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

Norwegian Marine***



Monthly electronic news bulletin for the marine life of the NE Atlantic Oceans including the seas and seashore 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.

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

7 August 2004

Sunfish (Photograph by Lee Ford)

The Sunfish, Mola mola, photograph was taken on 7th August 2004 about half a mile off Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. I spotted the Sunfish on the surface and I have seen them in the same area before. Normally when approached they swim towards the bottom at high speed. This time the Sunfish swam towards the boat and even allowed me to touch it, it made no attempt to swim away. It swam around the boat a few times and came back to the swim platform again. I could see it had sea lice on its back and I guess it was trying to get them removed. The fish appeared to be in good health, a fantastic site to see.

Report and Photograph by Lee Ford
BMLSS Sunfish
Sunfish Reports 2004

6 August 2004
Fishing the River Hayle in Cornwall, in the evening, I caught three Gilthead Bream, Sparus aurata, one of about 6-7 cm and two of about 16-20 cm long.  All three were released. There may well have been a large number of the little bream as my bait was attached by small fish almost every cast.

NB: Gilthead bream is a southern species which is now believed to breed off the south-west coast of Britain. 

1 August 2004
The beach between Worthing and Lancing in West Sussex (on the south coast of England) seems an unpromising area for rockpooling but it consistently provides a variety of some of the less usual small fish and crabs found between the tides. Katherine Hamblett and Tacita French discovered a young first year Worm Pipefish, Nerophis lumbriciformis, which is unusual this far east up the English Channel. 
Liocarcinus vernalis
Liocarcinus arcuatus

There were unusual crabs as well as more common crustaceans like small Common Hermit Crabs, Pagurus bernhardus, and Squat Lobsters, Galathea squamifera. The itinerary of discoveries on the low spring tide can be found on the bucket page
BMLSS: Crabs
Sea Anemones on this shore included at least a handful seen of Daisy Anemones Cereus pedunculatus, (with mauve/purple columns), and Snakelocks Anemones  Anemonia viridis, which both reach their most easterly shore distribution at Lancing.
BMLSS: Sea Anemones
Halfbricking: Bucket of Critters

17 July 2004
Fifty specimens of By-the-Wind Sailor, Velella velella, in stranded a rockpool on New Polzeath shore (SW 9378), Cornwall.  Although dead, they had the remains of soft parts on the floats.

Report by Mike Kent via Stella Turk O.B.E. on the Cornish Wildlife (Yahoo Group)
12 July 2004
Photograph by Nicolas JouaultAn unfamiliar seaweed washed up in a rockpool at Les Écréhous (a small island reef six miles off Jersey) was identified as the the non native species Grateloupia filicina var. luxurians. The main frond in the photograph is about 20 cm long.
Summary Report
Enlarged Image 
ID by members of the Algae-L Mailing List

6 July 2004
We were out in our Canadian Canoe and saw a small Sunfish, Mola mola, about 60 cm, long between Porthgain and Trevine (Pembrokeshire). We have heard of many sightings previously in the area but not seen one personally. We identified it by its pronounced fin protruding from the water and it allowed us to circle round it several times very close for some excellent views with the sun shining through the water onto it. The sea was full of jellyfish at the time of all sizes -presumably it was feeding on these. It was not at all bothered by our presence and eventually decided to swim down and away from us under our canoe. 

c. 4 July 2004
While diving at the Shiant Isles in the in the Minch between Skye and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (islands off north-west Scotland) I found the large starfish Stichastrella rosea, an echinoderm I have never seen outside of St Kilda. Better still, I also found what looks like this starfish but it had seven arms instead of the usual five. This starfish seems to be uncommon and found off the northern and western coasts, usually in deeper water than 30 metres so it is rarely seen by divers. 

3 July 2004
In the entrance to the Cromarty Firth (NE Scotland), a pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, were bow-riding a submarine! A surfaced submarine appeared heading out into the Moray Firth and was quickly joined by a group of about ten dolphins; some followed behind riding in the wake while a group at the front were bow riding within a few metres of the vessel.

Report by John Poyner on UK Cetnet
BMLSS Cetaceans

Some Triggerfish Reports: 

8 August 2004
I caught a Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, on a rod and line without out knowing what it was at first, near Hengistbury Head near Bournemouth, Dorset. There were three of them swimming together in the shallow water. 

Report by Lin Roberts

4 August 2004
I was on the coast at Cwm Nash near Monknash in South Wales south of Bridgend last Wednesday  talking to a Bass angler when he hooked and landed a Trigger Fish (SS 901702). Looking in books in our Monks Wood library and pictures on the the internet I am sure that it was a Grey Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus. I looked on the internet for who might be interested in the record and recognised the email address as yours! 

31 July 2004
The two Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, we saw underneath the Palace Pier, Brighton, were of different sizes the larger being darker in colour and about 30 cm from tooth to tail. They both looked healthy and lively. No signs of feeding, i.e. broken Mussel shells or Crab leftovers. Water temp 20° C, depth 9 metres.

Late July 2004
Last week I saw two Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, whilst snorkelling off the north west coast of Guernsey.
They were together, over sand, in 15 feet of water, in approximately 1 knot of tide.
One of them appeared scarred with parts of its fins damaged.
They seemed very tame, i.e. I could approach them to within almost touching distance.

28 July 2004
My little girl and I found a triggerfish of about 20 cm lying in the shallowest part of a gravel-bottomed rock pool at Saie Harbour on the North East coast of Jersey. This was  at midday, and the tide was returning. The fish was very languid and only flapped mildly when transferred to a bucket, erecting the front spine several times. It appeared to have some skin and scale damage, possibly from the sun or scuffing on the gravel bed of the pool, and the area around the spine appeared a little bloody. We returned it to a rock channel of shallow water and it circled us slowly, brushing against and passing between the legs of my little girl, before I tried to chase it out of the channel to  the sea. It seemed to revive after a few minutes back in the sea and put on several bursts of speed before passing out of the rocky channel into open water.
I had only guessed that the fish was a Triggerfish before positively identifying it on your site. 
I hope this information is of some use. I also hope that our "friendly" fish makes a full recovery!

Report by Jonathan Scott

BMLSS Triggerfish
Triggerfish on the Royal Adelaide

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.


Winter  (Photograph © by Mat Bain)
Late Summer   (Photograph © by Mat Bain)
Young Otter
Click on the images for an enlarged picture

The Otter was recently released from the Orkney Seal Rescue Centre. He was brought to the centre as a very small cub that had been separated from its mother at an early age. After a period of rehabilitation he was released back to the wild. For several weeks he returned to his release enclosure initially every second or third day to feed on fish left in the enclosure. This continued for three weeks until he became completely independent from human support.

Report by Ross Flett

Photographs © by Mat Bain

Photograph by Faye Gavey

Fossil mollusc discovered on the north side of Les Écréhous Islands in the Channel Islands, by Faye Gavey.
What you have is much older than 65 million years old. It is a spiriferid brachiopod (not a mollusc). They existed from the Ordovician to Jurassic
(at least 144 and as much as 505 million years old) but most spiriferids
are Devonian (between 360 & 408 million years old). I can't identify the
species nor the rock, but someone who knows fossils from around there
should be able to help.

ID by Carl Mehling
Fossil Amphibian. Reptile, and Bird Collections
Division of Paleontology
American Museum of Natural History
New York, NY 10024


I was able to look at that fossil brachiopod from the Écréhous in a bit more detail. It is not well-preserved but using the Treatise of Invert. Pal. (vol. H(ii)) it is probably in the Family Spiriferinidae (Superfamily Spiriferinacea) and might be in the genus Punctospirifer although this is far from certain. If so, then it is Lower Carboniferous (Visean) in age which gives a date of between 345 and 325 million years and fits with the rocks at Portbail.

ID and Comments by Paul Chambers  


Starfish with seven arms (Photograph by Paul Tyler)
 Is this the large starfish Stichastrella rosea with seven arms
or another species, e.g. Luidia

Photograph by Paul Tyler

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 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)

7-15 August 2004

South East Marine Week, co-ordinated
by the Wildlife Trusts' South East Marine Programme. 

The events programme is
at www.southeastmarine.org.uk.



Talks Series 2004

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 **

10 October 2004
- Elvira Poloczanska (SAMS) A worm cast of thousands - Serpulid Reef Watch in Loch Creran 
24 October 2004
- Kerstin Kroeger (Victoria University, New Zealand)  Recovery of a Macroinvertebrate Community in Experimentally Defaunated Sediments 
5 December 2004
- Eric Breuer (SAMS) Oxygen dynamics in contrasting marine environments

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

Link for Activities


There will be a charge of £15 for the try dives and £5 for the snorkelling (if you need to hire snorkelling 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



18 June 2004
A new film called Deep Blue from the makers of the Blue Planet opens in good cinemas.
Trailer (Link).


Marine fish & invertebrates
of Northern Europe
Frank Emil Moen & Erling Svensen

In May 2004 the English edition of the very popular Norwegian Marine Fauna (Dyreliv I havet) was published. Prof. David Bellamy has written the foreword. 

More than one thousand underwater photographs  and 608 pages with updated information on marine fish and invertebrates from nearly all marine phylum in Northern European waters. The largest newspaper in Norway, Aftenposten gave the Norwegian edition 6 out of 6 points in a book review. It is in use at all major higher marine biology studies in Norway. 

The English edition is translated by Prof Fredrik Pleijel and Dr. Sabine Cochrane

"Marine fish & invertebrates of Northern Europe” is written for anyone with a general interest in marine animal life, and who would like to learn more about their way of life and behaviour, about the role they play in the drama of nature, and the benefit and nuisance they are to man. The main portion of the book is arranged in such a way that the different animal species are presented in a natural, systematic order. More than one thousand magnificent colour photos of animals taken in their natural environment support the informative text highlighting the characteristics of each animal. “Marine fish & invertebrates” covers the North European marine fauna and is a readable experience in itself. In addition, the book is an important aid and source of inspiration to all who delight in the ocean with its hidden life whether if be hobby, study or profession.

The book is available from Aquapress in the UK, Skandisk, Inc. USA and KOM in Norway .


NAUSICAÄ - French National Sea Experience Center

NAUSICAÄ - French National Sea Experience Center, in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Northern France), is a Science Center entirely dedicated to the relationship between Mankind and the Sea. Its goal is to incite the general public to discover the sea and to love it, while raising its awareness on the need for a better management of marine resources. 

Within the scope of this mission, NAUSICAÄ gives access, on its recently redesigned web site, to a database containing links to the most interesting web sites concerning the sea-related topics and marine activities.


Published by the Conchological Society

BMLSS: Marine Life Articles in Publications (Link)

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

Bulletin Details

If you receive this Bulletin direct from the British Marine Life Study Society it will contain only hypertext and image (*.htm *.gif & *.jpg) files.
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. 
Subscribe/Unsubcribe http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BMLSS-Torpedo
To save download times, only new images are included with each Bulletin.
The Bulletin is designed to be viewed on Internet Explorer  using medium fonts
at a resolution of 800 x 600. 
Viewing should be possible on Netscape and other browsers.

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 , Andy Horton and other contributors

    10 August 2004

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