-12 Common Dolphins were exhibiting feeding behaviour. About 1.5 miles further out, a pod of 50 Common Dolphins were spotted moving at around 14-15 knots, a number of dolphins broke from the pod to join our boat for a bit of fun and bow riding. Three miles further west of here we found another 10 Common Dolphins which approached us and started milling around the boat.

Full Report

BMLSS Whales & Dolphins (by Steve Savage)

British Marine Life News 2007


Cornish Marine Life 2007 (Ray Dennis Records)
BMLSS Oil Disasters page


The Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum


Nature Notes Webring

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