The other evening David and his girlfriend Jess were talking about the blog. "I bet you can't just sit down and write a blog about...um SEAHORSES!" said Jess. "I bet I can" said David...
Seahorses; or Hippocampus, which means 'Horse Caterpillar'; are a small unusually-shaped fish that can be found in many areas of the globe. There are two species around British coastline: the spiny seahorse (Hippocampus Guttulatus) and the short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus Hippocampus).
Both seahorses can be found from the Shetland Isles down the west coast of the UK (and all around Ireland) and along the south coast of England.
There are between 30 and 40 species of seahorses worldwide, and possibly as many sub-species. It is often difficult for scientists to identify seahorses because individuals of the same species can vary greatly in appearance.
New species continue to be found. They live in shallow weedy areas. In winter they move into deeper waters to escape the rough weather.
The point behind the writing of this blog is to make everyone aware of the danger even a small animal like this can find itself in from human threats.
As conservation is becoming an ever larger part of working and learning about animals.
The biggest threats to this particular fish are:
- * The traditional Chinese medicine trade takes in excess of 20 million seahorses a year from the wild and these are used for all types of medicine.
- * The Curio trade takes approximately one million seahorses from the wild a year. Along with shells and starfish, they are deliberately taken from the sea and left to die in the boiling sun. They are then sold as souvenirs.
* The pet trade takes an estimated one million seahorses a year.
These are also very common threats to many species around the world.
There are many organisations doing a brilliant job to help the seahorse, with various successful breeding projects and research activity to give the seahorse the best possible chance. However, as with all things, we have to ask is it enough?