Marine Life News Bulletin

June  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

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

19 June 2010
Stuart Exall and Casey Brehaut caught a Cornish Blackfish, Schedophilus medusophagus, in a gill net south of Lihou Island, off the west coast of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. The fish weighed 641 grams with a total length 445 mm
plus a fork length of 393 mm. 
This fish is a mesopelagic species from temperate waters of the north-eastern and north-western Atlantic and the western Mediterranean. It is the first known record from the Channel Islands caught at a depth of under seven metres.

Previous Report & More Information

19 June 2010 onwards
Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, continue to be seen from the shore off the Cornish coast. 

Basking Shark Video on Facebook (by Maria Munn)
Basking Sharks on flickr
BMLSS Basking Sharks

5 June 2010

Adur World Oceans Day 2010

The tenth Adur World Oceans Day went well in the marquee on Coronation Green, by Shoreham footbridge at the High Street end on the opening Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society was there with the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. 

"The aim of the event is to introduce the young visitors to the world of the 
sea and seashore, an opportunity they may not get. It is an educational 
event with an opportunity for children to participate in the interactive 

Quote by Andy Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)

World Oceans Day | Journée mondiale des océans
on Facebook

4 June 2010
A Red Scorpionfish, Scorpaena scrofa, was caught inside Guernsey's 12 mile limit in a scallop dredge. This warm water and Mediterranean fish is a rare visitor to the English Channel. This small fish has have venomous spines on their dorsal, ventral and anal fins. Each spine has a separate venom gland at the base. 
Two Scorpaena scrofa have been recorded from Irish waters so far this year.   Scorpaena scrofa and Scorpaena porcus appear to be more frequently recorded over the last couple of decades than heretofore. Eleven of these records date from 1994 and the earliest from 1884. 

25 May 2010
Spiny Seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus (=H. ramulosus)
Spiny Seahorses were spotted in Studland Bay, Dorset.

Pregnant Male Spiny Seahorse at Studland Bay on Facebook (by Neil Garrick-Maidment)
Seahorses Photo Album on Facebook (by Neil Garrick-Maidment)

BMLSS Seahorses


Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

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

British Marine Life Study Society 
Facebook Page:

Images can be uploaded to flickr.

British Marine Life on Wikia Science Discussion Groups

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.

Juvenile Black-faced Blenny
Tripterygion delaisi   Family: Tripterygiidae
in the shallow seas around the Isles of Scilly
discovered by the Seasearch Divers
Photograph by Angie Gall
(Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust) (on Facebook)

Click on the image for a photograph of the fish in situ (on Facebook)

It is not a true blenny and belongs to the family Tripterygiidae. Fish of this family are small and inhabit rock crevices below low water mark in much the same way as many of blennies do. However, they have three dorsal fins and scales, whereas true blennies of the family Blenniidae have a single dorsal fin running the length of its body and have a mucus covered skin. Exactly how common, or how rare, the British Black-faced Blenny is can only be ascertained by divers' reports. They may have to be searched for because they are secretive. They are also highly territorial and will stay in an area of about three square metres.

Notes by Andy Horton

Black-faced Blenny on  flickr


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.

Porthchaple Beach, Porthcurno, Cornwall
The Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, provide a special attraction
Photograph by Charles Hood

Click on the image for the Facebook photograph and comments

The small secluded tidal beach of Porthchaple to the west of Porthcurno (on the south-western part of the Cornish peninsula) accessible by a steep climb. The beach is named after the remains of a medieval chapel visible next to the footpath about 30 metres above the beach. There is a spring known as the St. Levan Holy Well further up the cliffside which may be reached by ancient granite steps. 

Porthcurno Beach is located some three miles east-southeast of Land`s End, as the gull flies.

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.



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


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

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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 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.

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

    25 June 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?