Marine Life News Bulletin

April  2010

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
BMLSS (Facebook)
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 2009
Link to Sealord Photography
Link to the Aphoto pages

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
Marine Wildlife Reserve
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 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

2 April 2010

A Yarrell's Blenny, Chirolophis ascanii, was discovered in a rockpool near Banff in north Scotland.  "It has a fern like horn above its head which looks bright yellow in daylight."  This is an unusual find on the shore and this is only the second report received. Both were from north Scotland. 

Report and Photograph by Mark Butcher
Snow Bunting 1 March 2010
The passage migrants Snow Bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis, were spotted feeding on the strandline at Studland Bay beach in Dorset. These small birds are classified as a scarce visitor to the south coast of England. 

1 March 2010

A rarely discovered Snapping Prawn, Alpheus macrocheles, was photographed at Kimmeridge Bay, Purbeck VMNR, Dorset. This crustacean appears a regular resident in the bay as thirty pairs were discovered a few weeks previously. 

Previous Report from Kimmeridge
BMLSS Snapping Prawns
Kimmeridge Tidings


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

However, in November 2009, all these messages were deleted without warning. Sorry. This was out of my control. 

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.

Seahorses in Studland Bay, Dorset

Pregnant Male Spiny Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus
Photograph by Steve Trewhella (Facebook)

The eelgrass beds in Studland Bay are home to the UK's largest breeding population of Spiny Seahorses.
Up to 300 boats a day are being allowed to anchor in the Eelgrass, ripping the roots up and destroying the habitat. Unregulated moorings are being allowed in the bay while authorities look on.
Studland Bay needs to become a Marine Conservation Zone in 2012 under the Marine and Coastal Access Bill

We found our beautiful pair of Spiny Seahorses, Hippocampus guttulatus, in June 2009. This species is the less prevalent of the two species which are both a rare discovery in the seas around Britain.
Still hanging on despite the mayhem going on above them, they are living in a very small territory, lets hope the anchors don't destroy the Eelgrass, Zostera, beds, before they have chance to give birth. Zoster marina (Marlin Information Page) 

26 February 2008
The Angel Shark, Squatina squatina, Short-snouted Seahorses, Hippocampus hippocampus, and Spiny Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus (=H. ramulosus), will gain protection against being killed, injured, or taken from the wild from 6 April 2008 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
In addition, the possession or selling of the the Short-snouted and Spiny Seahorses’ will become an offence. It will also become an offence to damage or obstruct the Short-snouted and Spiny Seahorses’ place of shelter or disturb them in their place of shelter.

BMLSS Seahorses

Studland Bay Conservation Issues (on Facebook)

BMLSS Rockpooling


Shorewatch Biological Recording


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.


Redend Point at South Beach, Studland, England, UK.
Photograph by Adrian Pink on  flickr

Redend Point is a small headland of brown, reddish and yellow sandstone (similar to Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight) at the northern end of South Beach, Studland Bay as can be seen in the photograph. It is the first rocky headland south of the South Haven Peninsula of sand. The sandstone is, in the older terminology, the Redend Sandstone. It is part of the Poole Formation of Middle Eocene age.

The bay is protected from the prevailing winds and storms by Old Harry Rocks, the chalk headland that separates Studland from SwanageBay. This has allowed, over a period of approximately 600 years, a sandy beach to be deposited against the reddened sandstone cliffs, at the south end of the bay, and the Reading and London clay formations at the north end of the bay. The Redend Sandstone of the Poole Formation is well-exposed at Rendend Point.

In 1940, the coastline at Studland Bay was one of the two stretches of Dorset coast where a German invasion was considered most likely and it was fortified as a part of British anti-invasion preparations of World War II.

The village and beach were used as a training area before the D-Day landing in the Second World War. On top of Redend Point, a small sandstone cliff which splits the beach in two at high tide, is Fort Henry. Built in 1943 by Canadian engineers, it is 90 feet (27 m) long, with 3 feet (1 m) thick walls and an 80 feet (24 m) wide recessed observation slit.

Most of the Studland area of geological interest belongs to the National Trust.

Studland Geology
Studland Tertiary

Studland Fossils

Jurassic Coast on Facebook

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.


5 June 2010

Adur World Oceans Day 2010

Participation of other environmental groups are welcome for Adur World
Oceans Day 2010 in Shoreham-by-Sea. This is an interactive exhibition and all stalls need to be manned. Tables, chairs and an electrical supply are provided. To allocate
space, we will need to know of exhibitors in advance.

The date for this year is 5 June 2010. This will be the 14th consecutive year that this exhibition has been held.


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

Would you know what to do if you found a whale stranded on a beach?

Each year anywhere between five and 50 whales, dolphins and porpoises are washed up on Britain's beaches.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue, a volunteer charity, was set up in 1998 to rescue them.

BBC News Report

01825  765546




June 2009

My larger shrimp net, the same design that appeared on River Walks

The Edible Seashore (River Cottage Handbook No. 5)
by John Wright is published

Not just a cookery book: you have to go down to the shore and catch or collect the food yourself. The 240 page hardback book (with an index) is exceptionally well produced in quality of the binding, paper as well as the quality of writing, information and clear useful colour photographs. It is well organised into nine chapters:

Starting Out:  Conservation and Equipment, including the first paper published instructions on how to construct a shrimp net (push-net). 

Foraging:  Lots of useful and essential information about the tides, weather, safety and what to wear. 

Rule Book: This is the bravest inclusion. John Wright attempts (better than anyone so far) to explain the rules, law and ethics of seashore collection, what you are allowed and not allowed to do. It is worth buying the book for this chapter alone.

The Flowering Plants
The Seaweeds
John Wright and Peter Talbot-ElsdenThe Molluscs
The Crustaceans

All the expected species and some unlikely edible candidates are included and each is given two pages. Very informative and lots of information I did not already know. John Wright conducted his research first hand and we shrimped together on Southwick Beach with Peter Talbot-Elsden (as shown in my photograph, not in the book).

The Recipes:  Well I would omit the chilli in the Potted Shrimp. After collecting the food, I am usually a wee bit tired and this chapter should be for your partner. Let me know how you get on?

The home-made shrimp net on page 17 is an identical design to mine, the one used by John Wright before he made his own on our expeditions at Southwick, and the one used by Charlie Dimmick on River Walks filmed on nearby Lancing beach.

Conclusion: Highly recommended, essential purchase ***** (highest five star rating).

BMLSS Shrimping


Up and Coming TV:

The Seasons 
presented by Alan Titchmarsh

Tiger Aspect and ITV1, due to be transmitted this Autumn 2010

The Seasons’ is a four-part series (no surprise there then!) that looks at the way every living thing in Britain is profoundly affected by the seasons. Its very much macrocosm to microcosm, starting with the astronomical reasons for our seasons and then looking at the myriad and fascinating effects they have. It investigates such basic factors as lengthening nights and changes in temperature have in our islands.

The very last piece of filming was the Blenny, Lipophrys pholis, with the help of myself (Andy Horton). This small fish would not behave as the books said, because the books were wrong!

Alan Titchmarsh Blog


Kimmeridge Tidings

Autumn 2009

Up to date with all the latest happenings at our Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve in Kimmeridge.

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 2010
Plans have not yet been finalised for the publications and subscriptions for year 2010. Back copies of previous issues are still available. 

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. 
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 7 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

    22 April 2010

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?