Marine Life News Bulletin

September 2009

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
Link to the News web pages for 2009
GATEWAY:  Further European Links
New EMail address
Courses (Marine Life)
Discussion Groups
Link to the Fishbase web pages
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
World Register of Marine Species
National Biodiversity Gateway
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day
Link to Ray Dennis's Cornish Marine Life Reports for 2008
Link to Sealord Photography
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

Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning



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

21 September 2009
Just a mile from the centre of Glasgow, a four metre long baby Northern Bottle-nosed Whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus, swam up the River Clyde and was seen from Arc Bridge
"The poor creature is currently showing very unusual behaviour, which could be to do with its current location. It has become stranded a few times but each time has managed to get itself back into slightly deeper water," said Trevor Weeks of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR). "If the whale has not been weaned, unfortunately, there is not much chance of it staying alive. Even if we can return it to the sea, there is very little chance of reuniting it with its parents, on which it depends for food."

BDMLR Report

16-17 September 2009
A close inshore sighting of a 9 metre long Northern Bottle-nosed Whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus, in Poole Bay, Dorset, and seen from Bournemouth Pier, was a notable observation giving cause for concern that this deep water whale was injured or sick.

The Bottle-nosed Whale was washed up dead on Bournemouth beach in the evening of 21 September 2009 on the high spring tide. 2008 Stranding Report

10-12 September 2009
A 9.5 metre long Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was discovered washed up dead at Erith, Greater London, in the River Thames. On 10 September 2009 a large whale was spotted at Tilbury at least ten miles to the east (where the river narrows to 732 metres wide) and this is believed to be the same one. The young male Humpback Whale is believed to have starved to death. The main food items of Humpback Whales seems to be small shoaling fishes and large zooplankton, including krill-like Amphipods.
This is the first record of a Humpback Whale recorded in the Thames, although a large whale of this species was washed up dead on the north Kent coast at Deal in 2006. The Humpback Whale is a deep water species but these whales occasionally wander into the southern North Sea where they can become disorientated and starve to death. In 2006 another young whale became lost and died in the Humber. In 2006 it was a Northern Bottle-nosed Whale that was washed up dead up at Lambeth in London
BBC News Report
BDMLR Report
Whales and Dolphins in British Seas (by Steve Savage)
BMLSS Cetacea News Index
UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP)
Identification Key for Stranded Cetaceans
Whale Watching (Britain)

How to Report a Stranding

c 26 August 2009
A Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, was discovered in the Kattegat, the shallow sea to the east of Denmark. It was alive but died shortly afterwards in only 50 cm of water at Oreby Port, three kilometres from the mouth of the fjord.
"'Swordfish are seen occasionally in the North Sea in late summer, but it is unusual that it made so far into the inner Danish waters as Sakskøbing Fjord. As far as I can see, it is not described before in literature," said biologist Karsten Bjerrum Nielsen (Kattegat Center), who believes that the catch was sensational. The fish will be put on display at the Kattegat Center from 13 October 2009
Full Report
BMLSS Swordfish


Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean 
Yahoo Group
New Group:

With the closure of Smart Groups at the end of November 2006 most of the 7500+ messages have been filed at:

Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Jiglu

Images can be uploaded to flickr.

Wet Thumb (Marine Aquariology) Forum Link


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

Cornish Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2008


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.

Ratfish (Photograph by Peter McGrath)

A Ratfish, Chimaera monstrosa, was washed up on the shore at Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire on the North Sea coast of England. This deep sea fish is a frequent capture in the Pink Shrimp fishery of the North Sea. 

Report, Comments and Photograph by Peter McGrath on the Runswick Bay Blogspot
Full Report

The fish has probably been dead for some time causing it to lose its patterns. 
NB. This is the first report of a stranding on these Marine Life News pages. 

Image when Alive



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 250K in size.

A very low tide at Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire
Photograph by Peter McGrath on the Runswick Bay Blogspot

Runswick Bay is a picture postcard seaside village much loved by both artists and holidaymakers alike

Lying about 5 miles north of Whitby, the village is split into two parts - a few houses at the top of the cliffs contrast sharply with the red-roofed cottages that appear to tumble down the cliffside to the seafront below.
The cottages are sheltered from the northern gales by Lingrow Knowle - the lofty crag above.

The shore contains rocks and pools and fossils can be discovered, although it is not so good for fossils as Redcar Beach, 15 miles to the north.

The beach is accessed via a very steep (1 in 4) road - there's a large public car park near the bottom.

Runswick Bay Information

British Coastal Topography

First enquiry by EMail to

New EMail address


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. 

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.


15 October 2009

Earthwatch Lecture: Meeting Marine Needs

Thursday 15th October 2009, 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm at the Royal
Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR

Speakers: Dennis Sammy, Nature Seekers, & Nienke van Geel, The Hebridean
Whale & Dolphin Trust. Chaired by Nigel Winser.

Human activities and climate change pose multiple threats to marine
species. Hear about Earthwatch's research in projects as wide
ranging as Trinidad's Leatherback sea turtles and Hebridean whales
and dolphins.

Full Information Web Page

Ticket only - free to students and current Earthwatch donors; otherwise
a donation will be requested on the door.

For tickets and/or more information contact our Events Department on
(01865) 318856;


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

01825  765546





Two new interesting publications were received this month:

by Peter Stiles
Publisher: Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

Philip Henry Gosse was a popular naturalist who moved to Victorian Ilfracombe and wrote his natural science book ‘A Naturalist’s Rambles on the Devonshire Coast’. He later designed the first public aquarium, which opened in London. His activities also attracted other naturalists, including Charles Darwin and novelist George Eliot.

This book celebrates the link between Philip Henry Gosse and his rockpool adventures in Devon and contains lots of information about the life of this self-taught Victorian scientist and writer.

in conjunction with an Exhibition that finished on 25 April 2009.

Marine Fisheries Science Yearbook  2008/2009

Publisher:  defra

href="">To obtain a copy from the defra web site, click on this text

Sharks in British Seas

Richard Peirce
138 pages, colour illustrations, line drawings, colour & b/w photos.
Lots of newspaper reports.

Publisher:  Shark Cornwall
Softcover | 2008 | £9.99

ISBN: 978-0-955869402 

by Lucy Beckett-Bowman

Consultant: Andy Horton
Usborne Publishing   £3.99

Usborne Beginners Series
Level One (very young children)

ISBN 978-0-7460-8864-7

BMLSS Notes for a Primary School Teacher

Whales & Dolphins 
of the European Atlantic
The Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Celtic Sea and coastal SW Ireland
by Dylan Walker and Graeme Cresswell
with the illustrations by Robert Still
WILDGuides  2008
£ 12.00 (includes standard UK P&P)
ISBN:  978-1-903657-31-7

This is the second fully revised and updated edition of this comprehensive guide to the identification of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) in the European Atlantic. Until very recently, most researchers and whale-watchers were unaware of the great variety of cetaceans that can be seen so close to the shores of western Europe. Indeed, it is only during the last decade, when detailed cetacean surveys have been carried out in earnest, that we have discovered how important this area is for cetacean biodiversity.

This field guide describes all of the 31 species of whale, dolphin and porpoise that have occurred in the European Atlantic. 

BMLSS Cetacean Book Reviews

The Gulf Stream
by Bruno Voituriez
Publisher:  UNESCO 
ISBN:  92-3-103995-4 
222 pages, figures, glossary, bibliography

The Gulf Stream
Amid contemporary scenarios of potential climatic catastrophes and global warming that might be imagined to bring a new ice age, the powerful image of the Gulf Stream rising from the Florida Straits and flowing to the north Atlantic inevitably provokes questions about its ecological significance and whether it might ever stop.

Coastal Plankton
Photo Guide for European Seas

by Otto Larink & Wilfried Westheide
reviewed by Wim van Egmond
(Collins New Naturalist) (Paperback)
by Peter Hayward
Collins 2004

ISBN:  0-00-220031-7

Amazon Web Site

Paperback. Pp 288. Colour & b/w photographs, illustrations, charts, maps and bibliography. Fine copy. "New Naturalist" Seashore is a comprehensive, authoritative account of the natural history of the seashore.

BMLSS General Guides
BMLSS Advanced Guides


Working to reduce Marine Pollution and to help the birds caught in it
Quarterly Newsletter
Registered Charity  803473


Decision-making in Marine Mammal
Rescue and Rehabilitation

Eastern English Channel Habitat Atlas for Marine Resource Management
is available for download from

Encyclopaedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

Marine Fauna of Norway

WET THUMB (Marine Aquariology)

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. In future, I expect the publication to be in an electronic format. 
    We also publish the SHOREWATCH Newsletter and
    the TORPEDO Electronic News Bulletin.

    The Glaucus 2002 CD-ROM was sent out to Premier BMLSS members in January 2003.

EMail Address

New EMail addressEMail address for messages to the British Marine Life Study Society 


Membership 2009
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2009. Back copies of previous issues are still available. 

Bulletin Details

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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 7 and altering the right and left hand columns in the Page Set-up menu to 9 mm (from 19 mm).
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Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors

    28 September 2009

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 PursesPeter Talbot-ElsdenCharlie DimmickAndy HortonSamanthaThe crab was called Rooney because of its missing leg. Nobody asked about the brain cells of a crab?