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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News 2016


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8 June 2017 
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 World Oceans Day 2017

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


22 December 2017

Photograph by Margaret Miller

Rarely is the deep sea fish known as the Northern Dealfish, Trachipterus arcticus, discovered washed ashore, and this one was discovered more intact than usual on the dark sandy beach at Keiss, Caithness, on the north east coast of mainland Scotland. It was about 75 cm in length. It is easily recognised by its long red dorsal fin. 

The Dealfish lives offshore at depths of between 200 and 500 metres in a mesopelagic existence in the middle of the water column predating on small fish and squids. They grow to 3 metres long but are usually half this length. They are gelatinous and inedible. 
Bathymetry around Scotland

9 December 2017

Kemp's Ridley Turtle
Photograph by Dave Hudson Photography

Barely alive but just about holding on, a Kemp's Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys kempii, cold stunned and stranded on the shore at Holywell Bay, near Newquay, north Cornwall, was discovered on a regular beach clean amongst the ghost nets. The turtle was rehabilitated at the Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay, where it has started to feed on its way to recovery. 

Dave Hudson (Turtle Gallery)
BMLSS Turtles

October 2017
 A massive combined jellyfish and plankton bloom wiped out tens of thousands of AtlanticSalmon, Salmo salar,in four fish farms on the west coast and inlets of Ireland at Killary Harbour, Kilkieran Bay and Outer Bertraghboy Bay in Connemara, and in the south-west at Bantry Bay in County Cork. The offending jellyfish were swarms of the small Mauve Stingers, Pelagia noctiluca, (implicated in the previous 2007 swarm and massive Salmon killing)with the small (body 20 mm) siphonophore (colonial hydrozoan) Muggiaea atlantica

BMLSS Jellyfish

Mid September 2017

Portuguese Man-o'-War
Photograph by Martin Cavell

Portuguese Man-o'-War, Physalia physalis, have been washed up on widespread western shores from the Isles of Scilly  to Scotland. Beware of the venomous tentacles that still produce a severe sting even when stranded ashore. Hundreds of this venomous siphonophore were washed up on the sandy beach at Sennen Cove, Cornwall. 

BMLSS Jellyfish/Medusa
BMLSS Siphonophores

29 August 2017

Tuna with a huge shoal of Pilchards
Henley Spiers Photography

"On the way out to see the Blue Sharks we came across an incredibly rare sight, a sardine bait ball being feasted on by birds and Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus. The action was fast and furious and over in just moments, but luckily we were able to jump in and get a few shots!"

16 August 2017

Tuna: click on the image for a video by Beach & Boat Fishing  facebook

A feeding frenzy by a school of Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, was witnessed off Falmouth, Cornwall. This was only the first of numerous reports of feeding shoals of Bluefin Tuna off the coasts of Cornwall and Wales. 
BMLSS Tuna 2017

14 August 2017

Click on the image for the video

Swordfish: click on the image for a video by Chris Wheeler

A  two metre long Billfish swam by our boat one mile off shore, near Selsey, West Sussex. The shark like dorsal fin and long bill could be seen near the surface as it chased the lure under the boat. The consensus said its was a Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, and it looked like one to me.

"Chris Wheeler and I were Plaice fishing, one mile off shore, near Selsey. We're drifting when Chris spots something at the stern of the boat. It's a large creature, maybe 5 or 6 feet long. Instinctively I put a cast in with insanely inappropriate tackle and attempt to draw the fish in. Astonishingly the fish turns on my tiny lure and lights up like a Christmas tree! As it follows the lure at speed, towards me on the bow, we can now clearly see it's a Billfish, and a beautiful one at that. I will never forget the electric blue back as it glides under me. We lose sight of the fish and both of us are left shaking with excitement, raised further when we realise that Chris has cleverly managed to capture the fish on video."

Report by Adam Kirby  facebook
BMLSS Swordfish

7 July 2017
An unusually captured Jellynose Fish, Ijimaia loppei, was caught on the Porcupine Bank, near deep water, south-west of Ireland. 

Previous First Record 2013

30 May 2017

A most extraordinary unprecedented of a newly born two-headed conjoined  Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, was captured in a trawl off the Hook of Holland, Netherlands. It had died just after birth. Unfortunately, the carcass was returned to the sea.
"“Normal twins are extremely rare in cetaceans, there is simply not enough room in the body of the female to give room to more than one foetus. Symmetrical conjoined twins, such as this Porpoise, are thought to result when two separate embryos fuse together or a zygote only partially splits,”  said  Erwin Kompanje, of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam.& Curator of Mammals at the Natural History Museum, Amsterdam.

25 May 2017

Sea Spider
Ammothia hilgendorfi
Photographs by Keith Alexander

An almost unprecedented discovery of a strange sea spider on Worthing Beach was an extraordinary surprise. It looks nothing like the native pycnogonids! This means it was probably an alien species and almost certainly Ammothia hilgendorfi which was discovered once before in 1978 in Southampton Water. This specimen contained eggs.  It originates in the tropical and temperate North Pacific littoral zone of south-east Asia.

2 April 2017
An Arctic Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, was an extraordinary discovery off the Belgium coast at Middelkerke, with footage covered by drone and video. Bowhead Whales are normally found north of the Arctic Circle, the nearest shore views off Greenland and northern Iceland.

Previous Irish Sighting 2016

February 2017

Crocodile Shark

An extraordinary find of a small shark with sharp spiny teeth was washed ashore dead after gales at Hope Cove, south Devon, south-east of Plymouth. The discovery on the sand and rock beach by Steven Greenfields, puzzled the experts at first as it was not on the list of sharks ever discovered in British seas before. However, it had some rather distinctive features including a white patch foreword of its long gill slits, and with its distinctive teeth and shape of the caudal fin, there could really be no doubt it was the first ever British record of the Crocodile Shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai. This shark is an inhabitant of much warmer tropical seas, oceanic over deep waters to depths of 590 metres, rising to 200 meters or less at night, and in all tropical oceans but not a common species and classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN List. It's nearest natural habitat is the Canary Islands region. It is a puzzle of how it arrived as the sea temperature is thought to be too cold (usually limited to a low of 20°C) for it to have swam all the way. 

Shark Trust
BMLSS Sharks
National Marine Aquarium
Oceanic Sharks on the IUCN Red List

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