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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Spring 2009

BMLSS (England) Index
BMLSS (Facebook)
Link to Marine Life News 2008

Norwegian Marine***
to Other Sites
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Yahoo Group
British Marine Wildlife
Group Photo Pool
Encyclopedia of Marine Life 
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 2008

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: 

SUMMER 2009 Link to the News Reports, October to December 2009



Understanding and celebrating our marine environment

Saturday 6 June 2009
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex
as part of the Adur Festival


Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the eleventh environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea.

Adur World Oceans Day took place in the marquee on Coronation Green on 6th June 2009 on the opening Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell was there with the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The innovative aquarium displays of seashore life, strandline exhibits and photographs will again be in on show. Experts will be on hand to answer your queries about life in the oceans and on the seashore. 

I think World Oceans Day this is best described by the Nobel prize winning author John Steinbeck when writing about Ed 'Doc' Ricketts of Cannery Row fame in which he wrote 'commercial fishermen harvest the sea to feed men's bodies and a marine biologist harvests the sea to feed men's minds'
Quote by Andy Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)

The Friends of Shoreham Beach played an important part with their own displays and information about the Nature Reserve and plants of the shingle beach. 

Len Nevell: Lobster's Meal Time

Adur World Oceans Day is run by a committee comprising representatives of the British Marine Life Study Society, West Sussex County Council, the Sea Watch Foundation, Friends of Shoreham Beach and other groups, with support from Adur District Council.

World Oceans Day was declared at the Earth Summit in 1992.

World Oceans Day UK Web Page

Sussex Marine Jottings Report and Images



25 June 2009
A metre long Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, jumped 30 cm clear of the sea in the vicinity of a fishing boat seven miles off Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, in the early afternoon on a sunny day. It was speculated that this tunny (which is now rare in British seas) followed the large shoals of fish in, which in turn attracted the fishing vessel. "As it left the water I was able to catch sight of its gleaming multi-coloured sides of the the torpedo-shaped fish and the small pre-caudal triangular finlets appeared dark blue. Its weight was estimated to be about 12 kg."

Report by Mark Griffiths
BMLSS Tunnies
Adur Wildlife News (June 2009)

16 June 2009
Six-gill Shark (Photograph by Leroy) Photograph by Leroy Kulczynski

A rod caught Blunt-nosed Six-gilled Shark, Hexanchus griseus, was caught about three miles off Loop Head and landed on board the Clare Dragoon out of Carrigaholt, County Clare, south-west Ireland. The fish which weighed in at 480 kg, (1056 lb), beats the existing European angling record which stands at 466 kg and was landed in the Azores. 

First Report and Photographs by Leroy Kulczynski
Report by David Proudfoot on Planet Sea Fishing Catch Report

Photograph by Leroy KulczynskiThe Six-gilled Shark is an active shark found in seas of  between 200 to 1000 metres deep. These depths occur only off the Continental Shelf to the south and west of the British Isles. Between 1960 and 1984, at least 31 specimens have been recorded off west Scotland, south-west Ireland, the Faeroe Bank, and west of Ireland down to 964 metres. The majority of reports are from the main fishing areas along the shallower slope on both sides of the Rockall Trough, which is the 1000 metre deep trench that runs between the Rockall Bank and the Irish coast. This very deep trough extends from Iceland down to the Bay of Biscay. 

Comments by Len Nevell (BMLSS)

BMLSS Six-gill Sharks Page 1
BMLSS Six-gill Sharks Page 2
BMLSS Shark News

14 June 2009

A large Tope, Galeorhinus galeus, with a measured length of 175 cm was captured on rod and line from his own boat while fishing in Wigtown Bay, south west Scotland by Russell Roberts (in the photograph). The weight of this shark is estimated at 36 kg. 

BMLSS Tope Page 1
BMLSS Tope Page 2
UK Shark Tagging Programme
BMLSS Sharks & Rays
Large Tope from Sussex 1997

12 June 2009
A most unusual capture of a 120 cm long (Mediterranean) Moray Eel, Muraena helena, weighing about 11 kg, was caught by West Penwith fishermen on their "Trevessa"  beam trawler just 60 miles off Newlyn Harbour, Cornwall. This is the first one this century and only ten are on record of this temperate-tropical fish being caught in UK seas, the previous ones being caught in the 1990s. They are a North East Atlantic fish being found from Senegal to the English Channel (and also in the Mediterranean). 

Mail Online Report & Photograph
Previous Report 2004 from Ireland
Earlier March 1999 Report from Newlyn Fish Market
Earlier Report from Herm, Channel Islands 1996

6 June 2009
A large Stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, was caught in an angling competition by Gordon Pressey off the western Isle of Wight and the imperial weight was 49 lb 5 oz (22.4 kg). 

Isle of Wight County Press Report
Previous Large Stingray 2008
BMLSS Shark News

5 June 2009 
Commercial fisherman Rick Ferbrache caught a Common Octopus, Octopus vulgaris, one mile off the Rousse headland, off the north-west coast of Guernsey. 

All reports of Octopus vulgaris in Channel Island waters are of interest because of their virtual disappearance after the cold winter of 1962/ 1963
Report & Comments by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography
BMLSS Octopuses

24-25 May 2009
There were some By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella,  washed up this weekend at Hell's Mouth, Llyn Peninsula, Wales. They were probably more like 30 mm in diameter.

20 May 2009
A wreck of several thousand By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, were spotted amongst the Devonshire rock pools due south of Newton Ferrers on the River Yealm estuary near Plymouth. They varied in size from very small, 4 - 5 mm, up to  70 - 80 mm all laid out in rows up the beach, graded in size by the wind, tide and topography, largest on the bottom.

Further reports have arrived from Cornish beaches including Praa Sands, Par Beach near St. Austell, and Kynance Cove.

Reports from the Cornish Mailing List
Full Report
BMLSS Velella

18 May 2009
A large wreck of millions of By-the-Wind Sailors, Velella velella, started getting washed ashore and extended, at least several miles east from Penzance, south Cornwall. 
Velella Wreck (Photogrpah by Paul Semmens)

The specimens are very small, only a few millimetres in length. More Velella arrived on each tide

Report and Photographs by Paul Semmens

> 16 May 2009
Billions of krill-like pelagic Hyperiid Amphipods (small crustaceans) were washed up on the strandline at Redcar and Saltburn in north-east England (North Yorkshire). The local people reported that the strandings of amphipods have occurred for several weeks prior to this report.

Amphipods (Photograph by Peter Tinsley)

A previous mass stranding of amphipods occurred on the North Sea coast in 1966.

Thousands more were discovered washed up at Whitby in North Yorkshire.

Report by Chris Whitehead
More Images
BMLSS Beachcombing

13 May 2009
About 50 specimens of the Bluefire Jellyfish, Cyanea lamarcki, were washed up on Havelet beach, on the south side of St. Peter Port, on the east coast of Guernsey and recorded at 5.19 pm.

Cyanea lamarcki  (Photograph by Richard Lord)

The jellyfish in the image measures about 30 cm across but most were much smaller.

12 May 2009
A large native European Oyster, Ostrea edulis, weighing 1.36 kg,  width 180 mm, length 170 mm and depth 70 mm  was spotted on Plymouth fish market in a box of mixed fish bought by merchant, Peter Randall of Mevagissey, and is now in the Mevagissey Aquarium.

2007 Previous Report of a large Oyster
BMLSS Oyster & Slipper Limpet
BMLSS Molluscs

On my way home from work I was amazed to spot a Grey Seal, Halichoerus grypus, in the heart of Glasgow City Centre on the River Clyde. The seal surfaced seven times in 45 minutes between the Albert Bridge and the nearby tidal weir at Glasgow Green. The seal, which was at least two metres long, appeared stranded and disorientated. It did not stray from a very small stretch of the river for the whole time I observed it.


30 April 2009
ASaupe (or Salema), Sarpa salpa, was caught by the Looe trawler Guiding Light II, skipper Andy Giles about six miles south of the Eddystone reef (i.e. about 16 miles south of Plymouth). The specimen was 370 mm long, the body plump but elongated with ten longitudinal yellow stripes. This Sea Bream (Sparidae) has only been recorded once before in British seas at St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands (on Zostera beds at a spring tide) in 1983

List of NE Atlantic Sparidae

26 April 2009
Recreational angler Troy Waterman discovered the first British record of the alien Asian Shore Crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, on the north-west coast of Guernsey in the Channel Isands. Dr. Paul Chambers found the same species a week later on the shore of the neighbouring island of Jersey. 

The Asian Shore Crab has a square-shaped shell with three spines on each side of the carapace. Hemigrapsus sanguineus is indigenous to the western Pacific Ocean from Russia, along the Korean and Chinese coasts to Hong Kong, and the Japanese archipelago.  This species is an opportunistic omnivore, feeding on macroalgae, salt marsh grass, larval and juvenile fish, and small invertebrates such as amphipods, molluscs, Barnacles, and polychaete worms. It is highly reproductive with a breeding season from May to September. This versatile crab inhabits any shallow hard-bottom intertidal or sometimes subtidal habitats. This speices has the potential to become an established competitor with native crabs. 

10 April 2009
Guernsey commercial fisherman 'Chancre' Downes landed a Boarfish (or Zulu Fish), Capros aper, while trawling for sand eels on Great Bank outside St. Peter Port harbour. The fish had a total weight of 38 grams and a total length of 13.2 cm. and was brought to the Guernsey Aquarium. David Miller called me to identify it.

Capros aper:  Photograph  by Richard Lord (Guernsey)

This is only the second Boarfish I have seen from Guernsey waters. The first one I saw was landed by Guernsey commercial fisherman Shane Petit on 23 February 2002.

Boarfish are common in deep water of the western English Channel but rarely strays east up the Channel. The fish's large eye and the orange/ red colour is well suited to deep water as the longer wave length of red light is absorbed by water before the blue and greens (which are reflected) and therefore red coloured marine species appear dark or black at depth. The Boarfish, like the John Dory, has a protrusible (telescopic) mouth, which is used for catching small species.

Report, Photograph & Comments by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
Sealord Photography

BMLSS Boar Fish

British Marine Life News 2008


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


The Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum



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