Seahorse partners with The Seahorse Trust

Seahorse Environmental Communications is delighted to announce that we are partnering with The Seahorse Trust to provide assistance with their communications and media work.

The Seahorse Trust was founded in 1999 (backed up with founder Neil’s 41 years of seahorse expertise) to preserve and conserve the natural world, especially the marine environment, with the seahorse as its flagship species. The Trust makes a difference through education, conservation and campaigning for protected areas.

Seahorse Environmental Communications will be supporting the Seahorse Trust in raising public and political awareness around the issue of the illegal wildlife trade in seahorses (including the trade through online platforms such as Etsy) and around the need for a marine conservation zone in Studland Bay.

We look forward to working with The Seahorse Trust as they seek to protect and conserve the marine environment one seahorse at a time!

Seahorses under threat

A large number of seahorse species around the world are endangered as a result of threats including habitat loss, pollution, climate change, invasive species, as well as overfishing, illegal fishing and destructive fishing practices. A key threat is that posed by the trade in seahorses as curios, pets or for traditional medicine.

The extent of this exploitation has resulted in seahorses being placed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are currently classified under Appendix II of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT)

Every year The Seahorse Trust partner Save Our Seahorses in Dublin estimates that over 150 million seahorses are taken from the wild and traded illegally, for the curio and illegal medicine trades, severely reducing populations and threatening the integrity and diversity of ecosystems. The Seahorse Trust continues to campaign against the curio trade in all its forms, including the trade through online platforms such as Etsy, who have so far not responded to repeated requests to ban the sale of seahorses on their platform or comply with legal regulations whereby seahorse products must be CITES-certified.

Seahorse Environmental Communications will also be helping The Seahorse Trust to spread awareness of this campaign. The upcoming Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference being hosted by the UK Government in London in October 2018 looks set to be a key moment to boost public and political awareness of the illegal wildlife trade.

Studland Bay

Seahorses occupy most of the world’s coastal areas, including the British coastline where two species are found: the Spiny Seahorse (Hippocampus Guttulatus) and the Short Snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus Hippocampus), which are mainly found on the west and south coasts of the UK.

Studland Bay, Dorset, was home to a large colony of Spiny Seahorses and indeed was their only known UK breeding ground but is now suffering a major seahorse population decline as a result of anchoring and mooring damaging seahorses’ seagrass habitat. In 2008, the Seahorse Trust spotted 40 spiny seahorses, yet in May 2018 no sightings were recorded.

Studland Bay has been put forward by the Government in the third tranche of proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) and The Seahorse Trust hopes that this will help conserve and protect the declining seahorse population. Seahorse Environmental Communications will be helping The Seahorse Trust raise awareness and communicate with stakeholders around the need to protect this incredible haven for seahorses.

Isabella Gornall, Managing Director of Seahorse Environmental Communications said:

“We’re thrilled to formally collaborate with the Seahorse Trust who are wonderful advocates for this incredible, yet highly threatened, species. The team at Seahorse look forward to supporting them in their vitally important work especially leading up to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Summit next month and the development of Marine Conservation Zones in the UK.”

Neil Garrick-Maidment, Executive Director of the Seahorse Trust

“I am so proud and pleased to have Seahorse Environmental Communications as a partner with The Seahorse Trust and I am looking forward to working with the team on our projects not just here in the UK but around the world as well. Thank you to everyone involved and looking forward to a positive seahorse future.”