Marine Life News Bulletin

January 2006

ISSN 1464-8156

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 the Cornish Marine Life Reports (by Ray Dennis) for 2005
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

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages

Marine Life Society
South Australia ***

De Strandwerkgemeenschap




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 and can be viewed satisfactorily at a resolution of 1024 x 768.
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.

16-17 January 2006
Twenty four egg cases of the endangered Skate, Dipturus (=Raja) batis, were  discovered on the shore near the Dounreay nuclear power plant, Caithness, west of Thurso and Scrabster Harbour and John o'Groats on the northernmost coast of mainland Scotland, the first records reported to the Shark Trust and the first records on the mainland Scotland since these egg case occurrences have been recorded. 

Egg Cases of the Common Skate

Shark Trust Eggcase Hunt
Caithness Eggcase Walk

Report by Paula Gent with photographs by Davey Benson

Egg Capsules of Rays & Sharks (Link to the Web Pages)
BMLSS Mermaid's Purses
January 2005 Report

Egg Capsules of Rays and Sharks (Link)

January 2006
Large growths of an invasive species of a didemnid ascidian (sea squirt) called Didemnum sp. may* have reached the east coast of Ireland.  It appears that large gelatinous growths of a didemnid are appearing practically all around the world and have now cropped up off the north European coasts as well as New Zealand and large parts of the United States of America. These colonial tunicates are regarded as a nuisance and one of many fouling organism species that attach to boat hulls, fishing gear, harbour wharves etc. 
Woods Hole Science Center Information

Liz Sides, from Duchas in Ireland says that one of her tunicate taxonomic friends has found what appears to be a large non-native Didemnum sp growing prolifically in a marina on the Irish east coast. (*The identification has not been confirmed yet.)

Report by Rohan Holt

1 January 2006
Ormers, Haliotis tuberculata, with a minimum shell length of 80 mm can be legally collected from the shores of Guernsey.

Not the specimen of the Ormer discovered

I discovered an Ormer of shell length 11.75 cm on 18 October 2005 on the
shore at La Valette on Guernsey's east coast - south of St. Peter Port. I wanted to find out if this Ormer was still under the same rock. I was not disappointed. This is the second time I have found an Ormer in the autumn which has remained under the same rock through to the New Year. I did not collect it but hope it survives the Ormer collecting season which continues during large spring tides until the end of April.

Report by Richard Lord (Guernsey)


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.

Black Sea Bream (Photograph by Andy Horton)

A young Black Sea-Bream
 Spondyliosoma cantharus


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.

Lancing Beach, West Sussex

Pictures of the shore and estuaries in the snow would be appreciated if you can brave the snow in Scotland and the east of England

Please send any attractive or interesting coastal scenic, landscape, topographic or faunal photographs specifying location and details

Bolinopsis sp.
Photograph by Dr Dave Skingsley (Staffordshire Universities

This ctenophore (sea jelly) was recorded off Great Yarmouth (North Sea) in 2005, but it is not included in my old CD-ROM edition of the British Marine Species Directory. It appears to be a widespread species that may have been overlooked and is recorded off the Norwegian coast. I am not sure I could recognise the animal to any more than the phylum from this photograph though. 

More Information

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)


 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




The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom launched a new full colour magazine, GLOBAL MARINE ENVIRONMENT in 2005, which will appeal to people who wish to read accurate, interesting and entertaining articles about the world's oceans and its inhabitants.
Much of the source material for this new magazine is the Journal of the Marine Biological Association (JMBA). Whereas the journal is full of excellent scientific papers, GLOBAL MARINE ENVIRONMENT takes some of the most interesting studies and, in full colour, writes a more understandable summary of the findings.

The first issue of Global Marine Environment may be purchased in hard copy for £1.75 (see below) or downloaded from the web at the following

Information provided by Richard Lord (Guernsey)


ISBN  0-9522831-5-8

Available from:


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


Membership 2006
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2006. 

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.
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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
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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 Andy Horton and other contributors

      19 January 2006

Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.7 and other programs
Boar Fish, Capros aperLen NevellMarc AbrahamJohn KnightUrchin fossil (out of scale) dating the pebbles at 85 million years oldMermaid's Purses