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World Oceans Day 2002


MARINE LIFE NEWS 2002  Photograph by Nicolas Jouault
Reports of marine wildlife from all around the British Isles, with pollution incidents and conservation initiatives as they affect the fauna and flora of the NE Atlantic Ocean.

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27 December 2002
Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, is spotted just before midday stranded on some rocks in Portland Harbour, Dorset. The coastguards were called and they managed to push the whale back into the water and it spent the rest of the day swimming around the large natural harbour, but it has yet to be coaxed back out to the open sea.  This species of whale is rarely seen in the shallower parts of the English Channel. 
BBC News Report
Corrected Report by Clive Martin (Biscay Dolphin Research Programme)
BMLSS Cetacea

12 December 2002
Early in the morning a young 8 metre long Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, entered the naval harbour of Frederikshavn on the northern Kattegat coast of Denmark. It remained in the harbour for the whole of the day and is believed to be feeding on the shoals of small fish seen. This large whale is regularly seen around the Shetland Isles but rarely ventures further south.

Video Footage
Cornish Humpback
BMLSS Cetacea News

5 December 2002
In the last few weeks 640 oiled sea birds have been washed up on the East Anglian coasts of Suffolk and Norfolk. The source of the oil has not been discovered, but it is believed to have been released from an old wreck. 
BBC Television News Report

 Late November 2002
A Short-snouted Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, is captured by an oyster fisherman in the Solent. In Victorian times, there are records from off Dorset and the Solent.

Report by Ivor Rees
Earlier 2002 Report from off Dorset

25 November 2002
A tanker carrying up to 90,000 tonnes of crude oil has spilled some of its cargo en route to Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. Coastguards report only a small volume of oil has entered the haven from the vessel.
BBC News Report
Sea Empress Oil Disaster

 13 November 2002
The oil tanker Prestige, carrying more than 70,000 tons of oil, suffered severe wave damage off the north coast of Spain, and began spilling heavy fuel oil into the sea. It was towed out to deeper water by the Spanish authorities where on 19 November 2002 sunk to the bottom of the sea carrying its cargo of oil with it to a depth of 3400 metres. The oil slicks were washed ashore in the intervening period and on into December. 
By 5 December 2002 the amount of oil released into the surface areas of the sea and pushed inshore my the prevailing winds is estimated at 20,000 tonnes. The first slick that hit the shore was 6,000 tonnes and the second larger slick of 11,0000 tonnes arrived on the coast of Galicia (around Finisterre) in north-west Spain at the beginning of December.
Report from Spain
BBC News Story
BMLSS Oil Spills Page

    5 November 2002
    Collecting a few rocks for aquarium props in fading light on Lancing Beach, West Sussex, on a moonless evening under torchlight, I made my first discovery of the Arch-fronted Swimming Crab, Liocarcinus arcuatus, at low tide. This is the first BMLSS Report  from the shore. The identity of this crab has been confirmed by Dr. Reindert Nijland.
    Full Report

    Boarfish from Hove (Photograph by Peter Weight)2 November 2002
    The capture on rod and line by Peter Weight of a Boar Fish, Capros aper, from Hove beach is the very first record of this fish caught from the shore off Sussex. The books say that this fish lives in depths of over 100 metres and there are no seas of this depth on the English side of the English Channel. This pretty little red and silver rhomboidal fish about 55 mm long, excluding its caudal fin, large eye and large protractile mouth, laterally compressed (very thin and narrow profile), with a spiky first dorsal and vibrating second dorsal and second anal fins (vibrating like the dorsal fin of a pipefish). Although this fish is rarely caught, it is abundant in deepish water (on the edge of the continental shelf in the western approaches of the English Channel) and it is just that normal fishing methods do not capture this small fish. All records and especially all live records from the shore or on dives, and all Sussex records are newsworthy. 
    This fish is thriving in the BMLSS private aquarium (Shoreham-by-Sea). This fish is rarely on display in British Public Aquaria and the only known display of this fish was for several years at Mevagissey Harbour Aquarium
    Previous Sussex Record of a Boar Fish
    Previous Report from the Channel Islands
    BMLSS Boar Fish

    30 October 2002
    A Mantis Shrimp, Rissoides desmaresti, was captured off Selsey Bill (Pullar Bank), West Sussex. The skipper of a registered fishing vessel operating from Selsey caught the shrimp in his lobster pots. This was only the second he had ever caught in over 20 years commercial fishing from Selsey. Robert Clark, Senior Fishery Officer with the Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee, identified the shrimp to species level.

    Report by Tim Dapling (Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee)
    BMLSS Mantis Shrimps
    Earlier 2002 Report

    26 October 2002
    The Marine Conservation Society Annual Conference was held at the Royal Museum, Edinburgh.
    Diary: Further Details

    25 October 2002
    Fishing Monthly
    Scientists confirmed today that cod stocks in the North Sea, Irish Sea and waters West of Scotland are at their lowest recorded level and are in danger of collapse unless urgent action is taken.
    The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, wants closure of all cod fishing whether directed or by-catch in these areas.
    Full Report

    24 October 2002
    Between 16 October and 22 October there have been 195 dead seals reported around the UK bringing the total to 2845 since the beginning of the Phocine Distemper Virus outbreak. 2451 of the seals have been found on the English coasts, with all but 24 of the above total discovered dead on the east coast. Confirmed cases are mostly Common Seals, Phoca vitulina, but also a few Grey Seals, Halichoerus grypus.
    Sea Mammal Research Unit
    Status Report 11 (with further details)

    6 October 2002
    The low tide on Lancing beach revealed my very first discovery of the South-claw Hermit Crab, Diogenes pugilator, on the Sussex coast. This Hermit Crab was discovered in knee depth water in the sandy shallows below the low tide mark on the equinoctial spring tide, receding below Chart Datum. They occupied the empty shells of the Netted Dogwhelk, Hinia
    Full Report

    23 September 2002
    Silver Dory (=Sailfin Dory), Zenopsis conchifer, is trawled six miles off Wolf Rock, Cornwall. This is such an unusual occurrence that the fish is not in the popular British list of marine species. This fish was 38 cm long and weighed 550 grams, gutted. 

    Picture supplied by Doug Herdson

    It could be mistaken for similar John Dory, Zeus faber. The Silver Dory is the complete fish shown in the photograph of the fish caught and preserved and the upper fish is a John Dory. The John Dory inhabits shallow water but the new fish is a denizen of the deep. There has been a handful of previous records off Cornwall, the first official one recorded on 29 August 1995.
    Previous Records

    Report from Doug Herdson (National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth)
    from help from Paul Gainey and notes by Stella Turk
    Previous Records from the Geoff Potts and Swaby British Fish Records

    18 September 2002
    Flying Gurnard, Dactylopterus volitans, was caught in a scallop dredge by the F.V. Natalie B, skipper Steven Frank Hatton, out of Newlyn, Cornwall, in 70 metres of water 9.7 miles east of Wolf Rock off the south-west coast of Cornwall. It is only the second specimen of this tropical fish caught in the seas around Britain. The previous fish was also caught off Cornwall. 
    It was described by Robin Turner (Newlyn) as about 30 cm (1 foot) long with large scales and a colour olive green flecked with brown, small ventral mouth, two large spikes pointing down its back and two bony protrusions from its jowls. The pectoral (side) fins were very large. 
    It is not actually a gurnard although it looks very similar: it belongs to the Order Dactylopteriformes, family Dactylopteridae (gurnards are Scorpaeniformes, family Triglidae).

    A bright orange starfish, Echinaster sepositus, was caught in a bottom gill net  near the south-west corner of Guernsey in over 30 metres of water. The fisherman, Ken Robilliard, who caught it and has fished for 25 years says he had never seen this species before. Previous Report
    BMLSS Starfish

    c. 11 September 2002
    A Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, was found near Leenane (the entrance is Killary harbour), in south County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland. This is the first record of this Arctic seal for Ireland. 

    The seal recuperated for two months in the Killarny Salmon Farm before being liberated into its natural Arctic seas courtesy of the Irish Navy who collected the Bearded Seal on 6 November 2002.
    Full Report

    11 September 2002
    Between the 4 September and 10 September, 209 dead Common Seals, Phoca vitulina, were reported around the UK bringing the total to 1005 since the beginning of the Phocine Distemper Virus outbreak. 890 of these were from around the coast of England, predominantly from the Norfolk coast with smaller numbers reported from Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Northumbria and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

    Report 5 by the Sea Mammal Research Unit
    Sea Mammal Research Unit Homepage
    Phocine Distemper Virus among European Seals 2002

    10 September 2002
    About six miles out of Whitby, Yorkshire, we had two sightings of Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, which I believe were two separate individuals. However on the way back, again NNE from port and six miles out between about 17.00 and 17.30, we saw at least five Minke Whales with four in view at one time. We also saw at least twenty small pods of Harbour Porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, with two to five individuals a pod.

    6-8 September 2002
    6th Annual EEA (European Elasmobranch Association) meeting
    Shark Trust

    Full Diary Events (Link)

    1 September 2002
    11:50 am Radio 5
    Brevity on the Giant Squid including information on the exhibition at the National Aquarium, Plymouth


    28 August 2002
    Helen Selvey of Polzeath Voluntary Marine Wildlife Area, has found those small 'green-eyed monsters' for which Paul Gainey has been seeking as he would like to photograph them. When she placed a large freshly-dead Root-mouth JellyfishRhizostoma octopus in a vessel of seawater, from under it swam a few dozen specimens of a small 12 mm amphipod crustacean called Hyperia galba. They are always associated with one or other of the species of jellyfish, living under the shelter of the umbrella (often within the gonad cavities)  where they are sought by some species of fish. There are only three records on the species database for Cornwall, the latest being 1928 with a 'Plymouth area' record for 1953.  Of course not many people would look for them, but the influx of jellyfish represents a good opportunity - so please 'phone me on 01209 712069 if you find any and can keep them alive in a container in a cool place. 
    BMLSS Jellyfish
    BMLSS Crustacea

    28 August 2002
    La Société Guernesiaise Cetacean Section Report
    As many as 20 Long-finned Pilot Whales, Globicephala melas, are reported by Channel Television's Nicky Bougourd and team off Fermain, on Guernsey's south-east coast.  The animals which included juveniles were observed between 9:30 am and 10:30 am following a tip-off from Deputy Harbour Master Tony Pattimore who had spotted them on the Search and Rescue CCTV.  The result was some stunning film of these magnificent creatures, which are believed to be possibly on migration as they are normally seen in July, August or September.  However sightings are confined to 2-3 per annum and this one was exceptional due to the number of animals observed.  Nicky Bougourd saw 12 animals, around 6 metres in length.  Some of them were smaller juveniles. The pilot whales rested motionless at times, and then dived down for periods. They were not feeding according to the crew.  Their usual diet is cephalopods, including squids.
    Reporters:  Nicky Bougourd CTV, Ellen Wood, Tony Rive and Tony Pattimore.
    Original report and excellent footage shown on "Channel Television" BBC Southwest.

    Extended Report
    La Société Guernesiaise Sightings Web Pages
    BMLSS Cetacea
Sea HorseLate August 2002
Three specimens of the Short-snouted Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, were discovered about 95 miles east of the Solent in the English Channel. They were picked up during DEFRA sponsored fish habitat studies by the University of Wales Bangor research vessel Prince Madog. Each came up in separate gear deployments, though at a single sampling station. On UWTV the benthic biotope where they came from was seen to be sand with a dense bed of tube worms, Lanice conchilega. All three seahorses were "pregnant" males.
Report by Ivor Rees

22 August 2002
Up to five Minke Whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, are seen between Mallaig and the Isle of Eigg (west Scotland) and one adult whale was breaching one mile off the Isle or Rum. This Minke was reported twisting during at least one of the twenty breaches, leaving the water completely at times. A breaching Minke Whale was seen in subsequent days north west of  the Garvellachs near Oban.

Report by John Poyner via UK Cetnet
BMLSS Cetaceans

13 August 2002
Tests on dead Common Seals, Phoca vitulina, found on carcasses from the coast of Lincolnshire and Norfolk have confirmed they died from the Phocine Distemper Virus.
News Story (Independent)

7 August 2002
An invasion of tiny (12-15 mm) jellyfish has killed about 900 thousand Salmon at fish farms in Loch Erisort on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The offending deadly organism travelling like large clouds through the sea have been identified as the narcomedusan Solmaris corona, and also identified three other hydromedusans that were abundant in the blooms as Phialidium, Leuckartiara octona and Catablema vesicarium

27 - 28 July 2002
National Whale and Dolphin Watch Weekend
Click here for full details of the National Whale and Dolphin Watching Weekend and how you can get involved.

The Sea Watch Foundation are inviting you to take part in the UK's first ever National Whale and Dolphin Watch Weekend, aimed at providing a snapshot picture of the numbers and variety of whales, dolphins and porpoises to be seen around the British Isles.

Photograph by Nicolas Jouault

New born Bottle-nosed Dolphin with adult, 19 May 2001, swimming against flood tide, and shallow water
Photograph by Nicolas Jouault, Jersey

A little over 200 sites were manned around the British Isles including Northern Ireland, from Hermaness in Shetland down to Jersey in the Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly in Cornwall. Around one thousand people participated, with groups of as many as 20-30 
attending some sites. Systematic watches were carried out from the land-based sites whilst others went to see on a variety of vessels from yachts to oil rig supply vessels and ferries. The prime aim was simply to raise public awareness of whales and dolphins around the British Isles, although we also hoped it would provide a useful 'snapshot' of the coastal distribution of different species in late July.

Report on "Marine Mammals of the English Channel Smart Group
UK Dolphin Watch Image Portfolio, July 2002

9 July 2002
The miniature sea anemones discovered in Widewater Lagoon, Lancing, were identified as dwarf specimens of the distinctive Haliplanella lineata with orange stripes which are not found on other British sea anemones. The anemone photographed was only 2 mm in height and 3 mm in diameter and this was typical of the dozen anemones discovered in two locations each side of the bridge.

Report by Dan Metcalfe (University of Brighton)
Click Photograph by Roy Dale to enlarge the view26 June 2002
A jellyfish was discovered alive in a rockpool on Worm's Head, the "wurm"-shaped rock island connected at low tide by a causeway to the western end of the Gower peninsular at the southern end of Rhossili Bay in south Wales. The jellyfish has been identified as the Blue Jellyfish, Cyanea lamarckii. Inverted the jellyfish was white underneath. It quickly righted itself.
Link to a higher resolution image

Amongst the mixed rocks, another much larger jellyfish was also washed up dead.
Link to a higher resolution image

Report by Roy Dale via UK Wildlife
BMLSS Jellyfish
BMLSS Cnidaria
Cnidarian Mailing List

22 June 2002
The Phocine Distemper Virus has been identified as the cause of a new increased total of 461 Common Seals, Phoca vitulina, carcasses tested in Denmark, with a further 150 in Sweden and dead seals also recovered on the shores of the Netherlands. 
First Report for 2002
Ananova News Report

Any dead seals should be reported to the marine mammals stranding telephone line
maintained by the Natural History Museum on 0207 942 5155 (24 hr answerphone).

20 June 2002
Cuvier's Beaked Whale, Ziphius cavirostris, was stranded alive on the south end of the beach at Ostend, Happisburgh, Norfolk, UK. A rescue attempt was made yesterday evening by the Norfolk coastguard and RSPCA, but sadly the whale beached and died overnight.

BMLSS Cetacea

15 June 2002
An extremely unusual record of a live stranding of a female Atlantic White-sided Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus acutus, on the sandy beach outside of Newhaven harbour, East Sussex occurred in the early evening. The tail muscle was in such poor condition that the Natural History Museum experts on site decided on euthanasia. They were also able to confirm the identity of this deep water northern species that is a rare discovery in the English Channel.

Report by Greg Brinkley via UK Cetnet
Bionomics of the Atlantic White-sided Dolphin in the NE Atlantic (Link)
Link for CD-ROM only

12 June 2002
A crab fisherman found a specimen of the pelagic crab called the 'Sargassum' or 'Gulf Weed Crab,' Planes minutus on a float, which was covered in barnacles. The float was found in the Big Russel between Herm and Sark to the east of Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Report from 2001 (Link) on the Belgian coast
BMLSS Crustacea

American Lobster (Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee photographs)June 2002
An American Lobster, Homarus americanus, was discovered captured by a fishing vessel on a boat out of Selsey, West Sussex. A few specimens have been caught before in the approaches to Southampton Water.

Report by Robert Clark (Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee)
BMLSS  American Lobsters

10 June 2002
The bodies of more than 310 Common Seals, Phoca vitulina, have been washed up on the Danish and Swedish coasts, raising fears of an epidemic of the highly contagious and usually fatal Phocine Distemper Virus. The origin of the the outbreak on the Kattegat and Skagerrak coast of Denmark and south Sweden prior to the breeding season is the same place as the 1988 epidemic which quickly spread to the east coast of England and killed about 2000 seals in the Wash (60% of the population). 

The virus causes pregnant seals to abort their pups, pneumonia and nervous system abnormalities including convulsions.

Any dead seals should be reported to the marine mammals stranding telephone line
maintained by the Natural History Museum on 0207 942 5155 (24 hr answerphone).

BBC Norfolk Report
BBC National News Report

8 June 2002

Artificial Life-sized Bottle-nosed Dolphin at Adur World Oceans DayWorld Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Events will occur all around the world on and around this day.

World Oceans Day offers the opportunity for people in many parts of Britain and around the world to increase their understanding of the marine environment and wildlife of the oceans.

World Oceans Day Events page

7 June 2002
A rarely discovered Sowerby's Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon bidens, was washed up dead on Praa Sands, Mount's Bay, Cornwall. Nick Tregenza and David Ball identified it as Sowerby's Beaked Whale, an adult female, about 4 metres in length.
The freshly dead mammal was hauled with some difficulty above the high tide to enable the Natural History Museum to take samples which will become part of the scientific collection. This only the fourth record of this whale from Cornwall.

3 June 2002
The Dutch water-police spotted a Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon of about 15 metres in the Westerschelde. The animal was swimming the wrong way and surfaced in the "Buitenhaven" and later the "Sloehaven" of Vlissingen.
Thanks to a combined rescue operation of the EHBZ-team Zeeland and the EHBZ-team Belgium the animal was guided trough the fairway to deeper waters. About midnight the Sperm Whale was spotted close to Zeebrugge (Belgium).
Source and Map (Zeehondencreche [Netherlands Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre] Pieterburen)

Report by Dr. Reindert Nijland (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
Further Notes

1 June 2002
Adur WORLD OCEANS DAY Exhibition at Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea.

Seashore Aquarium at Adur World Oceans Day 2002

Adur was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition celebrating the official World Oceans Day. The event took place on Saturday 1 June 2002 in Shoreham-by-Sea, on Coronation Green (TQ 216 050), adjacent to the footbridge over the River Adur, with the start of the Adur Festival.


Adur World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio 2002 (by Ray Hamblett)
Adur World Oceans Day 2002   Programme of Events

Adur World Oceans Day 2001 Report
Adur World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio
World Oceans Day Smart Group

27 May 2002
"Millions" of Velella velella, the By-the-Wind Sailorwere discovered by Nick Darke on Porthcothan Beach, Cornwall. They are freshly dead, the float having the animals or at least fragments of the soft tissue, still present. They are probably all along the north coast, especially at Perranporth, so I will be interested to have an idea of the maximum density per sq. metre. The last really big incursion was in June/July 1981 when Rennie Bere counted 150 to 200 per sq. metre, as they came in on the tide (i.e. not heaped up in catchment areas) and he estimated 100,000 for the stretch of shore at Bude.

Velella (Photograph by Steve Trewhella)Many By-the Wind Sailor were also discovered washed up further east on the shore at Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset. 
Report by Peter Tinsley (Dorset Wildlife Trust)
On 30 May 2002 thousands of Velella velella were also washed up along the tide line on the beach at Nicholston Burrows on the Gower peninsular, South Wales.
Report by Helen James
On 2 June 2002 I have had two reports of hundreds of Velella velella being washed up on the South of the Isle of Man, one report from Scarlett Point and another at Chapel Bay, Port St. Mary.
Report by Mike Bates (Port Erin Marine Lab.)
More Reports

9 May 2002
With the swarms of jellyfish it is does not come as a surprise that a predatory Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, was seen by Ian and Joy Olford 50 metres from the shore off Polruan, Cornwall (SX 125 511). The jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus was seen nearby and jellyfish are the principal diet of these turtles.

Reports from Stella Turk on the Cornish Mailing List
BMLSS Turtles
The Marine Conservation Society have produced a laminated Turtle Advice Sheet (endorsed by DEFRA). The guide contains reports numbers and advice.
Turtle Report Numbers

Rhizostoma Jellyfish washed at Beer, Devon on 7 May 2002 (Photograph by Ceri Jones)7-9 May 2002
Whilst on Colin Speedie's Basking Shark survey last week we were almost continually among the jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus (from Lands End to Fowey, Cornwall), some areas had particularly dense aggregations of them.

Report by Gavin Black
Huge numbers of Rhizostoma octopus were seen between Falmouth and the Lizard, Cornwall.
Report by Peter Tinsley
Many more Rhizostoma Reports
BMLSS Cnidaria

25 April 2002
Angler Gareth Laurenson landed a huge two metre long Ling, Molva molva, while fishing 40 miles off Muckle Flugga, Shetland, It weighed 40.1 kg (88 lb 6 oz) and was a new world angling record. It was caught outside of the UK territorial waters.
12 April 2002
A Sleepy Crab, Dromia personata, was brought in by a Mevagissey (south Cornwall) inshore fisherman caught in shallow water. This was the first time this crab had been seen by the fisherman of 16 years experience. It is a rather distinctive crab the shape and size of a tennis ball and the light brown crab is covered in hairs which gives it a velvety appearance. As befits its common name it is not very active in the Mevagissey Harbour Aquarium. One of its distinguishing characters that enabled me (Andy Horton) to make the identification from a verbal description are the claws on each of the legs. This crab is rare throughout its range in British seas, found in the English Channel and as far north as Cardigan Bay on the west coast.
Mevagissey Aquarium is a Grade I Listed building and its tanks are renewed with fresh seawater twice daily which makes it an ideal environment for keeping crabs and other large crustaceans which appreciate regular water changes of this frequency. Mevagissey Aquarium houses the Comber, Serranus cabrilla, caught in June 1996, and an attractive Boar Fish, Capros aper

Report by Chris Gilbertson (Mevagissey Harbour Aquarium)
More Information on the Sponge Crab
Marlin Information Page

1 April 2002
An unusual discovery over Easter was three Snapping PrawnsAlpheus macrocheles, under boulders in Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset.  These are listed as very scarce in Hayward and Ryland, though I suspect "rarely seen" would be a better description.  They were about 30 mm long, a lovely yellowy-orange colour and two were berried.

Discovery and report by Peter Tinsley
Previous Report

30 March 2002
The small patch of loose tunicate-covered flint rocks with small bits of chalk at Lancing beach, Sussex, proved unusually rich in small rockpool life at the very low tide (TQ 018 034). The discoveries included a Pimplet Anemone, Anthopleura ballii, another anemone species that has never been recorded this far east before.

23 - 24 March 2002
A pod of between 30 and 40 Pilot Whales, Globicephala melas, became stranded, or nearly stranded, at near Camp in North in Tralee Bay, County Kerry, Ireland, and were prevented from beaching and helped back out to sea. 18 of these whales (actually dolphins with a bottle-shaped head) perished, but many were coaxed back into the sea on the first day. On the following day, 10 to 12 whales were spotted the shallow water of Fenit Harbour, but they did not become beached and the Fenit lifeboatmen were able to escort them back into deeper water. 

Information from Paul Peachey (Independent Newspaper)
One of the female whales gave birth as the lifeboatmen preventing it from beaching. 
Additional information from Derek Day
In the authentic report, the calf was bodily lifted by a farmer and put back into the sea.
Information completed by Dave Wall (Irish Whale & Dolphin Group) via UK Cetnet
Full Reports
BMLSS Cetaceans

c. 18 March 2002
A badly composed whale is washed up on Saligo Bay (NR 209 672) on the west coast of Islay, Argyll, the outermost island of the Inner Hebrides. The whale has been identified (needs to be confirmed) as Cuvier's Beaked Whale, Ziphius cavirostris, which is a deep water whale rarely seen alive and rarely washed up on the most westernmost shores of Britain and Ireland. 

BMLSS Cetaceans
News: Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Co. Sligo, Ireland 2000)

c. 14 March 2002
After a sustained period of north-easterly gales, there was a massive stranding of marine animals and weed on the Yorkshire shore (north-east England) between Fraisethorpe and Barmston (East Yorks: Holderness). The most noticeable of the animals washed up were hundreds of thousands of starfish mostly of the Common Starfish, Asteria rubens, but other species were present. The list of interesting animals washed up included decapod crustaceans with Lobsters that were still alive, crabs etc., a wide variety of fish, sea anemones, polychaete worms, molluscs including octopuses, porpoises, seals and tonnes of seaweed. This is the largest stranding recording on these web pages. 

Report by N V Proctor (University of Hull)
Full List of Species
BMLSS Echinoderms
Strandline & Beachcombing Page

18 February 2002
A massive stranding of between 120 and 150 Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, occurred on the beach at Pleubian on the Côtes d'Armor, Bretagne (Britanny), on the English Channel (le Manche) coast of northern France.  This stranding occurred at 3:00 pm just before the low spring tide.

According to people who witnessed the event this sandy shore, the first dolphin beached itself followed by its congeners. This prompted an attempted rescue by the Fire Brigade, the Police and the public who were able to come to the aid of about 20 of the unfortunate dolphins and actually lift them up and put them back into the water.  Unfortunately despite strenuous efforts 48 dolphins perished, but about 90 survived.
The reason for the stranding is not known but the topography of the bay and the large tidal range were probably contributory.

Stranded Dolphin Identification Notes
Report Numbers for Stranded Cetaceans
Mass Stranding Exercises in Scotland
British Divers Marine Life Rescue
Zoonosis (Marine Mammals)

Photograph by Tony (Ecological Planning and Research, Winchester)

9 February 2002
After a week of gales, the Mantis Shrimp illustrated  was discovered on the tideline at Calshot Spit, Hampshire. It is probably Rissoides desmaresti.

BMLSS Mantis Shrimp Page
Crustacean Image Portfolio 
(Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group - members only)

Photograph by Kelvin Jones

Ivory Gull investigating a dead Harbour Porpoise as a food source
on Blackrock Sounds, northern Cardigan Bay, north Wales
Photograph by Kelvin Jones


The Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum commences. 


Shetland Wildlife
News & Information on the Wildlife of Shetland

Cornish Wildlife
Vince Smith's Cornish Mailing List
Send a message to the list at:

Seaquest SW (Cornwall Wildlife Trust web pages)

Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2002 (by Ray Dennis)

British Marine Life Study Society
News 2001
News 2000
News 1999

Use these links if your are familiar with the scientific classifications of marine life

The BMLSS (England) site commenced on 1 January 1997.

Shoreham-by-Sea Homepage Link

Andy Horton, Webmaster

Copyright 2002 © British Marine Life Study Society


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