Custom seized seahorses at ZSL London Zoo
Monday 9 November 2009
A herd of seahorses confiscated by customs are now seeking sanctuary at ZSL London Zoo.
The 22 juvenile longsnout seahorses (Hippocampus reidi) were confiscated by the UK Border Agency two weeks ago.
Rachel Jones, Deputy Team Leader of ZSL London Zoo’s Aquarium, said: “People usually try to smuggle seahorses because they think that they will look good in their own personal aquariums.
“Seahorses are notoriously difficult to keep and should not be used as a trendy fashion accessory.”
Longsnout seahorses are found in the Caribbean and down onto the coast of Brazil in the wild and grow to an adult size of up to 17cm.
They will be held in quarantine at the Zoo for the next 30 days until a home is found for them.
ZSL's work with seahorses
ZSL co-founded Project Seahorse in 1996 in response to the destructive, global seahorse fishery and has helped to establish 15 no-take Marine Protected Areas on the Danajon Bank, Bohol, Philippines in the last 12 years.
British seahorses are occasionally found during routine ZSL fish monitoring as part of the Tidal Thames Conservation Project . In April 2008, new legislation was brought into effect protecting seahorses under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The two British seahorse species can be found in the Living Collections in the Aquarium at ZSL London Zoo , where a breeding programme has been put into operation.