Marine Life News Bulletin

...Vernal 2020

     ISSN  1464-8156

On-line connection to the British Marine Life Study Society web pages
Index for the Torpedo News Bulletins
NEWS 2020
New EMail address
Link to the British Marine Life Study Society Facebook page
Courses (Marine Life)
Link to the Fishbase web pages
Marine Information Service
(Marine Life Information Network)
World Register of Marine Species
National Biodiversity Gateway
National Biodiversity Network
World Oceans Day
Link to Sealord Photography
Link to the Aphoto pages

Norwegian Marine***

National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

Scottish Association for Marine Science

Silver Dolphin Centre, Helston, Cornwall

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages

Marine Life Society
South Australia ***

De Strandwerkgemeenschap

Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning

Marine Wildlife Reserve
Link to Jim Anderson's Scottish Nudibranch (and other sea slugs) web pages

7-14 years
Oakley Intertidal 
on facebook
Fish & Sharks of the 
NE Atlantic
New Photographic Gallery 
on flickr
Link to the Sealife Survey on facebook (Marine Biological Assoc. of the Uk.)
Link to Coastal Topography on flickr
Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
How to obtain the book and review



Monthly electronic news bulletin for the marine life of the NE Atlantic Oceans including the seas and seashore around the British Isles.
The bulletin is designed for Microsoft Internet Explorer using medium fonts at a resolution of 1024 x 768..


Reports of marine wildlife from all around the British Isles, with pollution incidents and conservation initiatives as they affect the flora and fauna of the NE Atlantic Ocean


16 March 2020
A female Short-snouted Seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, was washed ashore dead on the Camber Sands on the Sussex coast. This rare stranding may indicate an offshore population.

BMLSS Seahorse Reports
BMLSS Seahorse page

22 February 2020
A large Common Octopus, Octopus vulgaris, was washed ashore dead at Wembury, south Devon. 

The Common Octopus is most easily identified, if discovered in the English Channel, by having two rows of suckers. A hearsay report says they were all wiped out in the cold winter of 1963. This octopus is a southern species at its northern biogeographical limit in winter off British coasts.
BMLSS Octopuses

14 February 2020
A huge 19.25 metre long female Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus, washed up alive on the rocks at Parbean Cove near Nare Point, Helford estuary, on the Lizard, south Cornwall, and died hours afterwards in the afternoon. The second largest whale in the sea inhabits deep water and its presence off Cornwall is uncommon, although there has been a handful of strandings in the last decade.

BMLSS Cetacea

30 January - 2 February 2020
Another Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, lost its way in the southern North Sea and was spotted swimming up and down the Thames estuary between north Kent and the Isle of Sheppey for three days before it perished.

The post-mortem found that the whale had not fed before death. 
Mass Sperm Whales Stranding 2016

22 January 2020

Asian Shore Crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus
Photograph by Jason Huckerby

A strange crab found under a rock on the shore near Brighton, Sussex, turned out to be an alien invader known as the Asian Shore Crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, and this seems to be the first confirmed specimens off the coast of Sussex, although there seem to been unverified reports before. The fleshy bulb between the pincers confirms its identification. This crab is a native species of the North-West Pacific coast. It is now established on the other side of the English Channel on the shores of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. There been British reports from Wales and Kent

First Welsh Report 2014
MBA Crabwatch

21 January 2020

Edible Crab,  275 mm width
(The largest recorded specimen known was 285 mm wide.)

A large (cooked) Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus, was seen at Jackson's Fishmongers, Newton Abbot, 4.5 kg live weight! It was likely it was scooped up by a bottom trawl (out of Brixham) over sand or stones while out for a walk as it wouldn't fit into the average static crab pot.

BMLSS Large Edible Crabs

18 January 2020
An injured Kemp's Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys kempii, found alive near the shore off Seaford, Sussex, finally succumbed to the cold and injuries.  This rarest of sea turtles is found in warm and tropical waters, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

BMLSS Turtles

10 January 2020
Very much a surprise discovery, the intact but weeks dead, five metres long Killer Whale, Orcinus orca, found on the extensive vegetated mud flats of The Wash on the North Sea coast was the first one stranded in England and Wales for at least 20 years. Killer Whales are still regularly seen around the Scottish isles of Orkney and Shetland and less frequently off the Outer Hebrides. The distance out of its normal habitats is over 650 miles. Killer Whales are, also, sometimes seen in the Western Approaches and off Cornwall

The Hebridean Community of Killer Whales (or Western Community) is a community living of the western seas of Ireland and Scotland. The Northern Isles Community moves between Iceland and Scotland to hunt and raise young.

BMLSS Cetacea

7 January 2020
Unfortunately, the Hooded Seal, Cystophora cristata, was found washed up dead.

1 January 2020
An under nourished male Hooded Seal, Cystophora cristata, announced his unexpected appearance on the mud flats at Toormore Bay, in County Cork, Ireland. Helen Tilson of Schull Sea Safari discovered the vagrant Arctic Hooded Seal in the morning and its identity became apparent when it growled loudly, which only the males of this seal can do. 

The Hooded Seal is an Arctic species and it is only the fourth recorded off Ireland. It congregates to breed around Greenland and the Denmark Strait (between Iceland and Greenland) from June to August. For the rest of the year it tends to be a solitary animal.



Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Mailing Groups

British Marine Life Study Society
facebook Page:

This is designed for quick less important chatty news items. Photographs can be uploaded quickly.

Images can be uploaded to flickr.

Wet Thumb (Marine Aquariology) Forum Link

Lots of marine wildlife reports from Shetland on facebook
Photographs include undersea, sea mammals and birds. 
Click on the image to connect


All reports by Andy Horton unless the credits are given 
to other observers or reporters.

Cornish Marine Wildlife (Ray Dennis Records) 2009


Each month, at least one special marine image will be published from images sent to the BMLSS. This can be of the seashore, undersea world or any aspect of the marine natural world, especially the underwater life, but not restricted to life beneath the waves. Topical inclusions may be included instead of the most meritorious, and images will be limited to the NE Atlantic Ocean and adjoining seas, marine and seashore species and land and seascapes. 

Spot the Butterfly Blenny
with Calliactis parasitica sea anemones
Photograph by Mike Etheredge

Quiz: surmise the timeline of events ?

The rarest of the six British Blennidae is the Butterfly Blenny, Blennius ocellaris, which is found in deep water and never on the shore, although there are unconfirmed reports of specimens found intertidally on the Isle of Man coast.

Click on the images for the original photographs or links to more images


Shorewatch Biological Recording


Shore Topography Series

The name of the particular coast should be included and any other interesting information including the grid reference, if known. Print photographs can be included in Exhibitions and on the BMLSS Web Sites and electronic publications.
Electronic images in *.jpg format can also be considered for the web site. They should not exceed 1 Mb in size.

Click on the images for the original photographs or links to more images

British Coastal Topography

British Coastal Topography

Flora and Fauna of Coast and Estuaries


First enquiry by EMail to

New EMail address


Photographers submitting pictures should indicate if they wish them to be considered for inclusion as confirming permission takes work and time and can delay publication of the news bulletins.

Link to more marine life photographs

Click on the album for more links (On-line link)



In chronological order, the most recent events are at the top of the page. Events open to the public, free or for a nominal charge only are included. Most Seminars need to be booked in advance.

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 in and around this day.

For technical and resource reasons, Adur World Oceans Day did not take place in 2017 - 2019

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

Link to the Porcupine Society web pages
For details of the Porcupine Marine Nature History Society meetings click on the link on the left


 Public Aquaria List
?  What to do if you find a stranded whale or dolphin  ?

If you find a LIVE stranded or injured whale or dolphin on the beach you must send for help QUICKLY. A whale or dolphin stranding is an emergency and the speed of response by a professional rescue team is perhaps the most crucial factor in determining whether or not an animal can be returned to the sea alive.

0300 1234 999
0300 1234 999
0131 339 0111
0845 201 2626
01534 724331
00 44 1481 257261

Would you know what to do if you found a whale stranded on a beach?

Each year anywhere between five and 50 whales, dolphins and porpoises are washed up on Britain's beaches.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue, a volunteer charity, was set up in 1998 to rescue them.

BBC News Report

01825  765546






The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline

This richly illustrated guide will become a steadfast companion for beach visitors wishing to identify what the sea washes up
By: Steve Trewhella (Author), Julie Hatcher (Author)


304 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations
Wild Nature Press

Fish Atlas of the Celtic Sea, North Sea, and Baltic Sea
Based on international research vessel data
Author: edited by Henk J.L. Heessen, Niels Daan, Jim R. EllisPrice: € 79,50
An in-depth reference work on marine fish, this is the first complete overview of all marine fish species found in the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Celtic Sea. Whereas European research mainly focuses on species of commercial interest, this atlas documents current data of all Western European fish species caught in the period 1977 to 2013.

How to obtain the book and review




Encyclopaedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

Marine Fauna of Norway

WET THUMB (Marine Aquariology)

BMLSS: Marine Life Articles in Publications (Link)

The British Marine Life Study Society are responsible for producing the journal GLAUCUS, which is the first publication exploring the marine life of the seas surrounding the British Isles available to the general public. In future, I expect the publication to be in an electronic format. 
    We also publish the SHOREWATCH Newsletter and
    the TORPEDO Electronic News Bulletin.

    The Glaucus 2002 CD-ROM was sent out to Premier BMLSS members in January 2003.

EMail Address

New EMail addressEMail address for messages to the British Marine Life Study Society 


Membership 2018
Please join the facebook group for free. Formal membership of the Society has ceased.  Back copies of previous issues are still available. 

Bulletin Details

For technical reasons, TORPEDO is no longer being sent out by EMail. It is simply easier to view the bulletins on the web pages.

The Bulletin is designed to be viewed on Internet Explorer using medium fonts at a resolution of 1024 x 768. 
Viewing should be possible on Mozilla and other browsers.

Torpedo compiled by Andy Horton
Background design by Andy Horton and other contributors
Copyright  2019   ©    British Marine Life Study Society 
Compiled on Netscape Composer 4.6 and other programs