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 2012

BMLSS (England) Index
 Cornish Marine Life Records 2009
Link to the British Marine Life Study Society Facebook page
Marine Life News 2012

Norwegian Marine***
to Other Sites
(Click on Text)
Yahoo Group
British Marine Wildlife
Group Photo Pool
World Register of Marine Species
Link to the Aphoto pages
Link to Sealordphotography
Encyclopedia of Marine Life 
Articles in other Journals. Publications

Monthly Marine News Bulletin
Link to the Fishbase web pages
 Cetacean List (NE Atlantic)

CEFAS Marine Monitoring
Link to the Sealife Survey on facebook (Marine Biological Assoc. of the Uk.)

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: 

Winter 2012 News Reports, January - March
Spring 2012 News
Link to the News Reports, October to December 2012


Summer Solstice
20 June 2012  11:09 pm GMT : 21 June 2012 12:09 am BST

Equinox Times & Dates 2010 et seq.


28 June 2012

European Lobster 

The large 4 kg male European Lobster, Homarus gammarus, on display at Adur World Oceans Day 2012 was put into a large holding tank at Monteums Ltd, Shoreham-by-Sea, for captive study. There is an even larger (but not so heavy) female for a possible mating. 

15 June 2012
A rare record of a Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, breaching in the Irish Sea was snapped at a distance by Peter Christian off the Isle of Man. This is an unprecedented event in British seas. 

9 June 2012

Adur World Oceans Day 2012
Understanding and celebrating our marine environment

The twelfth Adur World Oceans Day 2012 took place in the marquee on Coronation Green, by Shoreham Footbridge at the High Street end on the second Saturday of the Adur Festival. Len Nevell of the British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of lobsters and crabs. The Friends of Shoreham Beach (FOSB) took an active role with their display of the wonders of Shoreham Beach. Wildlife writer Steve Savage presented the whale and dolphin exhibition with the life sized replica of a Bottle-nosed Dolphin

More Photographs on Facebook
World Oceans Day on Facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day

6 June 2012
A pod of half a dozen Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, were spotted in Loch Swilly a glacial fjord in County Donegal, north-west Ireland.

1 June 2012
An Ocean Sunfish,Mola mola, was seen underwater on a dive out of Seaford, East Sussex in choppy conditions. Although the Sunfish is spotted occasionally off southern and western coasts they are rarely reported from the eastern part of the English Channel. 

Report by Ed Hartwell
member of the University of Sussex Sub Aqua Club (USSAC)
Full Report
BMLSS Sunfish

31 May 2012
Another successful rescue story as a 2.7 metres long sub-adult Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus, stranded at Perrranporth, north Cornwall, is successfully returned to the sea through the efforts of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue using their pontoon system.

30 May 2012
A Silver Dory (=Sailfin Dory), Zenopsis conchifer, was caught by Pierro Le Cheminant from his trawler, Amy Blue, at the northern end of the Big Russel to the north of Sark, in the Channel Islands. The trawl at the edge of a reef netted this deep water (mesopelagic) Atlantic Ocean fish which is very rarely caught in British seas. The fish could be mistaken for John Dory, Zeus faber

Previous Record 2002 (from Cornwall)
BMLSS Silver Dory

29 May 2012
A pod of five to seven Minke Whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, were spotted by anglers from their boat off Hastings, East Sussex. Minke Whales are a very rare sight off the Sussex coast at any time of the year.

Video Link

 The encounter lasted 15 minutes and this one minute clip showed three of the whales.

24 May 2012
This blenny was spotted at a depth of 12 metres at Eastern Kings, Plymouth. Its body was narrow, not deep like the Tompot, Parablennius gattorugine, about 150 mm long, has head tentacles, as you can see, but lacks noticeable dark face markings.
Report & Photographs by Martin Palmer

This is the Variegated Blenny Parablennius pilicornis. It is out of the known range of the latter blenny. It has been seen before at Plymouth on the same dive site

Comments by Andy Horton

BMLSS Blennies
ID Discussion

23 May 2012
An exceptionally large Porbeagle Shark, Lamna nasus, was caught on road and line by Wayne Comben and Graeme Pullen and released 300 metres off Boscastle, north Cornwall. It was measured at about 10 ft (3 metres) long with a girth of about 2 ft (60 cm) which experts think was likely to be a pregnant female with an estimated weight of 550 lb (250 kg) and this would have exceeded the previously largest shark caught by an angler in British seas beating the previous 1993 world angling record for the species of 230 kg. The shark towed the small boat for a mile before it was hauled alongside. Even if it was possible to land the fish on to the boat, the Porbeagle is now a protected species under European Union (European Commission on Fisheries) legislation. 

BMLSS Sharks

22 May 2012

Minke Whale
Photograph by Eleanor Stone/Manx Wildlife Trust
Click on the image for more photographs

A Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, swam around our boat, one of four seen off the Isle of Man. Minke Whales are regular visitors in the seas around this large island in the Irish Sea, but they are rarely seen up close.
facebook Report
BMLSS Cetaceans
Whales & Dolphins in British Seas

20 May 2012
A 12 metre long Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was rescued from some fishing nets in large enclosed waters of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Isles. Magnus Spence of the Orkan Adventures boat trip donned SCUBA gear and jumped into the water to cut the creel lines and the whale swam off.

May 2012
The largest ever, a massive 41.7 kg (91 lb 15 oz) NE Atlantic Atlantic Cod, Gadus morhua, was caught by an angler off the island of Sørøya, Norway.

12 May 2012
A large native European Oyster, Ostrea edulis, with a width of 201 mm and weighing just over a kilogramme lays claim to be the largest recorded from British seas. What was also unusual was that it was caught in a trawl in the seas 27 miles off Bressay, Shetland, at a depth of 120 metres. Oysters are not usually found at this depth and are uncommon in the seas and shore around the Shetland Islands. Previous Largest and Heavier Oyster
BMLSS Oyster & Slipper Limpet
BMLSS Molluscs

8 - 10 May 2012
Two Risso’s Dolphins, Grampus griseus, have been spotted fin Manx seas 600 metres north of the Calf of Man (island). They were seen for at least 45 minutes and one of them was photographed showing distinct scarring on its dorsal fin. On the third day a pod of ten dolphins were seen south of the Calf Sound (the narrow strip of water between the south coast of the Isle of Man and Calf of Man in the south-west).

BMLSS Cetaceans

Spiny Seahorse (Photograph by Robert Jones)25 - 26 April 2012
After the recent gales, two Spiny Seahorses, Hippocampus guttulatus, washed up on the shore at Knoll Beach (Studland Bay) on the Dorset coasts where a breeding population of these strange fish are known. Both fish would have perished but they were rescued alive to be returned to the sea in a sheltered part of Studland Bay. Seahorses are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act Schedule 5

BMLSS Seahorses
Seahorse Trust
Project Seahorse
Conservation Designations for UK Taxa

24 April 2012
This year there have been lots of reports of the Aurora borealis from north Scotland and the islands, especially Shetland. They Northern Lights were seen further south including from the north coast of Ireland. 

Aurora borealis at Kinnagoe Bay, County Donegal
Photograph by Patryk Sadowski

The first Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, of the year were seen around the Isle of Man with four adult sharks spotted in Castletown Bay by a local fisherman. The large population in the northern Irish Sea is thought to be resident but they are only seen on the surface in the summer months. Hundreds are seen each year. This varies from year to year, with counts from 2005. Basking Sharks are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act Schedule 5

Manx Basking Shark Watch
BMLSS Basking Sharks

18 April 2012

Dolphins in Cardigan Bay 2011
Photograph by Rhys Thatcher

New evidence has emerged of the distances Cardigan Bay’s Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, choose to travel during the winter months. Experts have found at least some of them head north and like to spend their winter breaks in the seas around the Isle of Man. Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre’s (CBMWC) science officer Sarah Perry has been studying photographs taken by Manx conservation groups in Douglas Bay in January and has managed to identify at least eight of the animals previously seen off New Quay (SW Wales). 
The images were taken by the Manx Wildlife Trust marine officer Eleanor Stone(Extract)

12 April 2012 
A Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaengliae, was spotted in the Strangford Narrows, County Down, Northern Ireland. 

8 April 2012 
Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, were spotted again in the seas off the south coast of Ireland (County Cork). Within 15 minutes of leaving Castlehaven Harbour that we'd have found our first Humpback Whale, which we had seen before earlier in the year.
Previous Report

BMLSS Cetaceans

6 April 2012
A population of the sea slug Doris ocelligera has been discovered in shallow water and on the extreme low equinoctial spring tides around Penzance in southern Cornwall. This nudibranch had previously been under recorded and not included on the British list of marine species
Image by David Fenwick (Link)

4 April 2012
Specimen angler Andy Logan (from Carrickfergus) reeled in a huge 100 kg* Skate, Dipturus (=Raja) batis, after a two hour fight with the giant fish off Rathlin Island off the north County Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. This specimen was about 2.4 metres (8 ft) wide and 1.8 metres (6 ft) long. Specimens this size of the endangered Skate are about 60 years old. The Skate was returned to the sea. (*Reported weight and size, not verified.)
MarLIN Information

BMLSS Sharks
BMLSS Shark News

British Marine Life News 2011

Cornish Marine Life Records 2009
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

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