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DIARY

British Coelenterate Society
Devon WWT: Wembury Rock Pools
Porcupine MNH Society

 


 
 
MARINE WILDLIFE 
 NEWS
Risso's Dolphins
Sturgeon
Green Ormer
Mako or Porbeagle Shark
Sperm Whale
Bearded Seal

Andy Horton spends a year examining the biology and behaviour of the rock pool fish and other marine life.
 


 
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 Database Projects
 Book List 1998
NEW ISSUE
Vernal/Summer 1998 Glaucus
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Norwegian Marine ***
Channel Islands  *** 
South Australia ***
Boat Trips 
(Underwater Windows)
Rock Pool Fish Database
Popular Books
Crustacea
 Fish & Sharks
FOR THE YOUNGER
AGE GROUP

7-14 years
Shorewatch Newsletter
Blennies & Gobies
Inshore Marine Fish
Shorewatch Newsletter
Volume 3

The first issue for 1999 was sent out to the members that renewed, on 22 January 1999. This issue contained the report of the blue Spider Crabs, a large Lobster from off Sussex, and other news items for the last 2 months of 1998. Features included a summary of setting up a coldwater marine aquarium (see Wet Thumb) on 4 of the 16 pages, an Introduction to Jim Hall's new Sea Hunt series, and Rockpooling under Worthing Pier.
Rockpooling Venues Page Link.

The subscriptions for 1999 are now due.

 

Torpedo News Bulletin

TORPEDO 33
March 1999

Electronic News Service                                      ISSN  1464-8156


"It has often been said that more people go fishing than watch football matches. But for every well-equipped adult angler, round the corner are a dozen muddy little tiddler-catchers. 
There can only be one possible conclusion.
TIDDLER-CATCHING IS THE MOST POPULAR SPORT IN THE WORLD."
from  "HOW TO CATCH TIDDLERS"
by Ian Russell

If you receive this Bulletin direct from the British Marine Life Study Society it will contain only *.htm *.gif & *.jpg files. It will not contain Active-X or Java Applets. 

FULL MEMBERS 1999

Renewals:
Thank you for renewing your subscription as a member for 1999. No further Renewal Forms or Shorewatch Newsletters will be sent out to1998 members.
However a form is available from the web site at:
Renewals 1999
New Members
Subscribers to Torpedo who wish to receive the written material as a New Member can find the Application Form at:
New Members 1999



DIARY


In chronological order, the most recent events are at the top of the page. Events 
open to the public, free or for a nominal charge only are included. Most Seminars need to be booked in advance 

1999

Devon Wildlife Trust

Wembury Bay  Rockpool Rambles
Contact  Wembury Marine Centre  Tel:  01752 862538

Leaflet from Devon Wildlife Trust  Tel:  01392 279244.


12 February 1999
The World of Seahorse  Exhibition at the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth due to open. Seahorses are currently on display, but the new extended Exhibition will be open to the public on this date. 

National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth

NMA Events  http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/visitor-events/55_events.html


1-3 March 1999

NEW INITIATIVES IN COASTAL AND MARINE CONSERVATION
Conference

Plas Tan y Bwlch   Snowdonia National Park Study Centre
Contact:  Dewi Jones  Tel: 01766 590324   Fax:  590274
EMail   plastanybwlch@compuserve.com

Advance registration = £50.    Total cost, incl meals = £280


20/21 March 1999

British Coelenterate Society
Informal meeting at Dove Marine Laboratory, Cullercoats, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Contact:  Jeremy Thomason  (before 26 February 1999)
Tel:  0191 222 8946
Fax:   0191 222 7891
EMail:   j.c.thomason@ncl.ac.uk

1999 Meeting: Further details


20/21 March 1999

Porcupine MNH Society
Annual meeting at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, west Scotland.

Contact:  Robin Harvey

EMail: roh@dml.ac.uk



VISITORS CENTRE

Coastal Visitors Centre
Salisbury Gardens
Dudley Road
Ventnor
Isle of Wight
PO38 1EJ

Tel:  01983 855400
EMail: coastcent@iwight.gov.uk

The Centre covers many aspects of the coastal zone, which include coastal flora and fauna, marine and inter-tidal archaeology, coastal defence and particularly coastal instability issues.


 Top of the Page


MARINE WILDLIFE NEWS



Reports of marine wildlife from all around the British Isles, with pollution incidents and conservation initiatives as they affect the flora and fauna of the NE Atlantic Ocean. 
February 1999
Four Risso's Dolphins, Grampus griseus, have been found washed up dead on Cornish beaches this year. Like the Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, which are always washed up at this time of the year, the dead cetaceans showed evidence of fishing net entanglements. Risso's Dolphins have only been recorded on Cornish shores 16 times since 1914. One specimen was stranded at Northcott Mouth, Bude, on the north coast. 
Report by Colin Speedie, Seaquest SW.

12 February 1999
Sturgeon, Acipenser sturio, of 8.05 kg (nearly 18 lb) was caught in gill nets off Looe, in south Cornwall, and brought into Plymouth Fish Market.
Report by Alan Knight.

12 February 1999
The World of Seahorse  Exhibition at the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth opens. Seahorses were already on display, but the new extended Exhibition opened to the public on this date. 

1 February 1999
A 3 metres* long Mako Shark, Isurus  oxyrinchus, (the consensus now seems that it is a Porbeagle) was caught three miles off Brighton by cod fishermen and brought into Monteum Fish Market at nearby Shoreham-by-Sea. The shark weighed 172 kg (378 lb). The largest shark normally caught in Sussex seas is the Tope, Galeorhinus galeus, and then only occasionally. Rarely Porbeagle Sharks, Lamna nasus, have even been caught, but this is my first report of a Mako. Reported in the Shoreham Herald.
[* One report said 2.2 metres, excluding the tail fin?]
Shark Page
Letter to Shoreham Herald
PS: On further examination the shark looks like a Porbeagle.  Andy Horton  11/2/99.
Further investigation underway.
The consensus now seems that it is a Porbeagle. Doug Herdson, Marcus Goodsir, Pål Enger, Steve Barker & others. 16/2/99.
5 Porbeagle Sharks were landed at the fish market in Plymouth from September 1998 to February 1999, the largest being a female of 243 cm (115 kg). Doug Herdson.
The Porbeagle has a secondary caudal keel. The Mako is a southern species, whereas the Porbeagle is a temperate water species and found all around the British Isles.
Porbeagle Sharks in the News 1998

28 January 1999
A 12 metre long Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, was discovered swimming around in Weisdale Voe (off Hellister) at around 7.30 am. It gave excellent views to the numerous folk who congregated on the shoreline to watch it as it swam around the voe, at times no more than 50 metres from the shoreline, ocassionally lifting its head clear of the water. By noon it had moved further south, into the mouth of the voe, but was still not clear of the Scalloway Islands. 
More information including photographs can be found at:
Shetland Wildlife News Web Site

28 January 1999
A steel canopy is moored over the war grave and wreck (sunk in 1939) of the Battleship "Royal Oak" in Scapa Flow in the Orkneys to ameliorate the continual oil flow from the ship. 

23 January 1999 to February 1999
A vagrant Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, has made a sustained visit to Hartlepool in north-east England. It is over 2 metres long (6-8 ft), grey (more silvery on underside), very short snout, dark chestnut eyes, long white 'moustache' reaching to well below chin.  It sits in water with head and back out of water (apparently typical).  It has been much photographed and featured on the local NE BBC TV News on 27 January 1999.
Report by Jeff Higgett (Ipswich).
Seals Web Page
Bearded Seals are a non-migratory Arctic species that feed on molluscs including clams. It is is so far out of its normal range (there have only been 8 records in the Shetlands, all since 1977) that I expressed doubts about its correct identification. Of the two species of seals resident in British waters it is the Common Seal that has the longest whiskers and the one that be most likely mistaken for a Bearded Seal, if was not for the overall size. Common Seals do not exceed 2 metres in length. Grey Seals reach 3 metres long, are commonly found off north-east England.  AH.

Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, Hartlepool Fish Quay, Teesside, January
1999 (Martyn Sidwell)

The photograph clearly indicates a Bearded Seal.

sent in by Steven Gantlett (Editor of Birding World)
 

Bearded Seal (More information)



FORUM


The Marine Life Forum is for observations and discussion items. The information of interest of other readers should be EMailed to: 
EMail Glaucus@hotmail.com   and marked "Forum" in the title of the message. 
 
 
NEW
FORUM PAGE


Trent Dolphins

A report of dolphins has been received from the Trent at Gainsborough.

Has anybody seen these cetaceans or able to provide any more information?




Mystery Animal (probably a mollusc)

Found at  Beer Cove, near Seaton

Colour is best described as a grey(ish) brown(ish), with off-white under parts. 

Length:  37 mm   Width  17 mm

The underside is similar to the average mollusc (gastropod [i.e. snail-like, or slug-like] or bivalve [i.e. cockle]?), and has a definite separate mouth part.

Hairs around the edge on mine are white(ish).

Shell is'nt hard as in a snail shell, more along the lines of the outer coating of a squash ball, firm but flexible.(This statement has been revised - now reckoned to be a hard shell when taken out of the tank.)

Yes, my creature does move about the tank quite a lot, but only at night. Once the main lights have gone off and just the actinic lamp is on , it will stir it'self and get ready to forage, but will not come out until the tank is in darkness. Even during a spell of night time watching with a shaded torch, you'll not see much of it. The instant the light falls upon it, it's off into the rockwork. Sometimes the lights do catch it out, and then it's like an aquatic greyhoundantennae in and flat out for it's bolt hole!
from Richard Huggett (Eastbourne) 
EMail: rich@huggett34.freeserve.co.uk
Please also send any replies to the BMLSS
EMail Glaucus@hotmail.com


Hello Andy,

Stone Crab

I am currently involved in an experimental fishery for Northern Stone Crab (Lithodes maja) in Nova Scotia and have read that this species occurs in European waters. I have been searching for anything relating to this species. It seems very little scientific work has been done on this side of the Atlantic.
 We have had moderate success in our first year with catch rates of up to 4 lb/ trap. Is there a fishery  for these crabs in Europe? Has there been any scientific research done on behavior, reproduction,  or moulting? I would enjoy any response you could give me. Do you have any questions for me? Don't hesitate to ask.Thank you for your time and consideration.

Michael Townsend 
R.R #1
Sable River, N.S.,Canada
BOT1V0
Phone (902) 656 2428
email mikejewell@auracom.com



Cotton Spinner   Holothuria forskali

The puzzle is the Cotton-Spinner's defensive behaviour.When attacked, it is described as turning its rear end towards the threat and expelling a stream of long sticky white threads forcibly from the anus. 

And any sea animal that is lifted from the water into air, whether by a rockpooler or in a dredge, will be extremely alarmed and distressed, so probably almost all Holothuria will eject threads in this situation. If I am right, until diving became common almost every Cotton-Spinner people saw had either been exposed by turning rocks on the shore or brought up in a dredge, and ejected its sticky threads in panic; so this was accepted as normal behaviour at any disturbance. 

I have corresponded with one or two people about the Cotton-Spinner, but I would welcome any readers' observations which shed further light on these animals, whether confirming my speculations or not. 

Jane Lilley 
EMail Glaucus@hotmail.com

Cotton-spinner



 




POPULAR PUBLICATIONS

  •         March 1999

  • NEW BOOKS
     

  • None received.
     


    Top of the Page



    BOOK REVIEWS

     
     
  • Publisher:  T & AD Poyser
  • ISBN 0-85661-105-0
  • 506 PAGES

  •    RRP  £27.95.

    Over 500 pages absolutely packed with information about the wildlife, ecology, topography, manís exploitation, and fishing are all reasonably well written, with a large number of Shetland native names appearing in the text. 

    The illustrations are by John Busby and their are colour photographs, diagrams and maps throughout the book. 

     Contents
     Foreword by Magnus Magnusson 
     Preface 
     Chapters
     1. Between the North Sea and the Atlantic
     2. The Making of Shetland (D. Flinn) 
     3. The Holocene and the Shetlander 
     4. A Fragile Skin 
     5. By Sea and Air 
     6. Residents and Migrants 
     7. The Plankton, the Fish and the Whale (part I. Napier) 
     8. The Seabird Saga 
     9. The Fair Isle (R. Riddington and D. Okill) 
    10. Shetland Naturalists 
    11. Black Gold or Black Death 
    12. Sustainability and Survival 
     Bibliography 
     Appendices
     1. Places to Visit 
     2. Protected Areas 
     3. Lists of Species 
     Glossary 
     Index 

    Cover illustration shows Arctic tern and phalarope.

    Quotes: 

    Aquaculture is now more important economically than deep sea fishing . 

    In Foula the great skua (bonxie) used to be protected because it mobbed the erne (sea eagle) and prevented it from . 
     
     

    Reviews by Andy Horton


    FEATURED SPECIES


    A New Series as part of the TORPEDO initiative is now planned for 1999. This will feature a selected species of fish, crab, molluscs, sea anemone or some other invertebrate every month. If you wish to receive this service please indicate. 

    Torpedo EMail:  Glaucus@hotmail.com

     Originally, this service was planned for 1998. Try the following web pages: 


    Creature Feature


    Notes for Teachers
    From Rock Pool to Aquaria

    Featured Species Trial DataBase:   Black Goby  Gobius niger


    PHOTOGRAPHS 
    The BMLSS will be presenting the Annual Photographic Exhibition to celebrate WORLD OCEANS DAY on 8 June 1999.

    Print photographs should be sent in to Glaucus House from March 1999. They could also be used on the BMLSS web sites.
    However, if you have a large selection of your own photographs, I would suggest that you should arrange your own exhibitions at a Local Library or similar venue. We will help to advertise the event. 

    World Oceans Day:  Details of the BMLSS Exhibitions:

    World Oceans Day



    GATEWAY:  LINKS TO OTHER SITES


    The British Marine Life Study Society Web Site has been included as an Encylopaedia Britannica Recommended Site and included on the BBC On-line Internet Guide.
     
     
       NEW
      Aquarium Net  Internet Publication for aquarists with extensive marine coverage.  Very Good.
     Fishing News Homepage Recommended, especially for books.
    Contains information on seals and photographs
     Seaweb  Links and News Bulletins
     ENN (Environmental) News  ***  News and campaigns
     Planet Ark (Reuters)  News
     Sea Mammal Research Unit  Update on seal populations, diets, 
     telemetry  etc.

       BMLSS  GATEWAY 1
       BMLSS  GATEWAY 2:   Britain & Europe
       BMLSS  GATEWAY 3:   America & the Rest of the World
    UK BIODIVERSITY
    FISHBASE FISHFINDER
    CHANNEL ISLANDS MARINE WILDLIFE PAGE
    NORWEGIAN MARINE WILDLIFE
    PUBLIC AQUARIA DATABASE
    SHETLAND NEWS WEBSITE
    BRITISH MARINE FISH DATABASE (UK SEA FISHING)
      including the EBlast Internet Search method 
                                                incorporating  Alta Vista 
    Please see our entry in the BBC Web Guide
    (NATURE)
    (FISH)
    SHARK TRUST (EUROPEAN ELASMOBRANCH ASSOCIATION BRITISH BRANCH)
    FRANK BUCKLAND & THE BUCKLAND FOUNDATION
    MarLIN
    Marine Life Information Network
    National Geographic
    Dept. of the Environment, Transport & the Regions  - Press Releases -
    EUCC   European Union for Coastal Conservation
    Aquatic Conservation Network
     UK DIVING INFORMATION
     DIVER MAGAZINE
     BRITISH SUB-AQUA CLUB


    SPONSORS ARE INVITED FOR THE BMLSS WEB SITE FOR 1999
    THE MINIMUM STARTING FUNDS REQUIRED FOR THE
    PLANNED BMLSS 2000 SITE IS £150 PER YEAR



    WEB SITE PAGE LINKS


    BMLSS (England) HOMEPAGE

     
    News 1999
    News 1998
    News 1997
    News 1996
    INFORMATION & HOW TO JOIN GENERAL INDEX GLAUCUS JOURNAL SHOREWATCH PROJECT
    WILDLIFE NEWS (MARINE) TORPEDO BULLETIN DIARY GATEWAY: LINKS TO OTHER SITES
    FIVE KINGDOMS SPECIES INDEX SERVICES GENERAL SPECIES LIST EMAIL

     
    BMLSS (Facebook)
    Rockpooling
    Popular Guides
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    BRITISH MARINE LIFE ORGANISATIONS


    Some of the images may not display if you have changed your directory for downloaded files.
     
    Torpedo  compiled by Andy Horton
     24 February 1999 
    FIVE KINGDOMS TAXONOMIC INDEX TO BRITISH MARINE WILDLIFE
    Use these links if your are familiar with the scientific classifications of marine life

    Compiled on Netscape Composer, part of Netscape Communicator 4.5