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 1024 x 768 using medium fonts on Microsoft Internet Explorer (best) or Chrome Google, Safari etc.

April - June 2013

BMLSS (England) 
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 Life 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.)
How to obtain the book and review

Snail Mail

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 2013 News Reports, January - March
Spring 2012 News Reports (Links)
SUMMER 2013 News Reports
Link to the News Reports, October to December 2013



Summer Solstice


19 June 2013
The Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, was still showing off at Yell in the Shetland Isles.

Earlier Report

16 June 2013
A young starving two metres long Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, was washed up alive at Gorleston, Norfolk, and was too badly ill and had to be euthanised. 

BMLSS Cetaceans

8 June 2013
Adur World Oceans Day

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the thirteenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. 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. Nikki Hills on behalf of the Sussex Wildlife Trust produced an interactive display on the sea and seashore for the younger age group. David and Marion Wood produced a presentation about Widewater Lagoon (brackish lagoon) LNR. Exhibitors were able to find the time to answer questions about marine life.
Other participants included Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life, and Colin Knight and Mark Colvin with a butterfly presentation on the behalf of the Sussex branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society.

World Oceans Day on Facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day

21 May 2013

Moulted Grey Seal at Seaford
Photograph by Barnacle Bill Simmons

A healthy Grey Seal, Halichoerus grypus, made a surprise visit to Seaford Beach, Sussex. Grey Seals are not residents on the shingle and sand shores of Sussex and it was out of its normal range. 

Full Report of the two Grey Seals near Seaford

May 2013
Scientists discovered the earliest evidence of hominid footprints, Homo antecessor, outside of Africa, in sediment, partially covered by beach sand, at low tide on the foreshore at  Happisburgh, on the Norfolk coast. The footprints are more than 800,000 years old (early Pleistocene) and they are direct evidence of the earliest known hominids in northern Europe. 

18 May 2013
A tunny was discovered freshly dead on the shore at Babbacombe, near Torquay, south Devon. Although reported as a Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, the absence of the yellow on the anal finlets and the short first few rays of the anal fin indicates it is unlikely to be theYellowfin, more likely to be a Bluefin Tuna Thunnus thynnus. The fish was not measured but I have estimated its length (excluding fins) to be 1.7 metres.

BMLSS Tunnies

12, 14 & 28 May 2013
Three Beaked Whales (Ziphiidae) have been washed up dead on the Irish coast, the first one an adult female Beaked Whale live stranded and died at Five Fingers Strand, Malin, County Donegal and two days later a juvenile Beaked Whale, which had also live stranded, was found at Trawbreaga Bay, Malin. Both of these are thought to have been the vagrant True's Beaked Whales, Mesolpodon mirus, (awaiting confirmation from DNA test) and were removed to Athlone for post mortem. A five metre long female stranded at Aillebrack, Ballyconneely, County Galway, at the end of the month. All three whales might have been stranded as a result of a single incident as this deep ocean toothed whale is rarely seen in British seas and the only records are from the west coast of Ireland. 

BMLSS Cetaceans

9 May 2013
A 4.5 metre long male Sowerby’s Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon bidens, has been reported dead, stranded alive at Clarach Bay near Aberystwyth in west Wales. A  Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme UK (CSIP) team from Marine Environmental Monitoring recovered the body and a CSIP team from Zoological Society of London travelled to the stranding location to conduct a post-mortem examination.

UK Strandings (CSIP)
CSIP Strandings Leaflet
BMLSS Cetaceans

29 - 30 April 2013

Landslip at St. Oswald's Bay
Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Cliff & Coastal Safety

A massive chalk landslide occurred over night on the seaside chalk cliffs at St. Oswald's Bay, east of of Durdle Door, Dorset. The wet weather had made the chalk treacherous for walkers on the coastal path, and about 40 metres of the cliff suddenly gave way and collapsed with hundred of tonnes of debris deposited in an enormous pile on the beach that reached half way up the 20 metre high cliff.

Research carried out by British Geological Survey has shown 16 cliff falls between Bridport (Dorset) and Chichester (West Sussex) in the first four months of 2013 compared with 22 for the whole of 2012

Geology of Dungy Head, St. Oswald's Bay and Man O' War Head near Lulworth Cove

25 April 2013
A large and unusually large pod of 14 Sperm Whales, Physeter catodon, were spotted off the Firth of Forth, heading from the island of Fidra to the Lamb, just a mile offshore at North Berwick in East Lothian. The whales then changed direction, heading towards Crail in Fife. The Sperm Whales were seen by microlight flyers and also spotted by Scottish Natural Heritage staff and researchers on the Isle of May who were able to identify the whales from their distinctive tail flukes, dorsal fins and plumes of spray.

24 April 2013
A Yellowmouth Drumfish or Shadefish, Argyrosomus regius, was discovered in Looe Fish Market (south Cornwall) and was caught in a trawl south-west of Eddystone Lighthouse. This southern fish is a rare occurrence in British seas with only three records since 1998. The fish was 54 cm long (TL) and weighed 1.35 kg. 

Yellowmouth Drumfish or Shadefish, Argyrosomus regius
Photograph by by Clive Palfrey

The book name Meagre or Maigre was a transcription mistake in an old book and I have discontinued its vernacular use. This large fish is identified by its yellow mouth
The Yellowmouth Drumfish, also called the Shade-fish, may still be common off the African Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. Adult fish can attain a length of 1.9 metres and weights of 48 kg (100 lb). It is also a fine sporting fish and extremely good eating. Because, it is reported to inhabit shallow seas, it may have been over-fished off the European coast centuries ago.

Report by on MarLIN  facebook
BMLSS Drumfish

13 April 2013
The first two Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, of the year (off Cornwall) broke the surface of the sea between the Lizard Point and Falmouth, south Cornwall.
"A good seven to eight metres in length feeding about 60 cm down, mouth wide open. We were able to interact carefully with this huge mysterious creature for about 15 minutes, during which time we were giving some exciting views." 

11 April 2013
A dozen Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, were spotted off Slea Head, County Kerry, Ireland by Nick Massett. 

Previous Report 2013

9 April 2013
A new fish has been added to the British list with the extraordinary discovery of the deepwater and little known Jellynose Fish (family: Ateleopodidae) Ijimaia loppei caught in the Western Approaches to the English Channel.


Jellynose Fish
Photograph by Andrew Rowe


Report & Image by Nick Pope on MarLIN  facebook

Jellynoses are deep-water, bottom-dwelling, marine fish. They are known from the Caribbean Sea, eastern Atlantic, the western and central Indopacific and the Pacific coast of Central America. Their skeletons are largely cartilage (hence "jellynose"), although they are true teleosts and not at all related to Chondrichthyes
Jellynoses (Wikipedia)

6 April 2013
A wreck of seabirds and crustaceans and other animals washed up dead on a Yorkshire shore at North Bay Beach, Scarborough included one of the more unusual squids in British seas. It is thought most likely to be the Hard Squid, Todarodes sagittatus. . The total length of the squid was estimated at 60 cm. This is the first report of this squid on these News Reports


Hard Squid, Todarodes sagittatus
Photograph by Steven Wignill

Over 200 dead Puffins were found between Filey and Scarborough, on the Yorkshire coast, in the wreck as a result of bad weather. 

BMLSS Squids
Information on the Biology of Squids in UK waters

6 April 2013
The first inshore Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, sighting records of 2013 came from off the Dingle Peninsula off Ireland. In common with recent years, it was land-based effort watchers at Slea Head, County Kerry (Nick Massett) and another sighting off the south coast of Ireland off Ram Head, County Waterford (Andrew Malcolm & Ann Trimble) that confirmed the annual inshore spring movement. 

2 April 2013

Breccia Cliffs at Oddicombe
Photograph by Rosie Spooner
Rosie Spooner Photography

A further cliff fall occurred at Oddicombe, Torbay, with the soft Breccia cliffs collapsing into the sea and turning it red. 

30 March - 8 April 2013

Sperm Whale blowing in Oban Harbour
Photograph by Wendy Clark Photography
on flickr

A 10 metre long deep water Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, made an unexpected and surprising visit to the shallow waters of Oban Bay in south-west Scotland. It has been unable to negotiate its way out of the horseshoe-shaped bay and has attracted many visitors over a sunny Easter. 
Its long stay in the harbour does not seem promising for its survival.

Sperm Whale tail fluke showing in Oban Harbour
Photograph by Mark Hows on flickr

BMLSS Cetaceans

23 March 2013  - 3 April -  et seq
A Bearded Seal, Erignathus barbatus, made an appearance at TBS Salmon farm in Basta Voe, in Yell in the Shetland Isles. This Arctic seal is a rare visitor to even the most northernmost Scottish islands.

Bearded Seal
Photograph by James Simison
Click on the image for a set of six photographs


Click on the photographs for larger images

British Marine Life News 2011


BMLSS Oil Disasters page


TheMarine 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  2013   © British Marine Life Study Society
British Marine Life Study Society Home Page
Main Links
Membership Form
News 2010
News 2005
News 2007

Boar Fish, Capros aperBoar Fish