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

For optimum viewing read in 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768 using medium fonts on Microsoft Internet Explorer (best) or  Mozilla

Autumn 2009

BMLSS (England) Index
BMLSS (Facebook)

Norwegian Marine***
to Other Sites
(Click on Text)
Yahoo Group
British Marine Wildlife
Group Photo Pool
World Register of Marine Species
Articles in other Journals. Publications

Monthly Marine News Bulletin
 Cetacean List (NE Atlantic)
CEFAS Marine Monitoring

Snail Mail
Link to Ray Dennis's Cornish Marine Life Reports for 2009

World Oceans Day 
BBC Buoy Table (Sea Temperatures, Wave Heights etc.)
Magic Map now has a Coastal and Marine Resource Atlas


01825  765546 


 0207 942 5155 


For more reports click on the seasonal buttons below:

Link to the News Reports, October to December 2008




Link to the News Reports for Winter 2010

> 24 December 2009
Strong south-westerly winds have blown many organisms on to Dorset beaches including the unusual pelagic Striped Goose Barnacle, Conchoderma virgatum, and at Ringstead Bay, near Weymouth a tiny Columbus Crab, Planes minutus, was discovered. 

BMLSS Strandline Reports
BMLSS Barnacles

15 December 2009
A large European Lobster, Homarus gammarus  (= H. vulgaris), was captured by Simon Sharp off Devon and was under a metre long (total length) at 0.96 metres. The sluggish crustacean was returned to the sea unweighed. 

BMLSS Lobsters

December 2009
The very first positive record of a Greater Amberjack, Seriola dumerili, for the seas around the island of Guernsey was caught by commercial fisherman Steve Fallaize off Rousse, off the north-west coast of the Channel Island. It weighed 585 grams.

Greater Amberjack
Photograph by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography

Only twelve of this fish have ever been recorded caught around the British Isles dating from the first one caught off Salcombe in Devon in 1951. It can be mistaken for the rarely caught Guinean Amberjack, Seriola carpenteri. (This species was only described in 1971.) The differences between the Greater Amberjack and the Guinean Amberjack are minor. They differ in gill raker count and ratio of second dorsal fin lobe height to fork length ratio. The Almaco Jack, Seriola rivoliana, is another scarce Amberjack that is caught in seas around the British Isles. 

Full Report
BMLSS Amberjacks

An exceptional mass stranding of millions (a galaxy) of Common Starfish, Asterias rubens, stretched in a broad band for over a quarter of a mile on Holkham Beach on the north coast of Norfolk. 

Their usual residence would be feeding on the mussel beds offshore. From a previous occurrence underneath the chalk cliffs east of Brighton Marina, Sussex, it is my surmise that the mass migration occurs because the Common Starfish have exceeded their food supply offshore. Perhaps, this occurs because of commercial dredging of the mussels. In this case the stranding could have been exacerbated by north-easterly gales.

Comments by Andy Horton
Echinoderm-L Discussion List

5 December 2009
A Common Octopus, Octopus vulgaris, was washed up dead on Salthouse Beach, North Norfolk after a week of strong northerly winds and quite rough seas, resulting in a variety of finds along the shoreline. The octopus was found by local diver Rowley Nurse whilst walking his dog along the shore. 

Norfolk Seaquest
BMLSS Octopuses

A Mantis Shrimp, Rissoides desmaresti, was found in the stomach of a Pouting caught two miles east of the Isle of Wight. The Mantis Shrimp was a little over just over 10 cm in length. 

Report and Photograph by Martin Lodge
Mantis Shrimps are locally abundant but rarely recorded around the British Isles.

December 2009

A Mantis Shrimp, Rissoides desmaresti, and a Small-headed Clingfish, Apletodon dentatus, were also discovered in the stomach of a Whiting caught off Brighton, Sussex. 
Full Report & Photographs

Vin Lam Photographs on flickr
BMLSS Mantis Shrimps

3 December 2009
A 14 metre long Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalis, was washed dead up on the muddy Hest Bank near Priest Skeer on the Lancashire coast. There was no obvious damage to the carcass which was being moved down the coast by the tides from one dangerous bank to another. 

Lancaster Guardian Images
Images in The Visitor
BMLSS Cetaceans

4 November 2009 - 30 December 2009

Ray's Bream
Photograph by Mike S. Hodgson

Frequent reports of Ray's Bream, Brama brama, being washed ashore on North Sea were received. These strandings occurred in 2008 and earlier years.
List of 2009 Reports
More Reports of Ray's Bream on flickr

November 2009
Six species of barnacles were found in a week of sightings at Chesil Beach, Dorset: 
Buoy Barnacle  Dosima faciculalaria, Scalpellum scalpellum, four species of Stalked Barnacles:Lepas anserifera, Lepas hilli, Lepas pectinata and Lepas anatifera

BMLSS Strandline Reports

c. 17 November 2009
A Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, was beached dead near Cancale (Brittany, France) south of Jersey.

News Report and Photograph
BMLSS Turtles

12 November 2009
A new species for the UK, the Miniature Sea Tulip, Bolteniopsis prenanti, has been found growing on the Isles of Scilly. The sea tulip is a stalked sea squirt that grows to about 15 mm in height. 

12 November 2009
The Marine and Coastal Access Bill received Royal Assent

The Act will create a new marine planning system designed to bring together the conservation, social and economic needs of our seas. A network of Marine Conservation Zones will be created that will protect rare and threatened species and habitats. Four regional projects have started working with local groups and businesses to identify which areas will be designated as Marine Conservation Zones.

DEFRA Press Release
DEFRA: Legislation Page
DEFRA: Key Areas

2 November 2009

Sperm Whale washed ashore at Balmedie
Photograph by James Ross on flickr

30 October 2009
A 40 tonne, 13 metre long Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, was found dead on Balmedie Beach in Aberdeenshire, north-east Scotland. 

Stranding in the Moray Firth 2008
Whales & Dolphins in British Seas
BMLSS Cetaceans

28 October 2009
Commercial crab and lobster fisherman Clive Brown found what looked like a block of wood covered in Goose Barnacles, Lepas anatifera, floating off the south coast of Guernsey. When he retrieved the bulky mass of Goose Barnacles he found they were covering a piece of communication equipment

The image shows the equipment after 20 kg of the Goose Barnacles had been removed. Four Columbus Crabs, Planes minutus, were also discovered. 

Sealord Photography
BMLSS Barnacles
Channel Islands Web Sites

27 October 2009
A fossilised skull of a Pliosaur was discovered on ther crumbling cliffs of Weymouth Bay on the Jurassic Coast at Dorset. It measured 2.4 metres long indicated a predatory sea reptile of a length between 10 and 15 metres. This is twice the length of a Killer Whale, Orca, over four times the size and the greatest predator this planet has ever known. 

Fossil Images Gallery

22 October 2009

About 5:00 pm on the shore of Barry Island beach, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, a chap spotted a fin sticking out of the water and hauled in a dead Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, watched by a swarm of congregating gulls. The last British report was also washed up on Barry Island in July 2008

Report and Photograph by Jim Nettleton

They are often called a Broad-billed Swordfish, but there is only one species in the world. They are found throughout the tropical and temperate waters of the world but appear to prefer sea temperatures of 18°C to 22°C, migrating to cooler waters to feed in the summer. These oceanic fish chase herring and mackerel and are among the fastest fish reaching 90 km.h-1 (56 mph). This is in part due to their being warm-blooded, which allows not only their muscles but also their brain and eyes to work more efficiently.

BMLSS Swordfish
BMLSS Beachcombing

18 October 2009
A recreational angler caught a 26.76 kg  (59 lb exactly) female Stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, in shallow water near Vermerette off the west coast of the island of  Herm, Channel Islands, (about 400 metres from Herm harbour) from a boat. The ray had a total length of 124 cm and a disc width of 76 cm. 

The stomach of the fish contained about 20 well-digested Sandeels and some small shrimps (it is a bottom feeder.) The liver weighed 4859 grams (10.7 lb). This ray would have broken the British record of the fish had been caught from the shore. 

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

4 October 2009
The Northern Bottle-nosed Whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus, that has been trapped in Loch Eil near Fort William, south-western Scotland, was finally coaxed out of the narrow sea-loch trap, through the Corpach Narrows and into more open water and a better chance of making it out to the open sea and food. As the light faded towards the end of the afternoon the whale dived and was not seen again, swimming only a few miles from the open sea.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue Report
Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society Report & Image
BBC News Report

Whales and Dolphins in British Seas (by Steve Savage)
BMLSS Cetacea News Index

A Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, was captured in trawl nets in the River Forth at Alloa, eastern Scotland, by fisherman Brian Hynd. The three metre long Swordfish had a sword of a metre in length. 

Report in the Alloa Advertiser
BMLSS Swordfish


British Marine Life News 2008

Cornish Marine Life 2008 (Ray Dennis Records)
BMLSS Oil Disasters page


The Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum



Nature Notes Webring

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 2009   © British Marine Life Study Society

British Marine Life Study Society Home Page
Main Links
Membership Form
News 2008
News 2012
News 2015

Boar Fish, Capros aperBoar Fish