Brief Report by Andy Horton, British Marine Life Study Society.
The April 1998 meeting of the Porcupine Marine Natural History Society was held at Southampton Oceanography Centre on the weekend of 17-19 April 1998 beginning on the Friday and ending on Sunday.
I attended with Jane Lilley on the Saturday and Sunday only, and met fellow BMLSS members including Keith Broomfield, Dr Bill Farnham, Jan Light (Chair of the Porcupine Society) and Julia Nunn (Ulster Museum). Altogether there were over 30 speakers, each of whom spoke for up to 30 minutes, and at most times there were at least 50 people in the Lecture Theatre. These were members of the Porcupine Society, guests, and scientists from the Oceanography Centre.
Subjects covered in a wide variety of subjects under the heading 'The biogeography of the north-east Atlantic'. Subjects of particular interest to me included changes in the marine life of Milford Haven by Dale Rostrom, marine life in the Orkney and Shetland Isles presented by Elly Murray, and geographical limits of marine gastropods and the acorn barnacle Chthamalus presented by Roger Herbert of the Medina Valley Centre on the Isle of Wight. Marine research is often a lot of effort and this was demonstrated by the collection of ballast water samples to investigate the organisms transported into British ports in water and sediments from other seas. This talk was presented by Tracy McCollin.
Marine molluscs were covered in detail by several speakers. Bill Farnham spoke on Friday and Sunday on alien seaweeds. Jenny Mallinson spoke succinctly and gave some practical advice about biological recording of sublittoral hydroids. At the end of the Saturday session she then showed us around the small temperature controlled aquarium of Southampton Oceanography Centre, which she is in charge of. This proved very useful for my talk on Sunday, which concentrated on some of the problems identifying common intertidal animals like the Black Goby, Gobius niger, and the sea anemone Sagartiogeton undatus, both which were on display in the tanks.
I found the most interesting talk to be the presentation by John Wilson, of the Royal Holloway University of London, on the Sula Ridge which is a huge deep water coral reef of Lophelia at 380 metres off the coast of Norway. The second part of the talk was video footage that followed the path of the Jago submersible over the reef. The prominent fish was the Redfish, Sebastes marinus.
A more thorough report is expected in the Porcupine Newsletter.
ASPECTS OF IDENTIFICATION OF SOME BRITISH SPECIES & CONSEQUENCES FOR MARINE BIOLOGICAL RECORDING (Talk by Andy Horton)
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