On-line connection to the British Marine Life Study Society web pages
Index for the Torpedo News Bulletins
Link to the forum for marine wildlife of the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining seas
Click here for the latest marine life news from around the British Isles

GATEWAY:  Further European Links
New EMail address
Courses (Marine Life)
Discussion Groups
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database
National Biodiversity Gateway
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day
Link to an on-line page for younger students of the seashore. Spider Crab and youngsters at Adur World Oceans Day 2002 (Photograph by Duncan Morrison)
7-14 years



Monthly electronic news bulletin for the marine life of the NE Atlantic Oceans including the seas around the British Isles.
The bulletin is designed for Microsoft Explorer 4 and above using medium fonts at a resolution of 800 x 600.
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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.

16 July 2003
A pod of seven or eightKiller Whales, Orcinus orca, was recorded in the Pentland Firth between Caithness, (north Scotland) and the Orkney Isles by crew and passengers on board the John o' Groats ferry. The sighting was reported in local papers.
Report by Iain McDonald via UK Cetnet

5 July 2003
Whilst angling off Rotunda Beach at the base of Folkestone Pier, Kent, I caught the following fish which I think is an Twaite Shad, Alosa fallax. It was 38 cm (15 ") long and weighed 624 grams (1lb 6oz). The iridescent scales on the fish were large, about 20 mm in diameter.  (However, it is possible that this species is the Allis Shad, Alosa alosa, as the only reliable method of differentiating the two species is by counting the gill rakers.)

Twaite Shad (Photograph by Phil Whiting)

Report and photograph by Phil Whiting (UK Aquarium)

The spots along the side of the body present in the Twaite Shad were absent, but these spots are often missing. (Andy Horton)

From the scale pattern on the fish I am pretty sure that it is a Twaite Shad and a spent one at that.  (Miran Aprahamian)

Twaite Shad from Brighton (Photograph by Gareth Stephens)

Twaite Shad (click on the image for a closer look)

On 26 June 2003, I caught a Twaite Shad, Alosa fallax, on rod and line from off the beach at Brighton. Sussex. 
"It was about 48 cm long and like an oversized herring. Its scales were very large (I kept some as they came off easily on handling).

Report and photograph by angler Gareth Stevens

The Twaite Shad is a rare endangered migratory fish rarely caught in the English Channel. It is the commoner of the two shad species found in British waters. The other species is the Allis Shad, Alosa alosa
Both the Twaite Shad and the Allis Shad are listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Annexes II and V of the Habitats Directive. They are protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
UK Biodiversity Action Plan for the Twaite Shad
JNCC Report page for the Twaite Shad
Shads in Ireland



Each month, at least one special marine image will be published from images sent to the BMLSS. This can be of the seashore, undersea world or any aspect of the marine natural world, especially the underwater life, but not restricted to life beneath the waves. Topical inclusions may be included instead of the most meritorious, and images will be limited to the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining seas, marine and seashore species and land and seascapes.

Norwegian Topknot (Photograph by Jim Greenfield)

Norwegian Topknot, Phrynorhombus norvegicus
St. Abbs Marine Reserve. SE Scotland.
Jim Greenfield

1 July 2003
Seeing five of these on one dive last weekend at St. Abbs reminded me how common these fish are in the North Sea despite just about every identification book saying they are restricted to western and southern coasts. They are probably overlooked because they are small (about 9 cm seems typical), restricted to rocky areas above 20 metres depth (at least from my observations) and have phenomenal camouflage ability. They are very difficult to see unless they move. On "normal" brown rock, they are brown and blend in perfectly. The picture (see above) shows one that had just moved off a rock that was spotted with encrusting purple algae giving some idea of what colours they are capable of adopting.
Where else does anybody see them?


Shore Topography Series

The name of the particular coast should be included and the grid reference, if known. Print photographs can be included in Exhibitions and on the BMLSS Web Sites and electronic publications. Electronic images in *.JPG format can also be considered for the web site. They should not exceed 150K in size.

Shore Topography Portfolio


Photograph by Richard Lord
Mystery Sea Anemone
from La Vellette, Guernsey
© Richard Lord 2003 (Guernsey)

My identification is for a bright and unusually coloured Cereus pedunculatus, because this is the only small intertidal and shallow water sea anemone with the 200 tentacles of this specimen. Blue is unusual in British sea anemones but this colour is just possible this species, although I never seen any hint of the glorious blue colour before. The diameter of this anemone was 20 mm. 


Photograph © Richard Lord 2003

© Richard Lord 2003 (Guernsey)

The dough-nut shaped eggs were very small (< 1 mm diameter) under a rock at the mid-shore level on Guernsey's east coast (sheltered shore) on 17 June 2003.  I was at maximum magnification when I took this photo so frame width would be about 12 mm.  The rock was in a shallow muddy, gravely pool (< 30 cm depth at low water).   The area is covered continuously during neap tides. 

The eggs are those of the Cushion Starfish, Asterina gibbosa

Sealord Photography
BMLSS Enchinoderms



Link to more marine life photographsClick on the album for more links (On-line link)



In June 1992,  over 150  Heads of States signed the Convention on Biological Diversity at Rio de Janeiro. They did so to express a shared belief that action must be taken to halt the worldwide loss of animal and plant species and genetic resources.

World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events will occur all around the world on and around this day.


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.
2 - 3 August 2003

The Isle of Anglesey Maritime Festival is running on Saturday & Sunday (2nd & 3rd August), based around the Holyhead Maritime Museum (Beach Road, Holyhead - road that runs along the SW side of Holyhead Harbour, past the Coastguard building). 

Running from 10 - 4 pm both days, there will be a variety of marine-related stands (including a Countryside Council for Wales one!) and events going on, including the opportunity to book and go on a 'try dive'.


A field meeting is planned for 28 August - 1 September 2003. A number of shores have recently been investigated and the following have been chosen (we will do one shore per day):- 

Boulmer  [55o 25.0'N 01o 34.4'W; NGR 46/2614]

This is a huge shore with extensive rock platforms and a sandy/muddy bay. There is a wide variety of life.

Newton-by-the-Sea [55o 31.0'N 01o 37.0'W; NGR 46/2425]

or Beadnell [55o 37.4'N 01o;33.2'W; NGR 46/2330]

Newton has rock platforms and a sandy bay while Beadnell is rocky with gullies and rock pools, with a sandy bay to the south. Newton also has the best pub for lunch! 

Lindisfarne [55o 40.5'N 01o;48.0'W; NGr 46/1342]

Cross the tidal causeway (by car) and there is a variety of shores including limestone rocks and a muddy/sandy bay. More walking required than for the others so we'll hope for a particularly good day. 

No parking problems but loos not very evident. 

Further south near Cresswell there are interesting brackish lagoons. 

We can also have a day on Dove Marine Laboratory's boat "Bernicia" for which Porcupine will underwrite some or all of the cost. However people going on this trip may be expected to pay a small charge (no more than £15). 

The tides are such that it would be most convenient to go on "Bernicia" on Thursday 28 August, although Monday 1 September is a possibility. 

It would be helpful if you could decide quickly whether you are coming on this excursion, because accommodation will have to be booked soon, as it is still the holiday period. Alnwick is a suitable base area. Details of accommodation can be provided from the Tourist Guide. 

For further information: 

Please contact the organiser: Shelagh Smith, Woodleigh, Townhead, Hayton, Brampton, Cumbria, CA8 9JH: 

Tel: 01228 670676   email: shelagh@smithurd.demon.co.uk

Marine Week Events 2003 (West Sussex)

Saturday 2nd through to Sunday 10th August 

Marine Week 
A celebration of the sea and marine wildlife. 

For further details of events in your area please visit 

At various locations and organisations throughout Sussex

Saturday 2nd August 2003
7.30pm – 10.00pm
Musical Magic at the Mill
Adults £6.00 (members, concessions and children £3.00)
An evening of musical magic! A musical journey around the nature trail serenaded by people and wildlife with a splash of sea sounds and shanties.
Woods Mill, Henfield TQ 218138
Booking Essential.
Tel: 01273 497561 Sussex Wildlife Trust for booking and further details. 

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd August 2003
The second Sea Watch Foundation National Whale and Dolphin Watch Weekend will take place. All around the UK (and Ireland) dolphin and whale watch monitoring events will take place. This will provide a snapshot of whale and dolphin sightings over the weekend and help raise awareness of the 27 species that have been recorded in UK waters. Bottlenosed Dolphins have been monitored off Sussex since 1991, most occurring between April and September. 

As with last year, there will be one or more watch sites in Sussex. If you 
would like to take part, visit our website at www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk (click events) to find the nearest watch site to you (or telephone 07773610036) and contact the organiser listed. 

Sunday 3rd August 2003
9.00 am
Mud Rescue
Small donation for breakfast.
Demonstration mud rescue by local Coastguards. Followed by continental breakfast. 
Chichester Harbour Education Centre, Dell Quay.
Tel: 01243 512301 Chichester Harbour Conservancy for more details

Sunday 3rd August 2003
12 noon till 5.00pm
Marine Madness
Free – all children to be accompanied by an adult.
Lots of fun activities, storytelling, guided walks and plenty to do for all the family.
Pagham Harbour Visitor Centre, Selsey Road, Sidlesham
Tel: 01243 641508 West Sussex County Council for more details

Sunday 3rd August 2003
Beach Beasties
Free – all children to be accompanied by an adult.
Join us on a beach safari and discover what lurks between the tides.
Booking essential.
Pagham Spit car park
Tel: 01243 756856 West Sussex County Council for more details

Monday 4th August 2003
Explore Chichester Harbour – for the mobility impaired and companions
Enjoy the splendid views of Chichester Harbour from the wheelchair path along the shoreline. 
Cobnor Path parking area, Cobnor Point, Chidham.
Tel: 01243 512301 Chichester Harbour Conservancy for more details

Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th August 2003
11.00am – 2.00pm
Sussex Wildlife Trust at Brighton Sea Life Centre
Standard entrance rates apply.
Meet the Trust for some super-seaside fun and activities amongst the marine life at the Sea Life Centre - Turtley awesome!
Brighton Sea Life Centre Brighton, Marine Parade, Brighton
Tel: 01273 497561 Sussex Wildlife Trust for details

Tuesday 5th August 2003
10am – 12 noon
Eco-friendly crabbing
Cost 50p + car parking.
Discover some fascinating rockpool creatures and learn how to catch crabs without harming them. All equipment provided. Wear old clothes/shoes for scrambling on wet rocks. Age 5 – 12.
Booking essential.
Climping Beach car park. Grid ref: TQ 006 008
Tel: 01903 737500 Nature Coast Project and Arun District Council for more details

Tues 5th August 2003
11.00am – 4.00pm
Sea School 
Explore the seashore, learn about the animals that live there and make your own model sea creature to take home.
Telephone 01424 812055 or fax 01424 813911 for a booking form or write
enclosing a SAE to RSPCA Mallydams Wood, Peter James Lane, Fairlight,
Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4AH.

Tuesday 5th August 2003
Times to be confirmed
Marine Week Boat Trips
1½ hour boat trips in Chichester Harbour celebrating the specialness of local marine wildlife. Please phone for times and fares.
Chichester Harbour Water Tours, Harbour Office, West Itchenor
Tel: 01243 512301 Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Chichester Harbour Water Tours for times and fares.

Wednesday 6th August 2003
10.30am to 12.30
Seashore discovery walk
Free – all children to be accompanied by an adult. What lives beneath the waves – look for clues on the beach. Adults and children.
Booking essential
Climping Beach car park Grid ref: TQ 006 008
Tel: 01243 863141 Nature Coast Project and Arun District Council for details

Wednesday 6th August 2003
11.00am – 2.00pm
Sea legs 
Make felt finger puppets of sea creatures and the stuff they need
to survive, during this gluey, messy and fun day.
Telephone 01424 812055 or fax 01424 813911 for a booking form or write
enclosing a SAE to RSPCA Mallydams Wood, Peter James Lane, Fairlight,
Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4AH.

Wednesday 6th August 2003
Sand Dune Detectives
Free (possible charge for parking)
Test your skills at Camber. We provide the clues, you find the answers - all aimed at raising awareness of our marine/coastal environment. Family teams can start any time between 10am and 12pm. Should take about an hour to complete the trail.
Please Pre-book if possible.
Meet at Camber Central Car park outside the Coastal Control Office 
Grid ref: TQ 965186
Public Transport: Buses to Camber.
Tel: 01797 226488 ESCC Rye Bay Countryside Office for more details
Sorry - No Dogs due to dog zones

Wednesday 6th August 2003
10.00am – 2.00pm
Rock Pooling – Family event at Seven Sisters
Adults £2.50 Children £1.00. members free
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Come along to Seven Sisters and enjoy rock pooling and shore activities. Meet at the Pump Barn at the rear of the Visitor Centre, Seven Sisters Country Park. Bring a packed lunch.
Booking Essential
Tel: 01273 497561 Sussex Wildlife Trust for booking and further details.

Thursday 7th August 2003
10.30am – 12.30pm
Fishy fun and Kelpy capers
Free – all children to be accompanied by an adult.
Lots of marine fun and games for ages 8 – 13. Booking essential.
Greensward by beach, junction of Aldsworth Ave & Marine Drive, Goring
Tel: 01243 863141 Nature Coast Project for more details

Thursday 7th August 2003
11.00am – 2.00pm
Dolphin Rescue
Learn how to recognise dolphins and porpoises; find out
more about how they live and the problems they face. We will act out a
dolphin rescue with a life-size dolphin.
Telephone 01424 812055 or fax 01424 813911 for a booking form or write
enclosing a SAE to RSPCA Mallydams Wood, Peter James Lane, Fairlight,
Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4AH.

Friday 8th August 2003
Marine Week Mud Hunt
Free – all children to be accompanied by an adult.
A series of mud-related activities, so be prepared to get muddy
Chichester Harbour Education Centre, Dell Quay.
Tel: 01243 512301 Chichester Harbour Conservancy for details

Friday 8th August 2003
Beach Beasties
Free – all children to be accompanied by an adult.
Join us on a beach safari and discover what lurks between the tides.
Booking essential.
Pagham Spit car park
Tel: 01243 756856 West Sussex County Council for more details

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th August 2003
10.00am – 5.00pm 
Maritime Madness at Seven Sisters Country Park
This event weekend organised by South Downs Conservation Board and East Sussex County Council will feature displays in the Barns from a number of environmental organisations. There will also be a lively local band singing sea shanties and tales of ‘loves long lost to the waves’, a story teller regaling adults and children alike with magical and mysterious yarns about the Sussex coast, smuggling, shipwrecks and more. A face painter will be on hand to make up children’s (and grown ups!) faces with a ‘nautical’ theme. There will be a children’s fancy dress competition, rockpooling, and the enormous ‘Marine Conservation Society’ inflatable dolphins and whales – hurrah! There’s also badge-making, colouring/ drawing competitions and walks around the park, and the Visitor Centre will be open for business as usual!

Tel: 01323 870280 Seven Sisters Country Park for more details

 Many of these Marine Week Events are Supported by DEFRA's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund

Rockpool Ramble

31 August 2003
Cornwall Wildlife Trust's kids and family club is running a Rockpool Ramble on Sunday 31st August  in Penzance. Meet at the War Memorial by the Jubilee Pool at 2 pm, bring buckets and nets. If you want to join Fox Club and find out about these regular events contact Emma Wilson on 01872 240777 ext. 201. For just £5 per year Fox Club members receive their own membership card and badge, as well as the exclusive Fox Club magazine called Pawprint that includes seasonal fun and games to take part in. You can also write in to Freddy Fox with your letters, poems or pictures, and may be lucky enough to have your letter or artwork published in the Pawprint magazine!

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust also needs help from more volunteers who can make a commitment to attending and helping out at some of these events, which are usually on Saturdays and Sundays or school holidays. If you have spare time and the enthusiasm to become a Fox Club volunteer then contact Richard Marsh on 01872 245516.

Information on the Cornish Mailing List

BIOSIS  Conference Calendar for Zoology 
(Major Link of all biological conferences around the world)


Spring Talks Series 2003

No talks are listed.  Facilities are available for schools, linked to the national curriculum. 

All talks are on Tuesdays and start at 7:00 p.m.
at the National Marine Aquarium, Coxside, Plymouth Devon.
Admission – Adults £2.50; Children and NMA members £1.50, inclusive of refreshments will be available.

Please reserve your place by calling the Aquarium on 01752 275204


SAMS Seminar Series
The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)
Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA
Tel: 01631 559000 Fax: 01631 559300 Email: mail@dml.ac.uk
For more details/how to find SAMS see our website: http://www.sams.ac.uk

Unless otherwise stated, seminars are held on Fridays at 4:15 pm
in the SAMS Conference Room ** Followed by the Friday R&R **

1 August 2003 
Iain MacKenzie (SNH). Sense and sensitivity: protecting Uist's waders from non-native hedgehogs. 

5 August (15.30) 2003
Shawn Robinson (Fisheries and Oceans Canada).
The integrated aquaculture AquaNet Project in the Bay of Fundy, Canada: the production dynamics of mussels as filter-feeders utilising enhanced seston fields within a salmon aquaculture site. 

15 August 2003
Toby Sherwin (SAMS). 
WTOW - water mass formation by a cascade process in the northern Rockall Trough. 

29 August 2003
Richard Shelmerdine (SAMS-UHI). 
Angels of the Shark’s Board. 

For more details on the forthcoming talks, please contact Murray Roberts (m.robertsl@dml.ac.uk) or Anuschka Miller (aham@dml.ac.uk) tel: 01631 559 000

28 August 2003
SAMS exhibition in the Heritage Centre at The Argyllshire Gathering in Oban. 

9 - 12 September 2003
Second International Symposium on Deep Sea Corals, 9 - 12 September, 2003, Erlangen, Germany. For further details: www.cool-corals.de 
Registration: cool-corals@pal.uni-erlangen.de

For more details on the forthcoming talks, please contact Murray Roberts (mailto:mr-t@dml.ac.uk) or tel: 01631 559 000

back to Southampton Oceanography Centre Homepage

A series of monthly talks on marine conservation topics
These talks are open to the public, admission is free.

7 August 2003
Odessa and the Black Sea – Ken Collins

4 September 2003
BeachwatchGillian Bell, (Marine Conservation Society)

2 October 2003
ROV deep sea fish watchingIan Hudson

6 November 2003
Turtles – John Houghton

4 December 2003
Sea Mounts – Kerry Howell

The Marine Life Talks are held on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30 pm, please arrive at 7.15 pm to be met in Reception. Southampton Oceanography Centre is reached via Dock Gate 4 (between Town Quay and Ocean Village). 




Local shrimper Peter Talbot-Elsden, from Southwick (Sussex), has produced a small booklet called “Shrimping for Food and Fun” about catching the brown shrimp around the coasts of Britain. The shrimps are caught in nets and the book features the various methods, firstly the push-netting seen over the sand in shallow water in spring off the Sussex coast. The famous Morecambe Bay shrimps were originally captured by cart shanker shrimping with a horse and cart in deeper water off the Lancashire coast, later replaced by a tractor. At Formby, they experimented with amphibious vehicles after World War II. Nowadays, most commercial shrimping on the east coast around King’s Lynn trawls from small boats using a net off the stern. Shrimps are often cooked on board.

The 28 page book contains 40 photographs of shrimping through the ages. It is available through Bookworms of Shoreham and other booksellers and museums at £3.50. 
The booklet is also available through the British Marine Life Study Society, but at £4 including postage and packing. 

Peter Talbot-Elsden manned the shrimp display at Adur World Oceans Day.

(European centre for information on marine science and technology)



Assessing the sensitivity of seabed biotopes to human activities and natural events

MARLIN  (Marine Life Information Network)

MarLIN News
Issue 6 Spring 2003

Sealife Surveys: Identification Guide for Selected Underwater Species

MarLIN has published this new waterproof guide which is designed to support recording projects. The 45 species in the guide have been selected for their ease of recognition and their importance as species which play a key role in maintaining particular communities, are likely to be affected by global warming, or are non-native. The guide is produced in collaboration with the Seasearch programme, which is a nationwide diving survey of underwater habitats and species. Volunteers are taught about marine life, how to recognize what's important and how to make records under water.

You can obtain a copy of the guide for £3 including post and packing by sending a cheque to MarLIN, Marine Biological Association, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB. Cheques are to be made payable to ‘Marine Biological Association’. Copies are free to participants in organized surveys.



The Marine Life and Environmental Sciences Resource Centre
The Marine Life and Environmental Sciences Resource Centre

The Marine Life and Environmental Sciences Resource Centre is based at the historic Citadel Hill Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association on Plymouth Hoe. The Association was founded to investigate life in the sea and disseminate the knowledge gained for the public good.

The Centre is designed for a variety of educational and training purposes in support of the local, national and international community, including charities, small and medium-sized businesses, schools and colleges, universities and learned societies.

The Centre provides a spacious and flexible venue combining facilities for workshops, conferences and lectures with laboratory benching and equipment for practical work and field courses. The Centre can be partitioned into connecting meeting and laboratory areas or remain as one large space. The following resources are available:

Seminar, workshop and lecture facilities for up to 80 people 
Fully equipped laboratory holding up to 40 participants (inventory available on request) 
Seminar area convertible into laboratory space giving one large lab. capable of holding up to 80 students 
Digital, slide and overhead projectors 
Networked computing facilities 
Display and poster boards 
Access to the National Marine Biological Library 
Seawater systems 
Boats and sampling equipment 
Easy access to a wide range of marine habitats including estuaries, rocky and sandy shores and open water 
Close proximity to local diving services 
Catering facilities for tea and coffee, buffets, formal lunches and dinners 
Disabled access and toilet facilities 

Marine Biological Association of the U.K. 

published by
Sound Diving Publications
ISBN  0 9522831 4 X
Available from


Published by the Conchological Society

The British Marine Life Study Society are responsible for producing the journal GLAUCUS, which is the first publication exploring the marine life of the seas surrounding the British Isles available to the general public. 

Change of EMail Address

New EMail addressPlease note that the EMail address for messages to the British Marine Life Study Society has now changed

from bmlss@compuserve.com  to  Glaucus@hotmail.com

Messages to the first address will not receive any guarantee of a reply and from year 2003, the old EMail address is expected to fall into disuse. 


Membership 2003

Current members will have their subscriptions waived for year 2003. An explanation was sent before Christmas. This is because of he computer breakdown and the failure of the full complement of paper publications. 

How to Join

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Printing the two column version of Torpedo (from issue 28)

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Torpedo  compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Nicolas Jouault , Ray Hamblett and other contributors

    1 August 2003

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Boar Fish, Capros aper