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.
Subscribe and unsubscribe options are at the foot of this page.

If you receive this bulletin as an EMail subscriber, you may find the best way to view the file is on your hard disc in your directory of Incoming EMails.


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.

27 September 2003
An outlandish and completely unexpected addition to the Portland Island (Dorset) mammal list came today in the form of a Harp Seal, Pagophilus groenlandicus, that was found hauled out on rocks along the East Cliffs at the Bill during the afternoon; it remained there for three hours before being flushed off by the incoming tide. 
The Harp Seal is an Arctic species that is hunted (cf. culled) in the frozen north of Canada. 
Report by Martin Cade via John Young via UK Cetnet
Report on Portland Wildlife News
ORCA (Organisation Cetacea) Report with previous sightings

20 September 2003
A Swordfish has been reported stranded on the Causeway to Worms Head, near Rhossilhi Beach, Gower peninsular in south Wales. It lived for one hour. 
NB: this report has not been confirmed.
The swordfish very occasionally reported in British seas is the Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius.

BMLSS Swordfish

19 September 2003
Six Risso's Dolphins, Grampus griseus, were reported off Fermain, Guernsey, and later ten of these dolphins were seen on a flat sea off Brehon Tower. Risso's Dolphins are only rarely reported from around the Channel Islands.

Report by Michael Ozanne and Chris Stonebridge 
via Martin Gavet on Channel Islands Watch
Full Report (La Société Guernesiaise)

14 September 2003
Off Worthing (West Sussex), on a shallow water dive site known as the Worthing Lumps, a small school of Rock Cooks (Small-mouth Wrasse), Centrolabrus exoletus, were seen shyly swimming by the rock face, quite unlike the bolder Corkwing, Symphodus melops (=Crenilabrus), and Goldsinny Wrasse, Centrolabrus rupestris. The neon colours of the Rock Cook make it look different to other wrasse: one side appears violet and the other side orange. 

Rock Cooks (Photograph by Paul Parsons)

Rock Cooks (Small-mouth Wrasse), Centrolabrus exoletus
Photograph by Paul Parsons

These inconspicuous wrasse have not been recorded off the Sussex coast before and the books state that is fish is only known from the southern and western coasts of Britain. They may have been overlooked, but they are certainly not a common occurrence. There have been no records of juvenile fish in Sussex rock pools, where the Corkwing first year fish are very common and Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta,  juveniles occasionally discovered. 

BMLSS Wrasse
Adur Nature Notes 2003

10 September 2003
The unusual orange European Lobster, Homarus gammarus, is put on display in Guernsey Public Aquarium in St. Peter Port.

Photograph  © Richard Lord

Capture Report (on-line)

5 September 2003
Five Risso's Dolphins, Grampus griseus, were seen off Botallack, Cornwall, including one youngster. They were heading north towards Pendeen, half a mile off shore at noon. This dolphin does not habitually associate with boats so its frequency may be greater than the occasional reports. 

Report by Paul Semmens via the Cornish Mailing List
The Cornish Mailing List contains numerous reports of cetaceans off the Cornish coasts.
BMLSS Cetacea

3 September 2003
large whale skull was landed at Shoreham (Monteum's Wharf, River Adur) by fisherman Nick Brown from a small (under 10 metres length) trawler fishing three miles off Brighton Marina, Sussex.


Most of the skull of a yet to be identified whale was dredged up approximately 3 miles SE of Brighton Marina by fisherman Nick Brown at 50°45'N, 0°05'W.

It is at the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton BN1 5AA where it will be cleaned, prepared and put on display. As it is soaked in sea water, which has to be leached out, covered in barnacles, smelly with cetacean fatty oil and slightly damaged it will be at least nine months before this is possible.

We do not know which species it is but think that it might be a juvenile Sei or Fin Whale. A more positive identification will be made when it can be safely turned over as it is currently up-side down on a wooden pallet and is not safe to move.

Report by Dr Gerald Legg (Booth Museum)
Further Details and Photographs

2 September 2003
A small Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola, approx. 50 cm nose to tail, was encountered in rough water 1/2 mile north of Whitehills harbour, Scotland, this afternoon. This harbour is near Banff in NE Scotland. Sunfish are a newsworthy fish in this northern part of the North Sea.
BMLSS Sunfish

It continues to be a very unique year here in the outer Moray Firth, NE Scotland. Once again, the sea is boiling with fish (second wave of Mackerel this year now running), Sandeels now even abound in the harbours, and even reports of Sardines and Anchovies being caught by fishing boats! in addition to vast quantities of squid!

The last five weeks of intensive squid trawling (see earlier reports to UK Cetnet) have severely impacted the distribution of cetaceans along the whole coastline at this time. The Harbour Porpoises are only just returning to this area at present with the dissipation of trawlers and the numerous Minke Whales previously in the area all headed out of the Moray Firth. Apart from a single adult Minke Whale, five miles off the coastline and a couple of juvenile encounters, there have been no confirmed Minke Whales encounters since 12 August 2003.

August 2003
Two Gilthead Bream, Sparus aurata, of 1.66 kg & 1.7 kg were caught by angler Colin Mills off the south coast of Cornwall. These southern fish are increasingly being reported off the coast of Cornwall, and if the trend continues, their capture will cease to be newsworthy.

8-9 August 2003
Whilst travelling out from Littlehampton marina on Friday night, we passed four very large Rhizostoma octopus and counted 21 Compass Jellyfish, Chrysaora hysoscella, over a period of an hour.

On Saturday morning we went armed with cameras. Within 20 minutes we had found three Rhizostomas. The last two were close enough to see the juvenile fish, Probably Scad, Trachurus trachurus, swimming alongside. We dived with the third Rhizostoma for about 30 minutes. It stayed within the top three metres of water. We saw a third as we headed back to the marina on a different heading.
Link to the Image by Paul Parsons (Aquapix)

We also spotted eight Compass Jellyfish, which are known from the sea of Sussex but only occasionally. 

BMLSS Jellyfish


The British Marine Life Study Society has changed its main Internet Universal Resource Locator (URL) under a new easier to remember domain name:

The old URLs are expected to eventually fall into disuse, and from year 2004 there is no guarantee that the old links will work. This poses a problem as many other web sites and search engines are linked into to the old URLs, and the new URLs cannot be found on the commonly used search methods like Google and Copernic. Already the latest News items are only to be found on the new domain. The changeover was necessary because the CompuServe system was old fashioned and essential because it still cannot be accessed via Broadband. The new domain does not officially commence until the deadline for the broken links to be repaired and the missing images to be renewed which is 1 January 2004. Please amend your bookmarks for the News pages immediately. 

Marine Wildlife News of the North-east Atlantic Ocean 2003 
(British Marine Life Study Society)

It would probably be best to amend your book marks for the other pages as well. If you are a webmaster, please adjust the links before the end of 2003. 


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.

Sometimes known as the Barrel Jellyfish this specimen was 40cm  in diameter.  Accompanied by juvenile Scad.

Rhizostoma octopus  (=R. pulmo)
Photograph by Paul Parsons

9 August 2003
Within 20 minutes we had found three Rhizostomas off Littlehampton, Sussex. The last two were close enough to see the juvenile fish, probably Scad, Trachurus trachurus, swimming alongside. We dived with the third Rhizostoma for about 30 minutes. It stayed within the top three metres of water. We saw a third as we headed back to the marina on a different heading. 


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


26 September 2003
The inlet pipe to Widewater Lagoon has not been detrimental to the autumn Glasswort, Salicornia, as if anything the splendid and unusual scarlet fringe to the lagoon is even more dramatic than usual. 

Red Glasswort  by the Inlet Pipe
Widewater Lagoon (September 2003)

The Salicornia has not been identified to species level. 
It may be Salicornia ramosissima.

Mueller's Pearlside, Maurolicus muelleri 
on a night dive in one of Norways deep fjords
Photograph by Rudolf Svensen

It is a quite common fish in Norway, but seldom spotted by divers. They mostly catches it in prawn trawls. It is a mesopelagic fish. That is it travels in the great open waters. During the day it usually is found from 100 metres down to 300 metres. It follows the dusk towards the surface where it hunts using its eyesight.
When its dark, it sinks down but moves towards the surface again in the morning.

We have made several pelagic dives to find it with no luck, but then it suddenly appeared there during this night dive.

It has rows with light organs along its stomach and is quite a sight.

Report by Rudolf Svensen
More Pearlside Images on Smart Groups

Underwater Photography in Norway


Link to more marine life photographs

Click 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.

11 October 2003 (Saturday)


Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex               FREE ADMISSION




This event is organised and run by Shoreham Fisheries Project
Email: shorehamfish@fsmail.net

The British Marine Life Study Society will present a live exhibit and an information display at this event. 

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 **

For more details on the forthcoming talks, please contact Murray Roberts  or Anuschka Miller  Tel: 01631 559 000

30 October 2003 
Scottish Marine Group autumn meeting at the University of Stirling. For information contact Dr Hamish Mair  or  or Anuschka Miller  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.

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). 



4­7 January  2004                                                      Lancaster University, UK

The 52nd Annual Meeting of the BPS will take place on the campus of Lancaster University, just south of the beautiful English Lake District. We invite anyone with an interest in algae to attend and promise a full range of scientific and social programmes for you to enjoy.

Scientific Programme
This years Founders Lecture will be given by Rick Wetherbee, University of
Melbourne. The Special Topics are 'Cell Signalling in Algae' and 'Macroalgae
in Medicine' but submissions on any other aspects of phycology are welcome.

Students Take Note
Attendance at this conference is (almost) free if you are a member and present a paper. Cash prizes are available for the best poster (BPS Prize) and the best oral presentation (Manton Prize), so please indicate your interest in the competitions at the time of abstract submission.

Abstract submission deadline: 30 September 2003

Registration deadline: 1 December 2003

For more information about this conference, or general information regarding
the BPS, please contact Jackie Parry  or visit the website http://www.brphycsoc.org


21 August 2003

'Atlas of cetacean distribution in north-west European waters' 

The publication by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) of an atlas of their distribution in waters off north-western Europe.  It is based on the sightings made by hundreds of observers over the past 25 years.  The atlas is a first for these waters, and becomes the first globally to take full account of the variation between areas in the amount of searching that observers have carried out to gather the information.

Click on this text for the full information including ordering

Price £17.00 from the Natural History Book Service (www.nhbs.com),
or phone +44 (0)1803 865913. 



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

Bulletin Details

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Recipients can only unsubscribe if the Bulletin is received directly from the BMLSS.
Permission is granted to forward the Bulletin on unaltered. However, you will have to include the images separately. 
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To save download times, only new images are included with each Bulletin.
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Printing the two column version of Torpedo (from issue 28)

These pages are not designed for the default settings on the Page Set-ups of your browser. I recommend viewing in Microscope Internet Explorer 6 and altering the right and left hand columns in the Page Set-up menu to 9 mm (from 19 mm).
The page set-up can also be amended in Netscape Composer and other web page editors, and this has the advantage of enabling the specified number of pages to be printed and the information about the file (name, path, date) to be deleted.

Some of the images may not display if you have changed your directory for downloaded files. The images may also not display properly if your settings on your EMail software do not allow you do this automatically. When received in Pegasus the format is changed slightly, but the bulletin is still readable 

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

    2 October 2003

Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.7 and other programs
Boar Fish, Capros aper