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 on Microsoft Internet Explorer (best) or Chrome Google, Safari etc.

April - June

News 2016


BMLSS (England) 
Link to the British Marine Life Study Society Facebook page
Link to the Marine Life News web pages for 2011

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 
of Britain and Ireland
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.)
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: 

Link to WINTER 2016 Reports
Spring 2015 News Reports (Links)
SUMMER 2016 News Reports
Link to Autumn 2016 Reports



11 June 2016
Adur World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day was first declared as 8th June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Events occurred all around the world on and around this day.

Adur was one of the UK leaders in presenting the seventeenth environmental exhibition of World Oceans Day on Coronation Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. The British Marine Life Study Society presented the usual exhibition of the seashore aquarium and the 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 Man and the Sea exhibition with a video microscope. Exhibitors were available to find the time to answer questions about marine life. World of Widewater exhibited a display and information about the brackish water lagoon and local nature reserve.
Other participants included Southwick Camera Club with an exhibition of seascapes and marine life.

World Oceans Day on facebook
Adur World Oceans Day on facebook
United Nations: World Oceans Day


27 June 2016

Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, named 'John Coe
off the coast at the Blasket Islands in County Kerry
Photographs by Richard Creagh Photography

The famous Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, named 'John Coe" was spotted back off the extreme south-west coast of Ireland, seen by Nick Massett off Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry. This whale is quite easily recognised by the large notch on the base of the trailing edge of his dorsal fin, a feature which makes him unique and easily recognisable. John Coe is perhaps one of the best known Killer Whales in the seas around the British Isles, having been first photographed by Dr. Peter Evans, Sea Watch Foundation, 33 years ago, off the Scottish Hebrides back in 1983. He was of adult age even back then, and as with many members of this ageing remnant sub-pod of eight adults, he is old by any standards. Today there are grave concerns for the future survival of this pod whose territory extends into Irish waters. One major concern is that it is  many years since there has been any new additions to this group, and zero recruitment means that this group will ultimately die off; something which would be a great loss to our marine biodiversity.

23 June 2016
A large 20 kg Angel SharkSquatina squatina, was caught by angler Steve Denning (from Magor, south Wales) off in the Bristol Channel off Cardiff Bay just out from Aberthaw Power Station in South Wales. It was weighed and returned alive.

This rare and protected shark is thought to be extinct in the English Channel and still extremely rare in the Bristol Channel.
BMLSS Angel Sharks
21 June 2016
Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, have been known since 2007 to attack and kill Harbour Porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, in the Moray Firth off north-east Scotland. However, this action is rarely captured on camera as it occurs when the dolphin tosses a young porpoise in the air.  Bottlenose Dolphins of the Moray Firth

18 June 2016
A famous Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, named 'John Coe", distinguished by a large notch in its dorsal fin, was video-filmed off west of the coast of Mull swimming past the  'Cairns of Coll', Inner Hebrides, Scotland.  'John Coe" is the alpha male of the 'Hebridean Community' of Killer Whales (or Western Community) and has also been seen off Ireland and Wales over the two decades, first recorded by its individual name in 1992

Click on the image for the video recording

Famous Killer Whales (Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust)

June 2016

Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, make their annual summer pilgrimage to the seas of the western coast of Scotland. The first image is a still from aerial footage in calm seas off the Hebrides on 12 June 2016. The second still (from a video) photograph shows a 3 metre long juvenile Basking Shark with an adult. Click on the images for the video recordings.

Videos on Basking Shark Scotland  facebook
29 May 2016
Another sighting of a Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, was spotted off the coast of Ireland, in the mouth of Carlingford Harbour, County Louth. This was thought to be the same whale that was seen further south two weeks ago. It must have swam north towards more usual Arctic seas.

23 May 2016

A large cliff fall occurred of the chalk cliffs at Seven Sisters (west of Beachy Head) on the East Sussex coast. Over ten metres of the land crashed thousand of tonnes of chalk rocks into the sea when the tide was high. The friable chalk is subject to erosion and sudden cliff falls can be treacherous for cliff walkers and also for rockpoolers searching the chalk platform underneath. 

Cliff Fall Reports  facebook
Coastal Topography Gallery  flickr
Birling Gap Cliff Fall 2014

16 - 23 May 2016
A pod of about six Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, including a three month old calf, were spotted and photographed off the Caithness (NE Scotland) coast by wildlife watcher Karen Munro on 16 May 2016. The pod were identified as a pod who spend the winter around Iceland feeding on shoals of Herring. The pod was spotted by Alan Airey (Seawatch) in the Moray Firth on 23 May 2016 and was found by North 58 Sea Adventures to comprise of one bull, three females, one juvenile and a calf. In the last few years the same pod of whales have visited the Moray Firth annually. The group is known in Scotland as the Northern Isles Community and moves between Iceland and Scotland to hunt and raise young.

Moray Firth Orca
Moray Firth Dolphins

15 May 2016

A most unexpected sighting of a juvenile Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, occurred in shallow waters at Long Rock Beach, near Penzance, Mount's Bay, Cornwall. It is a species of right whale usually only found in icy Arctic seas and there has only been one previous report last year. This juvenile whale was about 7 metres long, but they can grow up to 18 metres, and after the Blue Whale they are heaviest animals (up to 90 tonnes) on the planet, with the longest baleen plates and the largest mouth.  The whale was first spotted by regular marine mammal observer and medic, Dave Jarvis of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), and first recognised by whale researcher Marijke De Boer on a Marine Discovery Penzance boat. A brief video footage shows the double blow of this whale species which together with its distinctive shape confirms its identity. The head is distinctive and this whale lacks a dorsal fin

28 April 2016

A spectacular discovery of the skull and antlers of Red Deer were recovered from the 3500 year old petrified fossil forest revealed on the low spring tides on the shore at Borth, Ceredigion, on the Cardigan Bay west coast of Wales. Researchers from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, confirmed that the find was preserved at the same time of the forest.

Submerged Forest at Borth (exposed)
Photograph by Bicky

Submerged Forests of Wales

24 April 2016
A most extraordinary and unexpected discovery of a dead young male Narwhal, Monodon monoceros, washed up in the River Schelde at Bornem in Antwerp Province, was the first found on mainland European shores for over a century. Only the male Narwhals have the single (usually) long ivory tusk. It is a toothed whale almost always discovered in small pods north of the Arctic Circle, so it was 1000 miles off course. 

24 April 2016
The first Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus, of the year was spotted off Ireland by a cruise out of Cork

21 April 2016
The first Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, of the year in Scottish waters was seen off Skigersta at Ness on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides.

6 April 2016
The first Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, of the year off Cornwall was spotted.

Fin Whale

1 April 2016
Scientists studying Scotland's resident population of Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, have identified an individual animal which hit the headlines in the 1970s. The orca swam up the River Foyle in Northern Ireland in November 1977. Efforts to persuade it to return to the open sea failed until it decided to leave the river without help. The Killer Whale, named as Comet, is now said be living in the waters off Scotland's west coast. Its identity was discovered when old photographs were uploaded onto a facebook page. Killer Whale experts Andy Foote and Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust science officer Dr Conor Ryan recognised the whale in the images as Comet, last recorded by the Trust off Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, in September 2014.

Orcas have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years in the wild. Their estimated maximum life span is 60 to 70 years for males and 80 to more than 100 for females.

Dr Andy Foote said: “When I saw the photos on facebook, I noticed that the white eye patch of Dopey Dick (media nickname) sloped backwards in a really distinctive fashion. This is a trait we see in all the West Coast Community whales, but it’s not that common in other Killer Whale populations. The photographs were all quite grainy, but it was still possible to see some of the distinctive features unique to Comet. I couldn't believe it – he was already a full grown male back in 1977.
“Most of what we know about this precariously small and isolated population of Killer Whales comes from photographs submitted to us by members of the public. The population is too small to study in a targeted way, so the public has a big role to play.”

BMLSS Cetacea

British Marine Life News 2013

BMLSS Oil Disasters page


The Marine Wildlife of the NE Atlantic Forum


British Marine Life Study Society
facebook page:

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  2016   © 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