April 2005
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***

National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

Scottish Association for Marine Science

Silver Dolphin Centre, Helston, Cornwall



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.
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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.
2 April 2005

Lumpsucker (Photograph by David Cropp)

Photograph by David Cropp

The Lumpsuckers, Cyclopterus lumpus, are moving inshore to breed off the Sussex coast, but none were seen guarding their eggs yet.

Report by David Cropp
Marine Life of Sussex

12 March 2005
Stan Breban, a scallop fisherman brought me a Knobbed Triton, Charonia lampas, which he caught in his scallop dredge somewhere in the Little Russel to the east of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

Knobbed Triton  ©  Richard Lord

The whole animal weighed 541 grams (drained) and had a total shell length of 16.5 cm. It had a shell width of 10.5 cm and a shell height of 7.5 cm. This large gastropod mollusc is expected to find a home in Guernsey Public Aquarium at St. Peter Port

Previous Report from Sark
BMLSS Molluscs

March 2005
As mass mortality, thousands of the Velvet Swimming Crab, Necora puber, were washed up, some still slightly alive, on the shores of Kent. 

Velvet Swimming Crab (Photograph by Andy Horton at Worthing)

The reason is a mystery and this was the only species featured in the wreck.
Full Report

Report by Ian Humpheryes

6 March 2005
At least four Porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, were swimming off Formby Point, juts 15 miles north of Liverpool on the north-west coast of England. Conditions for viewing were excellent as they were all around Liverpool Bay. I have heard from various sources that porpoises have been seen recently from the Golden Mile at Blackpool. .

NB: Porpoises are common around the British Isles including the Irish Sea. However, their undersea habitats in murky water mean that actual sightings are unusual near where people actually live. 
BMLSS Cetacea (Whales & Dolphins)

2 March 2005
A 157 kg male Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was sold at Newlyn market, Cornwall, caught by 7.5 metre Falmouth netting vessel Peter John II. The shark was caught approximately three miles from shore in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall.

BMLSS Sharks


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

Cornish Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2004


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.


Skate Egg Capsules from the Orkney Isles
Photograph by Richard Land

These large egg cases were  washed up on the shores of the Orkney Isles, north of mainland Scotland. All the finds of over a hundred egg cases lacked the horns. 

The large size of these egg cases means they are almost certainly* the cases of the endangered# Skate, Dipturus (=Raja) batis.

The width of the purse above seems to be about 127 mm. 

*Not thought to be either the egg cases of the Norwegian (or Black)  Skate, Dipturus nidarosiensis, or the Long-nosed Skate, Dipturus oxyrinchus.

# The Common Skate is now absent from most of the seas around the British Isles. There is a small population caught off Mull (SW Scotland, islands) but the Orkneys remain a stronghold for an unimportant commercial catch of mixed Skate (Common and Black Skate). 

Egg Capsules of Rays & Sharks (Link to the Web Pages)

BMLSS Mermaid's Purses

These egg cases are washed up every year. The local school children collected twenty in 2004.  The photograph shows the much smaller ray egg cases for comparison. 


The lengths (wet when discovered) varied between 270 - 300 mm in length with a width of between 140 mm and 160 mm. 

These egg cases lacked the external horns present on ray egg cases and these ones appear to be internal. Divers report the egg cases resting on the bottom at between 7 and 20 metres in depth over sand or sand and gravel bottoms. These are scallop grounds. When lifted the egg cases falls to the bottom and stays there. Large adult Common Skate are observed by divers on these grounds, but no juvenile skates have been spotted. 

There is a problem inasmuch that these egg cases do not match a known photographed egg case of the Common Skate. This is being investigated. It is possible that the original photograph is incorrect and these "hornless" egg cases are correct for Common Skate? Or, more likely, the horns have broken off?

Information provided by Richard Land


What does an egg case look like? (Shark Trust link)

Procedure for ID (Bucket Science)

Small Swimming Crabs

Although I identified these crabs at the time of capture, when looking at the photographs again, I was not sure I put the right captions on the images.
NB the "teeth" or absence of between the eyes.
These may be two different crabs? 

Flat Winkle

Flat Winkle at Kingston Beach Shoreham-by-Sea
Photograph by Andy Horton

This winkle (in the photograph) is found on the highest immersed part of the shore and at the limit of the lowest neap tide periods. 

There are two species of Flat Winkles found around British shores: 
Littorina obtusata 
Littorina  fabilis* (=L. mariae

* Turton 1825 (according to Fish)

They are found in a variety of colours: dark green and yellow are common. The yellow specimens are meant to give some sort of protection to the winkle from underwater predators like the Blenny, Lipophrys pholis

BMLSS Winkles


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.

Photographers submitting pictures should indicate if they wish them to be considered for inclusion as confirming permission takes work and time and can delay publication of the news bulletins. 

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.

See the venues for talks and activities in the left hand column.
Click on the images (on-line) for the latest information.

BIOSIS  Conference Calendar for Zoology 

(Major Link of all biological conferences around the world)


Wednesday 27th April, 7.00 pm - 8.30 pm

Earthwatch Lecture at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London

Grey Whales & Orca - Feeding Habits & Health

© Chris Newman

Our oceans are powerful indicators of the state of our planet and the incidence of climate change.  There is currently much public interest in whales and their environment, but the information is often poorly reported or interpreted.  Join us to hear about our research into two charismatic species, the coastal grey whale, which can weigh between 30 and 40 tonnes, and the killer whale, the most fearsome predator of the world's oceans - research which also tells us about the health of the oceans they inhabit.

Admission is free but by ticket only.



An Environmental Fayre

Date: Saturday  4 June 2005
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Venue: Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea
Admission: FREE

Adur will be one of the UK leaders in presenting an environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham, heralding the start of the Adur Festival.

The high tide will lap against the green at the start of the day long exhibition in the historic centre of Shoreham town overlooking the flooded River Adur

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. 

Under the shade of the marquees, displays of undersea creatures with lobsters and rockpool fish, the popular touch table, the whale and dolphin display, exhibitions of  underwater photographs, local environmental groups and much more to entertain and inform the young wildlife enthusiasts and all the family. There will be experts on hand to answer questions about life in the sea and on the seashore and activities to keep the youngsters occupied. Allow an hour on more to browse around and join in. 

Adur World Oceans Day is joint effort by West Sussex County Council, Adur District Council, the British Marine Life Study Society, Sussex Sea Fisheries District Committee, the Sea Watch Foundation, Friends of Widewater Lagoon, the Sussex Ornithological Society, Shoreham and District Ornithological Society and various individuals with a special interest in the sea. 

The official invitations have been sent out. There is still some room for further exhibits. 

Steering Committee Contact Details:
Andy Horton.
British Marine Life Study Society
Tel:  01273 465433   EMail:  glaucus@hotmail.com

"World Oceans Day" Smart Group
Group Home Page: http://www.smartgroups.com/groups/oceans

World Oceans Day UK  Web Page



 Public Aquaria List
?  What to do if you find a stranded whale or dolphin  ?

If you find a LIVE stranded or injured whale or dolphin on the beach you must send for help QUICKLY. A whale or dolphin stranding is an emergency and the speed of response by a professional rescue team is perhaps the most crucial factor in determining whether or not an animal can be returned to the sea alive.

0300 1234 999
0300 1234 999
0131 339 0111
0845 201 2626
01534 724331
00 44 1481 257261

British Divers Marine Life Rescue
01825  765546





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


Philip Henry Gosse 1852-1856

The first aquarist
William Alford Lloyd 1815-1880 

On June 6th 1853 William Alford Lloyd, a 38 year old married bookbinder employed at William Brown’s bookshop, 130/31 Old Street, London, wrote to the eminent Victorian scientist, Professor Richard Owen, requesting a complementary Sunday viewing ticket to the Regent’s Park Aqua Vivaria; as he could ill afford the entry fee on his meagre salary. Responding positively to this bold request, the professor and lowly bookbinder became firm life-long corresponding friends.
Within 12 months of his first visit to the Aqua Vivaria, without leaving the employ of William Brown’s, Lloyd opened a small shop selling parlour aquariums and everything concerned with them; with his equally knowledgeable wife serving behind the counter. With an endorsement from Professor Owen, such was the success of the small shop in St John Street Road, and with public interest changing from ferns kept in Warington Cases to the new craze of parlour aquariums, Lloyd sought larger premises; which would allow him to work full time in the business. Using virtually all of the capital gained from the small shop, he proudly opened his “Aquarium Warehouse” at Portland Road, Regent’s Park in the late winter of 1855.


Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

Marine Fauna of Norway

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 be replied to as this service is discontinued. 


Membership 2005
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2005. 

How to Join

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Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors

     6 April 2005

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Boar Fish, Capros aper