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
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 March 2004
A former Royal Navy frigate has been sunk off Cornwall to create the UK's first artificial diving reef. Thousands of people watched from Whitsand Bay near Plymouth as HMS Scylla was scuttled at 3:28 pm GMT.
The explosives were detonated by 12-year-old Daniel Green, from Ivybridge, Devon, accompanied by environmentalist David Bellamy.
BBC News Report

HMS Scylla on its way to its watery resting place © National Marine Aquarium

The position of the Scylla Artificial Reef is 50º 19.64 ´N 004º 15.20´W with the bow facing south-west, about 800 metres from the wreck of the James Eagan Layne.  It is on the bottom at 20 metres below Chart Datum and listing 20º to starboard. The sea bottom is dark granule sand.
1 April 2004
The diving team at the National Marine Aquarium were the first civilian divers to ever dive on the unique Scylla reef, after the Royal Navy divers had been down to inspect the sunken warship. 
The first fish to arrive was a Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta.

Wrasse in British Seas (BMLSS)

26 March 2004
A Hooded Seal, Cystophora cristata, was discovered on St. Ives beach, Cornwall, by British Divers Marine Life Rescue. The Hooded Seal is an Arctic species and even discoveries off the coast of Scotland, including the Orkney and Shetland Isles are rare. It moults around Greenland and the Denmark Strait (between Iceland and Greenland). 
British Divers Marine Life Rescue News Page (with the Full Report)
Hooded Seal 2001 (SW Wales)

21-22 March 2004
A 12 metre long Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, was washed up still alive on a sand bank at Sutton Bridge in The Wash, on the east coast of England, and first spotted by a local resident at 10:00 am on 21 March 2004. Unfortunately the distressed whale was stuck on the sandbank and the rescuers are powerless to assist the 15 tonne animal back into deeper water. Efforts were made to help it stay alive and to hope it will have the strength and luck with the tides to free itself. The prognosis is poor for any chance of survival.
Unfortunately, the whale died on the second day. 
BBC News Report
British Divers Marine Life Rescue News Page
BMLSS Cetacea

21 March 2004
The head of the cetacean skeleton (see below) has now been discovered.

Photograph by Frances Stockdale

I think the length of the beak indicates a Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena.

14 March 2004
A headless skeleton of a 120 cm long cetacean is washed up on the shore at Low Newton, in Northumberland, north-east England.

Photographs by Frances Stockdale

The head is missing and the bit where the head should be probably tucks underneath the skeleton. It is most likely a Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, and these are probable too commonly washed up to be newsworthy, but rarely is anything like a complete skeleton photographed. The image on the far right shows the bone structure of a cetacean (the method of swimming can be ascertained from these remains). 

BMLSS Cetacea
BMLSS Beachcombing

9 March 2004
A large male Thresher Shark, Alopius vulpinus, was landed to Plymouth Fish Market. It had been caught by midwater pair trawlers fishing for Bass. It weighed 258 kg and was 416 cm in total length (207 cm precaudal length).

BMLSS Sharks

2 March 2004
An unusual high numbers of Fulmars, Fulmarus glacialis, were found dead on the beaches in Northern France and Belgium. Since the end of last week, probably more than 200 have already been picked up dead.

Fulmars (Photograph by Nicolas Jouault)

This seems to be the first report of mass fatalities and unusually high numbers of Fulmars in the North Sea, with other reports from Norfolk and even stray birds inland.
On 12 March 2004, 59 Fulmar corpses were found on a three mile section between Wells and Holkham, north Norfolk, including 11 'blue phase' birds. Other dead sea birds of 13 different species were also discovered, plus 30 live Snow Buntings, Plectrophenax nivalis.

Fulmar Notes (More Information)
29 February 2004
154 Fulmars passed Flamborough Head, Yorkshire, (there had been 46 the previous day). This is the highest ever count at Flamborough. Pacific Fulmar Mass Mortalities 2003

The current Fulmar wreck appears not to be triggered by instantaneous events in terms of food-shortage, pollution incidents, unfavourable weather or disease. The problems of the birds date back to at least October last year, 2003, or probably earlier.
Full Report by J.A. van Franeker
Dutch Seabird Group
Historic Reports

17 February 2004
A seal was spotted in the River Thames, London, by Richmond Bridge. It was about 120 cm in length. It was most likely a Common Seal, Phoca vitulina.

Report by Phil Stubbs


All reports by Andy Horton unless the credits are given to other observers or reporters.

Links for News Reports:

Nature Notes Webring

Helford (Cornwall) Marine Conservation Area

Friends of Moray Firth (NE Scotland) News Page

Sussex at Sea News Page

Cornish Marine Wildlife News

Cornish Marine Sightings Archives 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.


 Labrus bergylta
 The first fish to arrive on the sunken wreck of the Scylla was a 
Ballan Wrasse

The Sea Hare, Aplysia punctata, from the Dorset shore. This aplysiid mollusc is usually brown in colour, although green ones have been discovered from Dorset before. 

Photograph by Bob Alexander

Sea Slug Forum to close


Low Newton (Photograph by Frances Stockdale)
The rocky shore at Low Newton, in Northumberland, 
north-east England
Photograph by Frances Stockdale

Shore Topography Portfolio

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

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.



I know it is a bit early, but it would be really a great help if participants could indicate if they are likely to want to exhibit on Saturday 5 June 2004. The floor plan has been designed and the official invitations have already been sent out. 

White Marquee for Adur World Oceans Day 2004

The new larger marquee promises to be great improvement to the selection of smaller marquees in use for the last few years. A mains electrical supply is now installed to make for a more consistent and reliable power supply.

Andy Horton
World Oceans Day
British Marine Life Study Society
Glaucus House
Len Nevell at Adur World Oceans Day (Photograph by Duncan Morrison)14 Corbyn Crescent
West Sussex
BN43 6PQ

Tel: 01273 465433

Email: Glaucus@hotmail.com

"World Oceans Day" Smart Group
World Oceans Day UK Web Page


AWOD 2002 Slide Show

Information Request:

Has anyone got details of the 12 volt "continuously rated" (not bilge pumps)  water pumps and the best air 12v pumps available? I will have to buy one for our Adur World Oceans Day display for transport of live exhibits to and from the venue.

The other purpose is to aerate the water for live exhibit transport on boats to land, and in cars from long rockpooling trips.

Details of battery pumps could be helpful as well, but these may not be
powerful enough, and some cheap models can be a bit naff. Suppliers would
help as well.

Replies to Andy Horton


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.

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


Talks Series 2004

Tuesday 30 March 2004.

Basking Sharks, Britain's Gentle Giants of the Sea.
Colin Speedie, researcher and Chairman of the Shark Trust. 

Colin is an experienced yachtsman who has been following basking sharks for more than fifteen years. He is now supported by the Wildlife Trusts' Basking sharks project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and National Express. 

Come along and find out more about the behaviour of these wonderful beasts. 

Entrance is £2.50 for adults, £1.50 for children and National Marine Aquarium members, including refreshments. 
Everyone is welcome. 
Please book by calling the Aquarium on 01752 275204 or email doug@national-aquarium.co.uk so that we know how many to expect.

Further Information Link

  Facilities are available for schools, linked to the national curriculum. 

Talks 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 **

7 April 2004 (3 pm) - Gwyn Griffiths (SOC) Isis and Autosub: Vehicles for Ocean Science. 
14 April 2004 (2 pm) - Alex Rogers (BAS) What can genetics tell us about deep-sea populations? 
28 April 2004 - Graham Shimmield (SAMS) The application of coral geochemistry for studying interannual environmental reconstruction in the central Pacific. 
12 May 2004- Louise Wilson (SAMS-UHI) - Tidal currents and their influences around Scottish fish farm sites. 
12 May 2004 - Daniel Vincent (SAMS-UHI) - Estimating vertical mixing in a semi-enclosed bay. 
26 May 2004 - Murray Roberts (SAMS) - Coral reefs and carbonate mounds: the ROV Victor-Polarstern expedition to the Porcupine Seabight. 

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

For information contact Dr Hamish Mair  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.


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). Please confirm that the talk is taking place before arriving unannounced. 


Porthleven (near Helston), Cornwall

Aerial Multimap Location (Link)

Porthleven Old Lifeboat Station    ©  Silver DolphinThe Silver Dolphin marine conservation and diving centre is dedicated to the conservation and protection of all marine life. Click on the image for the full list of events. 

To help protect the marine environment we run a full training programme of conservation courses and PADI scuba diving training.

Ideally placed in the old lifeboat house Porthleven why not come and discover the wonders of the Cornish coastline and underwater world!

Places on the courses must be booked in advance

Saturday 3rd April   Marine Mammal Identification workshop for the Cornwall Mammal Group1.30 pm to 5.30 pm at the Silver Dolphin Centre, Porthleven.  For bookings contact Alex Howie on 01872 273939.  Free event


Monday 5th April  Beach clean and try dives at Marazion Beach.

Tuesday 6th April   Try dives and strandline surveys at Maenporth Beach.

Thursday 8th April   Snorkeling at Durgan. 

Tuesday 13th April  Snorkeling surveys at Porthleven (previous experience  necessary)

Wednesday 14th April  Try dives and strandline surveys at Maenporth Beach.

Friday 16th April   Snorkel safari at Durgan.

Monday 19th April  Snorkeling and rockpooling at Castle Beach.

Tuesday 20th April   Try dives at Durgan.

Thursday 22nd April   Try dives and beach clean at Marazion.

There will be a charge of £15 for the try dives and £5 for the snorkeling (if you need to hire snorkeling equipment).  For bookings contact the Silver Dolphin Centre on 01326 572002


The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth have several web pages for information on this new dive site. Please click on the logo for more information. 


 Public Aquaria List


21 August 2003

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

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. 

Hazardous substances in the European marine environment - Trends in metals and persistent organic pollutants
Topic report No 2/2003 

More Information

Download Page

BMLSS Man's Impact on the Marine Environment



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.

A complimentary issue of this booklet was sent to BMLSS members. 

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)


The North Atlantic Right Whale
Bunker Hill Publishing
in association with New England Aquarium
ISBN  1 59373 004 7

Expedition to Antarctica's Largest Iceberg
Gregory S. Stone
Published by New England Aquarium


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 2004
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2004. An explanation was sent to members just after Christmas. 

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 , Andy Horton and other contributors

    2 April 2004

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Boar Fish, Capros aper