Marine Life News Bulletin

April 2015

     ISSN  1464-8156

Mediterranean Gull (Photograph by Jean-Paul Charteris)
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 main news page for 2014
GATEWAY:  Further European Links
New EMail address
Link to the British Marine Life Study Society Facebook page
Courses (Marine Life)
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 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
Link to the Sealife Survey on facebook (Marine Biological Assoc. of the Uk.)
Link to Coastal Topography on flickr
Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
How to obtain the book and review



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 Internet Explorer using medium fonts at a resolution of 1024 x 768.
Subscribe and unsubscribe options are at the foot of this page.

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

25 April 2015
A pair of Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis, spent two hours swimming around Weymouth Harbour for the appreciation of onlookers. Dolphins live off the Dorset coast and can be sometimes be seen from the shore, but it is only rarely will they follow boats into harbour.

I also managed to take a video of Dolphins swimming under Weymouth bridge, Dorset. Louise Stevens posted original and has gone viral 34k views.....unbelievable
Posted by Stuart Stevens on Sunday, 26 April 2015

  Sea Watch Foundation Cetacean Sighting Form
Video by Stuart Stevens
BMLSS Cetacea

19 - 23 April 2015
A pod of three to five Killer Whales, Orca orcinus, were spotted in Pentland Firth, Orkney.


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:

This is designed for quick less important chatty news items. Photographs can be uploaded quickly which is only possible on the Yahoo Group by going to the web page.

Images can be uploaded to flickr.

Wet Thumb (Marine Aquariology) Forum Link
Lots of marine wildlife reports from Shetland on facebook
Photographs include undersea, sea mammals and birds. 
Click on the image to connect


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

Cornish Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2009


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. 

Short-spined Bullhead, Myoxocephalus scorpius
Photographs by Penny Martin
Snorkel Orkney  facebook

The study above shows the typical appearance of the Short-spined Bullhead and if you look carefully you can note the shorter pre-opercula spine that gives the fish the first component of its book name.

This fish can be confused with the Long-spined Bullhead, Taurulus bubalis, illustrated below. The latter fish has a longer pre-opercula spine, but in the field this difference can be tricky to distinguish. 

Taurulus bubalis

Long-spined Bullhead, Taurulus bubalis

Both species of fish show a great range in colour which should be ignored for identification purposes. The Long-spined Bullhead is much more prevalent in the shallow seas all around the British Isles and the Short-spined is an inhabitant of deeper water in the English Channel, but is frequently discovered in much shallower seas around Orkney. 

The must easily discernible identification feature are the quite lappets at the corner of the large expansive mouth of Taurulus bubalis only. Both species of fish have huge mouths for swallowing their prey. The presence of the lappets always indicate the smaller species the Long-spined, but they can be hidden in photographs and the absence at first glance should not be used as definitive for the Short-spined, Myoxocephalus scorpius, just a guide to look further. The spines have to be looked at very carefully to distinguish the species. They are not venomous, but stinging spines do occur in the true Scorpion Fish, Scorpaena scrofa. Colloquial names are extremely varied for both species. Bullhead is the most commonly used in Britain but there are so many regional variations that each port seems to have a different name. 

The new and recommended fish identification guide book goes into great detail to identify the identification characteristics of each fish, especially as seen by anglers and fishermen. An example of the pages is shown above. 

Click on the images for the original photographs or links to more images


Shorewatch Biological Recording


Shore Topography Series

The name of the particular coast should be included and any other interesting information including 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 1 Mb in size.

Churchill Barrier No. 1 (East Mainland to Lamb Holm), Orkney
Photograph by Luke Richards

The Churchill Barriers are a series of four road causeways connecting Mainland, Orkney, with two very small islands and the larger islands of Burray and South Ronaldsay. They were constructed in World War II to prevent German U-boats entering the naval base at Scapa Flow.

The fixed barriers have changed the currents in Scapa Flow and altered the tidal flow to the North Sea. The pattern and distribution of marine life was also changed. Blockships also provide shelter for fish and attachments points of invertebrate animals. 

Orkney Nature Festival

Click on the images for the original photographs or links to more images

British Coastal Topography

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.

13 June 2015 
Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur are one of the UK leaders in presenting the sixteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society present the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) take an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presents the whale and dolphin exhibition. Exhibitors are available to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants will include Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life

World Oceans Day on facebook
Adur World Oceans Day on facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages
For details of the Porcupine Marine Nature History Society meetings click on the link on the left


 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






How to obtain the book and review




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 2015
Please join the facebook group for free. Formal membership of the Society has ceased.  Back copies of previous issues are still available. 

Bulletin Details

For technical reasons, TORPEDO is no longer being sent out by EMail. It is simply easier to view the bulletins on the web pages.


The Bulletin is designed to be viewed on Internet Explorer using medium fonts at a resolution of 1024 x 768. 
Viewing should be possible on Mozilla and other browsers.

Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors
     29 April 2015 
Copyright  2015   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs