Seahorses are remarkable animals that face serious threats to their long-term survival. Every year, millions of seahorses are stripped from the sea, and seahorse habitats are destroyed. Project Seahorse was co-founded by ZSL in 1996 to protect their future.
Project Seahorse is a marine conservation group dedicated to securing a world where marine ecosystems are healthy and well-managed. Co-founded by Dr. Amanda Vincent and ZSL’s Dr. Heather Koldewey, both global experts on seahorse conservation. We generate cutting-edge research and turn our findings into highly effective conservation interventions. We collaborate with other researchers, governments, and local communities.
As the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List Authority for all seahorses and seahorse relatives, Project Seahorse produced the world’s first analyses on seahorse trade and consumption. This led to new management regulations in Australia, Hong Kong, and the European Union.
Our discovery of this extensive, expanding and detrimental trade resulted in our mentoring of a landmark agreement among the 175 CITES nations. This requires the regulation of the international trade in seahorses for sustainability, the first such decision for the regualtion of marine fisheries.
To learn more about seahorses and about our work, visit the Project Seahorse Website .
By working to protect seahorses, Project Seahorse advances marine conservation more broadly. Seahorses are flagship species, charismatic symbols of the seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries and seaweeds where they make their homes. Their extraordinary life history yields insights into reproductive ecology and other important scientific discoveries. They are important predators within coastal marine ecosystems and their use in traditional medicine, aquarium displays and as curios makes them a valuable commodity. They must be preserved for ecological, biological, economic, and medical reasons.
Unfortunately, these remarkable animals face serious threats to their long-term survival. Every year, millions of seahorses are stripped from the sea by shrimp trawlers as their nets rake the bottom; they are overfished by small-scale or subsistence fishers around the world; their inshore coastal habitats are subject to pollution, dredging, mining, blasting, farming, and other human damage.
Because seahorses suffer from the same pressures and benefit from many of the same interventions as other marine life, action for seahorse conservation directly benefits other marine animals — particularly when it comes in the form of marine protected areas and improved governance.