MARINE LIFE NEWS 2015

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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January - March 2015

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For more reports click on the seasonal buttons below: 


Winter 2014 News Reports, January - March
Spring 2015 News Reports (Links)
SUMMER 2015 News Reports
Link to the News Reports, October to December 2015

EVENTS:


23 February 2015
"Life Between the Tides" ANDY HORTON, founder member of the British Marine Life Study Society, introduces the fascinating world revealed at low tide, how to enjoy a visit to a rocky shore, the biology and behaviour of some of the most interesting examples of the British fauna, concentrating on what can be discovered between the tides on the Sussex coast. Andy is a freelance writer and photographer with a specialist interest of the seashore around the British Isles, writing regular monthly articles for the "Aquarist & Pondkeeper" magazine until it ceased in 2000. He was editor of Glaucus, Shorewatch, now replaced by the Torpedo News Bulletin, as well as consultant for seashore books.

Horsham Natural History Society


LATEST NEWS: 

 

24 March 2015

Blackfish
Photograph by Mark Firman

Blackfish, Centrolophus niger, was trawled in shallow water four miles off Flamborough Head, Yorkshire. This fish is unusual in shallow water as it is an inhabitant of water deeper than 100 metres. The Outer Silver Pit is an area of sea bed up to 80 metres deep about 100 miles east of Flamborough Head. 

Previous Report

20 March 2015
A small Angel Shark, Squatina squatina, was a rare capture off Douglas, Isle of Man. 


Previous Report 2010

Angel Shark
Photograph by Grant Lopes

This large stocky angel shark was formerly a common and important demersal predator over large areas of its coastal and outer continental shelf sediment habitat in the North-east Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas. It now appears to be absent from the English Channel where it was caught back in 1969
This protected shark is classified as "Critically Endangered". 
Red List entry
OSPAR Assessment
MarLIN Records
Shark Trust Factsheet
 

A partial Solar Eclipse was viewable over the United Kingdom where the mostly hazy low cloud weather allowed. 

At Shoreham the clouds parted for just 6 seconds at 9:21 am.

The Vernal Equinox occurred at 10:45 pm UT.

November 2014 - March 2015

Eggs Cases of the Flapper Skate
Photographs by Penny Martin

Over four thousand egg cases of the now rare and endangered Flapper Skate, Dipturus intermedia, (=Diptrus batis*) were discovered washed ashore on just three beaches in the Orkney Isles. They were found on the remote shores of Skaill Beach, Bay of Birsay and Aikerness Beach, on West Mainland

IUCN Red List Entry
Orkney Skate Trust

* In 2009, research showed what was formerly listed as a single species, Dipturus batis, should be instead classified as two separate species, Dipturus flossada, and the Flapper Skate, Dipturus intermedia

BMLSS Mermaid's Purse: Skate
Previous Report

28 February 2015
Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, was found stranded dead near Northton, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.


20 February 2015
A distant photograph of a large humped whale off Par Beach on the island of St Martin's, Isles of Scilly, proved a puzzle at first because the whale lacked a distinct dorsal fin. Expert opinion agreed that this was an unusual record of a juvenile Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, a species of right whale usually only found in icy Arctic seas. "The dorsal hump of a Humpback is the ice-breaking wedge-head of a Bowhead." This was the first ever discovery in British seas. 

BMLSS Cetaceans

1 February 2015
An adult 150 cm long Dealfish (Ribbonfish family), Trachipterus arcticus, was caught fishing 50 miles NE of Peterhead, Scotland. 

Previous Report

30 January 2015

Killer Whale washed up at Saleen
Photograph by Mark Culbert

One of the diminishing number of Killer Whales, Orca orcinus, in Irish seas was washed up dead on a beach at Saleen, near Tramore in County Waterford. It was 5.2 metres long. 

BMLSS Cetaceans

25 January 2015
A Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, was washed ashore alive but in a moribund condition on the shores of County Donegal, Ireland, facing the Atlantic. It was moved to Portaferry "Exploris" Aquarium, County Down, N Ireland  for recovery and rehabilitation.  The problem is the seas around the British Isles are too cold for this tropical turtle and these reptiles often die of hypothermia.

BMLSS Turtles

10 January 2015
A record British angling capture of a White Sea Bream, Diplodus sargus, weighed in at 1170 grams and was caught off St Catherine's Breakwater, Jersey.



13 June 2015
Adur World Oceans Day

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the fifteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) took an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presented the whale and dolphin exhibition with the life sized replica of a Bottle-nosed Dolphin. Nikki Hills on behalf of the Sussex Wildlife Trust produced an interactive display on the sea and seashore for the younger age group. David and Marion Wood produced a presentation about Widewater Lagoon (brackish lagoon) LNR. Exhibitors were able to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants included Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life, and Colin Knight and Mark Colvin with a butterfly presentation on the behalf of the Sussex branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society.
World Oceans Day on Facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day.





British Marine Life News 2013
 
 

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