Marine Life News Bulletin

....May 2016

     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
News 2016
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


23 May 2016

A large cliff fall occurred of the chalk cliffs at Seven Sisters (west of Beachy Head) on the East Sussex coast. Over ten metres of the land crashed thousand of tonnes of chalk rocks into the sea when the tide was high. The friable chalk is subject to erosion and sudden cliff falls can be treacherous for cliff walkers and also for rockpoolers searching the chalk platform underneath. 

Cliff Fall Reports  facebook
Coastal Topography Gallery  flickr
Birling Gap Cliff Fall 2014

16 - 23 May 2016
A pod of about six Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, including a three month old calf, were spotted and photographed off the Caithness (NE Scotland) coast by wildlife watcher Karen Munro on 16 May 2016. The pod were identified as a pod who spend the winter around Iceland feeding on shoals of Herring. The pod was spotted by Alan Airey (Seawatch) in the Moray Firth on 23 May 2016 and was found by North 58 Sea Adventures to comprise of one bull, three females, one juvenile and a calf. In the last few years the same pod of whales have visited the Moray Firth annually. 

Moray Firth Orca
Moray Firth Dolphins

15 May 2016

A most unexpected sighting of a juvenile Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, occurred in shallow waters at Long Rock Beach, near Penzance, Mount's Bay, Cornwall. It is a species of right whale usually only found in icy Arctic seas and there has only been one previous report last year. This juvenile whale was about 7 metres long, but they can grow up to 18 metres, and after the Blue Whale they are heaviest animals (up to 90 tonnes) on the planet, with the longest baleen plates and the largest mouth.  The whale was first spotted by regular marine mammal observer and medic, Dave Jarvis of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), and first recognised by whale researcher Marijke De Boer on a Marine Discovery Penzance boat. A brief video footage shows the double blow of this whale species which together with its distinctive shape confirms its identity. The head is distinctive and this whale lacks a dorsal fin

28 April 2016

A spectacular discovery of the skull and antlers of Red Deer were recovered from the 3500 year old petrified fossil forest revealed on the low spring tides on the shore at Borth, Ceredigion, on the Cardigan Bay west coast of Wales. Researchers from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, confirmed that the find was preserved at the same time of the forest.

Submerged Forest at Borth (exposed)
Photograph by Bicky

Submerged Forests of Wales

24 April 2016
A most extraordinary and unexpected discovery of a dead young male Narwhal, Monodon monoceros, washed up in the River Schelde at Bornem in Antwerp Province, was the first found on mainland European shores for over a century. Only the male Narwhals have the single (usually) long ivory tusk. It is a toothed whale almost always discovered in small pods north of the Arctic Circle, so it was 1000 miles off course. 


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. 

Mauve Stinger
Pelagia noctiluca
Photograph by Mark Thomas

A splendid study of one of the smaller jellyfish medusae that inhabit the seas around the British Isles during the summer. This colourful example shows the oral arms and  features of this jellyfish clearly, even though the tentacles seem to be contracted. Unusually this short lived (up to six months) Mauve Stinger does not have a bottom stage in its pelagic life style and reproduces planula larvae that develop directly into ephyrae, young medusae. It has a reputation as a strong stinger, but reports vary from mild to extremely painful with lasting marks. As an open water species it is more commonly found off the south-western shores of Britain. I do not have any reports from the southern North Sea. It is reported when the jellyfish is found in bathing waters or is washed ashore, sometimes occurring in enormous numbers

BMLSS Pelagia

Shoreham Beach
looking towards Southwick with Brighton in the background.

June is the best month of the year for the flowering plants of the shoreline above the high water mark. 
Flowers: Silver Ragwort, Red Valerian
Kidney Vetch, Starry Clover, Sea Campion
Thrift, Childing Pink, Tree Mallow

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.

Bay of Laig, Isle of Eigg
Inner Hebrides, SW Scotland
Photographs by Niall Corbet

Fascinating coastal topography and the white quartz sandy beach from the Bay of Laig on the north-western side of the island of Eigg with a cloudy view of the Rùm Cuillin mountains on the nearby island of Rùm. The strange smooth rock shapes are sculptured Valtossandstone through erosion over the millennia, and by concretion. This is in contrast to the sharp jagged shape of An Sgùrr the inselberg peak of volcanic pitchstone on the basalt island. Classic rock pools are covered by the high tides

Geology of Eigg

Wildlife is rich and varied on Eigg because of the different terrestrial habitats in an island area of 11.8 square miles surrounded by sheltered seas with a rich marine life including whales and dolphins.

Nature on Eigg
Birds of Eigg
Plants of Eigg

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.

11 June 2016
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 will be one of the UK leaders in presenting the seventeenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society will 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






Shallow Seas (Collins New Naturalist Library)
by Peter Hayward (Author)

The Marine World: A Natural History of Ocean Life

The Marine World

Includes sections on all but the most obscure marine groups, covering invertebrate phyla from sponges to sea squirts, as well as plants, fungi, bacteria, fish, reptiles, mammals and birds
Incorporates information on identification, distribution, structure, biology, ecology, classification and conservation of each group
by: Frances Dipper (Author), Marc Dando (Illustrator), Mark Carwardine (foreword)
544 pages, 1500+ colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, colour tables
Wild Nature Press

Click on the book pictures for more information

The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline

This richly illustrated guide will become a steadfast companion for beach visitors wishing to identify what the sea washes up
By: Steve Trewhella (Author), Julie Hatcher (Author)


304 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations
Wild Nature Press

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 2016
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
      27 May 2016 
Copyright  2016   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs