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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Summer 2010

BMLSS (England) Index
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Norwegian Marine***
to Other Sites
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Fish & Sharks of the 
NE Atlantic
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Monthly Marine News Bulletin
Link to Sealordphotography
 Cetacean List (NE Atlantic)
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Link to the Aphoto pages

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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


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 0207 942 5155 


For more reports click on the seasonal buttons below:

Winter 2010 News
Spring 2010 News
Link to the News Reports, October to December 2010



October 2010
Free lectures: Seas for Life 
‘Seas for Life’: Our oceans, their future and their biodiversity
Birkbeck Institute of Environment, University of London in conjunction with the Ecology and Conservation Studies Society.

Details of the Lecture Programme (Link)


Late September 2010
The alien (Mediterranean) red seaweed  Feldmannophycus ocmuriae (or Caulacanthus ustulatus) was discovered at Pen-y-Holt, south Pembrokeshire. We have found it at West Angle Bay and at South Hook Point.


21 September 2010
An Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea, was ringed as a chick on the Farne Islands on 28 June 1980, making it at least 30 years, two months and 23 days old.

Summer 2010
Atlantic Bonito, Sarda sarda, seem to be unusually a common around the south-west of England with reports probable sightings of small groups of small tuna by anglers and fishermen off the South Cornwall coast from June onwards, reports of single fish being landed at Brixham and Newlyn, and two at Clovelly.

On 29 August 2010, the two fish in the photograph were landed at Plymouth.

BMLSS Scombridae

1 September 2010
An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter Scale was recorded in the North Sea

27 August 2010 >
Sunfish, Mola mola, Reports (Link)

23 August 2010
A colourful and scarce discovery of a Streaked Gurnard, Trigloporus lastoviza, was captured on video in Falmouth Bay, south Cornwall. 

Report by David Roberts via Rory Goodall (Elemental Tours)

Video on Kennack Diving (Facebook)
Kennack Diving
This is Cornwall Report

Streaked Gurnard
Photograph by Des Glover

The Streaked Gurnard is an unusual discovery in British seas, a rare fish north of the English Channel and usually found at depths in excess of 40 metres in warmer southerly waters including throughout the Mediterranean Sea. It is easily mistaken for the Tub Gurnard, Chelidonichthys lucerna, which can also have a distinct blue fringe to its pectoral fins. The identity of this fish has been confirmed by experts. 
This is a comparison Tub Gurnard caught on road and line just off Loe Beach, Feock in the south Cornish Carrick Roads entrance to the Fal estuary (=ria). 
Report and Photograph 
by Mike Peters

23 August 2010 >
Mackerel (NE Atlantic) dispute on facebook (BMLSS Page) (Notes and Links)

12 August 2010
A two metre long Shadefish (a Drumfish), Argyrosomus regius, was netted off Portland Bill, Dorset, and landed at Brixham, Devon. This migratory Mediterranean* fish is a rare capture in British seas with only two previous BMLSS records of complete fish in 1998 and 2008. The book name Meagre or Maigre was a transcription mistake in an old book and I have discontinued its vernacular use. The capture was of an adult fish weighing 25 kg. This large fish is identified by its yellow mouth. It preys on other fishes including Grey Mullet. (*It is also found off the Atlantic coast of Portugal.)

BMLSS Shadefish

31 July - 16 August 2010
An adult Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was washed ashore off the coast at St Ives, Cornwall. The heartbreaking addition to the story was a six metre long juvenile Humpback Whale had been seen at nearby Godrevy (on the opposite side of St Ives Bay) attracted to a buoy as though it was his mother. The baby whale slowly starved to death over a period of two weeks. 

8 August 2010

The carcass of a baby cetacean was washed up on the shore at South Heacham Beach, (west facing shore of the Wash) Norfolk . It was about a metre long and the skull about 23 cm. It is most likely to be a baby Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena.

Report and Photographs by John Wiltshire

Whales & Dophins in British Seas (by Steve Savage)

7 August 2010
There was a Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, breaching off Porthgwarra, (near Land's End) Cornwall, at around 4:00 pm. It was about 3 or 4 kilometres offshore, but easily visible through binoculars. I have seen many Minke Whales over the years but never breaching like this one. It seemed to hang vertically completely clear of the water then crash down with a huge splash. I even lost count how many times it did this. 

BMLSS Cetacea

School Holidays
Beware of the Weever!

30 July 2010
The now extremely rare Angel Shark (or Monkfish), Squatina squatina, was accidentally caught off Porthcawl (Wales) in the Bristol Channel. It weighed 16.7 kg and its length was 123 cm including the long tail. The shark was collected by the Natural History Museum for research purposes.

In 2008, the Angel Shark received full legal protection from human activities in the waters off England and Wales from the coast to a distance of 11 km (6.8 mi), under the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act. The United Kingdom and Belgium have pushed, unsuccessfully, for this species to be listed on the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) Priority List of Threatened and Endangered Species.
BMLSS Sharks

17 July 2010
I made a wonderful but sad discovery as I walked along the pebbles at Chesil Cove, Dorset. At first, I could not take in what I was looking at because it looked, somehow, so artificial – like a large model or toy. This exquisite creature was a newly born (neonatal) Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus.

The stranded body of this small dolphin was about 1.3 metres long. It looked unlike any dolphin I had ever seen before and was clearly not a Common or Bottle-nose Dolphin as it had no ‘beaked’ snout. The odd shape of the head is characteristic of this species as also with the dorsal fin, pectoral fins and the tail flukes. 

Flung ashore by huge waves, it was virtually unmarked but for a few grazes and scratches on head and under-belly. The smooth, cold, rubbery skin shaded from almost black, through grey and tan to near white; unblemished and scarless with just a few fine lines and creases where the fins articulated with the body and in the places most stretched – like the jaw line. Apparently the broader barely perceptible marks along its sides are foetal folds and the chief indicator that it had recently been born.

Full Report & Images on Jessica’s Nature Blog

BMLSS Cetacea
BMLSS Whales & Dolphins (by Steve Savage)
BMLSS Strandlining

13 July 2010
The MBA Sepia (coastal research vessel) caught a small Long-finned Gurnard, Chelidonichthys obscurus, in Bigbury Bay, south Devon. This is only the second one recorded in British seas. 

The Long-finned Gurnard, Chelidonichthys obscurus,is found in shallow seas over sand with rocks to the south of British Isles to Mauritania, west Africa and throughout most of the Mediterranean Sea. This brown-bodied fish has large black pectoral fins edged with bright blue. It will partially bury itself in the soft sand when threatened. Its head is smaller than most of the other members of fish in the same family Triglidae

11 July 2010
A Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was spotted off Rathlin Island, Northern Island. 

IWDG Report
10 July 2010
A huge pod of well over a hundred Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, appeared in Ligwy Bay, east Anglesey, some of them somersaulting over six metres into the air. The pod stretched for over a mile of sea. 
Report by Steve Adams in Anglesey News
3 - 8 July 2010
Bluefire, Cyanea lamarkii, Jellyfish, were  washed ashore of the south coast of England, with reports from Par Beach, Cornwall, at Paignton by Tor Bay in Devon, Northcott Mouth Cornwall and at Seasalter, north Kent. These jellyfish will sting like a wasp. The best relief is to rinse the wound with cold fresh water. 
Photograph by Aaron Husain

Detailed Reports and Credits



British Marine Life News 2010

Cornish Marine Life Records 2009 (Ray Dennis Records)
BMLSS Oil Disasters page


The Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum



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