Marine Life News Bulletin

October  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 Jim Anderson's Scottish Nudibranch (and other sea slugs) web pages

7-14 years
Oakley Intertidal 
on Facebook
Fish & Sharks of the 
NE Atlantic
New Photographic Gallery on flickr



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

24 October 2010
A Grey Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, was videoed sliding into a crevice and locking itself in using its dorsal fin on a shallow water dive of the Mixon Hole, Selsey, West Sussex. 

Report by Colin Melhuish

Photograph by Malcolm Olgilvie20 October 2010
I have found a dead Grey Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, washed up on the beach at Tolsta on the Isle of Lewis. There have been previous discoveries on this windswept beach.

Report by Katherine Ross

October 2010
I (or rather my dog) found a dead Grey Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, on a beach on the Isle of Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, Argyll, south-west Scotland. There have been one or two past records here - the last in December 2007, but it is certainly unusual.

Report and Photograph by Malcolm Olgilvie
BMLSS Triggerfish

16 October 2010

A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, swam ashore at Immingham Wall at Bay 28 on the River Humber just before high tide at 1:30 pm. This was the first report received for the colder months of 2010.

Report and Photograph by Mike Thompson

15 October 2010
Gary Crane received a shock when he landed a 4.95 kg (10 lb 14 oz 11 dram)  female Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata, on Richard Seager’s 'Out of Blue‘, while fishing about three miles to the east of Sark, Channel Islands in the English Channel. The electric ray had a total length of 58.6 cm and a disc width of 41.5 cm. It took a whole Black Bream, Spondyliosoma cantharus, presented as bait. 

BMLSS Sharks & Rays
BMLSS Angling Records Links page
BMLSS Sharks & Ray News

3 October 2010

A Tadpole Fish, Raniceps raninus, was discovered washed up at Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire. 

Late September 2010
The alien (Mediterranean) red seaweed  Feldmannophycus ocmuriae (or Caulacanthus ustulatus) was discovered at Pen-y-Holt, south Pembrokeshire. We have found it at West Angle Bay and at South Hook Point.


11 September 2010
While out fishing in my boat from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on Saturday at about 14.00 hours, I spotted a Sunfish, Mola mola, about 0.75 of a mile from the beach. It was approximately 60 cm (2 feet) in diameter and seemed to be swimming south. Its dorsal fin was flapping above the surface and it was spouting water into the air like a fountain. 

Report by John Watt (ORCA) (Fraserburgh)
BMLSS Sunfish

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.

Henricia oculata
Photograph by Des Glover on Facebook
Kennack Diving (Facebook)

This starfish is frequently seen on the south-western coasts of the British Isles and it is usually seen in a red or variety of red coloration 
and this photograph is particularly interesting because it is first bright blue one I have ever seen.
They belong to the family Echinasteridae which are ciliary filter-feeders rather than active predators. 

Marine Life Directory Information


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.

Langstone Rock
by Will Griffith

Natural arch in the Breccia and Sandstone of Langstone Rock near Dawlish Warren, Devon, where the railway runs alongside the coast. Permian and Triassic continental red bed facies, as shown above, are conspicuous features of the East Devon coast and give rise to the characteristic red scenery and soils. These are of desert origin. 

  Geology of the Wessex Coast of Southern England

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.


October 2010
Free lectures: Seas for Life 
‘Seas for Life’: Our oceans, their future and their biodiversity
Birkbeck Institute of Environment, University of London in conjunction with the Ecology and Conservation Studies Society.

Details of the Lecture Programme (Link)

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





July 2010


Publisher: Graffeg
Publisher's Review (click on this text)
Review by the City and County of Swansea

This is the book I should have written (and I dare say a few others as well) and is a much needed introduction to the world of the seashore and the hobby of rockpooling. It is a photographic guide to most of the common species encountered which is much appreciated as newcomers and even experienced rockpoolers will try and match up what they have seen to a visual image (and photographs work better than line drawings) and this will usually get them the correct species, (unless there are two very alike species and then you will need a specialist identification guide like the Collins Guide to the Seashore).

However, the seashore is a rich and interesting habitat with a myriad of species and 225 pages of this large pocket guide are comprehensively covered to suit the enthusiast.

Extract from the foreword by Keith Hiscock:
"Being able to names to what you see and, better still, to use your observations to add to our knowledge about the natural world is what this book is about."

But the book for a popular audience is more than this. It starts from the assumption that the parents and teachers and older children are unfamiliar with the seashore environment, so the

1. Getting started
explains about the tides (very briefly: a detailed explanation can be in chapter 2) and the equipment you may need, where and how to look for the seashore critters (my term).
2. Living between the tides
explains about the dynamic nature of the littoral environment and the variations on different coasts. It also introduces the explorer to a few technical terms which are further explored in
3. Zonation
which is a rather important explanation to on what part of the shore what animals and seaweeds are to be discovered and why
4. Habitats
Even between the zones the geography of the seashore varies and this chapter explains what habitats what type of creatures
5. Beachcombing
This is the scavenger's first introduction to the see what the sea has deposited on the strandline complete with an excellent quick guide to the common shells and other treasures
6. Animal Life
The large animal life section is structured roughly by phyla (major groups of animals) ignoring for the most part the specialist microscopic studies. Each animal group is given a brief description including behavioural characteristics. Each animal is given a common name and the important scientific name (because the common names can vary in different localities and in different books) with a photograph, brief written description, habitat preferences and field notes.
"Did you know?
Male crabs have a narrow 'v' shaped tail with 5 joints and in females the tail is wider with 7 joints."
Fish are the most interesting discoveries for many of the fledgling rockpoolers. Most of the common species are included but a frequently encountered species like the Rock Goby, Gobius paganellus, has been omitted.
7. Seaweeds
In contrast to the fish the common macroalgae are well covered.
8. Conservation
This is a good section encouraging participants to take an active interest, how the public can help and a comprehensive list of where to report their findings.
9. Further Information
With a book list and a list of organisations and their web pages, a comprehensive glossary and an index, this has the hook that could result in a lifetime interest in the seashore.

Now why would anybody want to go to Serengeti when we have so much of interest nearer to home?


by Andy Horton (August 2010)

Oakley Intertidal on Facebook

BMLSS Guide Books

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
The 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

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

     25 October 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?