We hope you will be inspired by our site, to learn more about and support us in conserving seahorses for generations to come.
We are a small, dedicated and world-leading charity for seahorses and the natural world, that reaches right around the globe.
We can only achieve what we do by working with others and by working in partnership with nature. By taking this collective approach we can all make a difference. Please take a look through our website and enjoy the work we do, which can only be made possible by our amazing team of volunteers, who are the true backbone of our charity.
We hope you will find the site informative and understand more about the problems facing our natural world, especially seahorses; whether that is the loss of seagrass at Studland Bay, Dorset in the UK, or the horrendous curio trade.
Thank you for looking at our website. If we can help, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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To find out more about our work in Ireland, click the button and go direct to our SAVE OUR SEAHORSES page.
Ecomoorings at Studland Bay in Dorset
The Seahorse Trust working with its partners at Boatfolk have put in 10 Ecomoorings into Studland Bay and this is just the start
In August 2021, The Seahorse Trust with its partners at BOATFOLK boating and marina services, installed 10 Ecomoorings as the start of an ambitious project to take pressure off this highly sensitive site, which is home to seagrass and seahorses.
As a result of the ‘conversation’ these 10 ecomoorings started we have now jointly founded a group called the Studland Bay Marine Partnership, made up of lots of interested parties such as the National trust, Boatfolk, the RYA, Southampton Unioversity, Dorset Wildlife trust and many others, including Natural England.
This was just the start and in 2023 we have fund raised for and installed more ecomoorings bringing the total from the partnership up to 30.
Studland Bay was designated as a Marine Conservation Zone in 2019 after 11 years of studying, surveying and campaigning by the trust and its partners at Southampton University. The site is very important for its seagrass meadow and its population of Spiny Seahorses both of which have been affected by an increase in the number of boats visiting the site.
These Ecomoorings will take the pressure off the site and allow it to recover to favourable conditions, which was the intention of the Marine Conservation Zone.
Studland’s Ocean Meadow
Studland has a secret underwater forest, the seagrass meadows which are home to seahorses, undulate rays, cuttlefish and so many more rare and endangered species.
In this video you can see how so many individuals and organisations have come together through the Studland Bay Marine Partnership to try and save the special habitat and precious species that live there.
Click on the image above to see the video
This film was kindly put together by Sue Weston and thanks to Boatfolk, National Trust, The Knight Family, Dorset Coastal Forum, The Seahorse Trust and Studland Bay Marine Partnership for taking part.
So how do they work ?
The Ecomoorings are very simple in design as the image to the right shows.
There is a 2-metre helical screw that is sunk (screwed) into the seabed, attached to this is a 2 metre, elasticated riser, that goes up to the mooring buoy on the surface.
As the tide rises the elasticated rode stretches, as it ebbs the riser retracts. This way the riser does not drag or run on the seabed and so the seagrass does not get cut down or eroded.
By having a very small footprint on the seabed (about 16 cm) it allows the seagrass to grow right up to it, giving a greater coverage of seagrass in the area, which increases the quality and area of seagrass for the diverse range of species, such as seahorses that live in it.
Without partners like BOATFOLK this project would not be possible, they have kindly funded this whole project and working with them we hope to go forward and install more.
We had one of the moorings kindly funded by ROCKFISH restaurants and one from a private individual, who did it in memory of a family member. Thank you to everyone and if you want to help this project, please email us and let us know.
GoFundMe fundraiser to take the project to the next step
We have launched a £100,000 fundraising campaign with our partners to take this project to the next stage. We need to raise the money to set up the not-for-profit organisation, employ a person who can run the organisation and ensure the moorings are maintained, insured and we have funds for more in the future. We also want to start buying and installing the next batch of moorings in Studland Bay and identify other sites and partners where we can install them.
Please help us by donating to this urgently needed project,
Click on the image to the left and please donate today for a future ocean.
Seahorse Ecology Course
FIND OUT WHAT MAKES A SEAHORSE TICK
Have you ever wondered why a seahorse is like it is? What makes these ‘little horses of the sea’ so unique and so well adapted to their watery world?
Is it a fish, a monkey or a chameleon? Seahorses show so many traits from so many different species it is hard to decide exactly what they are. In this unique course you will find out the answers to these and many more questions.
This online course run by The Seahorse Trust will explain the answers to these questions and explore the unique world of this mysterious animal.
Please have a look at the link to the left (just click on it to go to the site) and see more details of the course. Please pass this link to all your friends on social media and try to get them to explore the world of seahorses too.
Seahorse Survey Course
TAKE PART IN THIS INNOVATIVE COURSE AND LEARN MORE
The Seahorse Trust works with partners all over the world setting up and helping with seahorse surveys. We have partners, a Seahorse Alliance, in Malta, Spain, France, Italy, Bermuda, Japan, Peru, Brazil, Philippines, Australia and many other countries.
The Seahorse Alliance, working in partnership means that we are able to achieve so much by collecting data and working together all over the world. This enables us to put together our findings and inform the relevant authorities on how to conserve, preserve and understand seahorse species.
In working with others around the world we have come to realise that the techniques of surveying vary quite a lot and so we have put together and designed an international standard method for studying seahorses in the wild.
This course will be taught over 2 days (or 8 sessions) and is classroom based. At the end of it you will be able to understand seahorses and conduct seahorse surveys to provide much needed information on these amazing species.
The design and production of this course was kindly funded by the Postcode Lottery Trust and we would like to say a massive thanks to them and the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting our work.
Have a look on our Divers page for the latest dates and venues for the courses. Click on the button below.
World Seahorse Survey
We need to know about seahorses from all over the world
Understanding seahorses from anywhere in the world is crucial to their protection and conservation, the more we know, the more we can do to protect them.
No matter where you are in the world we need to know about your seahorse sightings and so if you can email us on WORLD SEAHORSE SURVEY with any information and/or pictures that would be great.
Alternatively if you could fill out our online survey form (link below) and email us any pictures, we can also add them to the worldwide databases we run.
We have been successful in our appeal to raise funds to design an interactive seahorse survey database and map.
This will to allow seahorse lovers to see roughly where seahorses are found around the world and what species they are.
The Sealife Centres have kindly funded the project as part of a large scale worldwide education/conservation project.
The database behind this map will be open at various levels for those that need the information, so that it helps in the conservation and future of seahorses from around the world.
STUDLAND BAY BECOMES A MARINE CONSERVATION ZONE
After 10 years of collecting data and submitting it to the authorities, and submitting the bay for protection, Studland Bay in Dorset (UK) has finally become a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). This will secure the unique site for the future of the seahorses, seagrass and others species.
The Seahorse Trust with its partners and friends from around the world, has successfully achieved MCZ status for this site and many others, and it is all down to you. Through the hard work of our volunteers, supporters and partners, we have done it! We look forward to making this site secure for Spiny Seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus) and other species for the future.
CLICK ON THE MAP TO THE LEFT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT THIS MEANS
FANTASTIC NEWS FROM ETSY
Another door closes to the illegal seahorse trade
We are delighted to see that Etsy has updated its policy on Endangered or Threatened Wildlife Products, clarifying that it prohibits the sale of products made from seahorses, alongside many other endangered or threatened animals. While seahorses are protected under Appendix II of CITES (the species of which Etsy normally allows the sale of), given the serious risk of extinction faced by seahorses, we applaud their decision to include them on the list of banned species.
This highly encouraging news comes after a long campaign by The Seahorse Trust against the sale of real seahorses in jewellery, trinkets and traditional medicine through various online platforms. This included extensive efforts to engage with Etsy, as well as the launch of a petition to ‘Stop the sale of real seahorses on Etsy’ which gained over 55,000 signatories.
Neil Garrick-Maidment, Founder and Executive Director of The Seahorse Trust said, “With an estimated 150 million seahorses killed each year, and seahorses projected to be extinct within 20 years, it is critical that trade in these vulnerable animals is prevented from continuing to threaten their survival. As such, it is hugely encouraging to see many of the world’s largest online marketplaces and information platforms, stepping up to shut down the trade. It is fantastic to see that Etsy, like eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba and others, has now made it clear that the sale of threatened seahorses through its platform is not acceptable. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has supported The Seahorse Trust in calling on Etsy and other companies, to stop the sale of seahorses. Seahorse sales have now been banned across all of the major global online marketplaces, potentially saving huge numbers of animals each year.”:
Seahorse Man is a documentary about Seahorse Trust friend and partner Kealan Doyle, a marine biologist from Dublin, Ireland.
It shows Kealan going behind the scenes of the traditional medicine trade in China. He explores how devastating this trade is and just how underestimated it is in official figures.
If nothing is done urgently then seahorses could be extinct in the next 25 to 30 years, Kealan’s quest is to try and stop this from happening.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO THE RIGHT TO GO TO THE FILM ON NETFLIX
Trust Founder challenges the Secretary of State over drilling in Poole Bay
COURT awarded, The Seahorse Trust founder a JUDICIAL REVIEW OF OFFSHORE DRILLING LICENSING
- Founder of The Seahorse Trust wins his judicial review.
- The challenge came after the authorisation of oil drilling in Poole Bay, Dorset.
- The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Andrea Leadsom MP) dropped her defence of the judicial review.
- The Secretary of State agreed that the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipe-lines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 (“the 1999 Regulations”) were not fit for purpose and needed to be amended.
- The Secretary of State agreed to carry out a detailed review of the 1999 Regulations, and committed to amending them following the review and a public consultation on the options for change.
- The Secretary of State further agreed to change the working practices of the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (“OPRED”).
- The new legislation came into law on the 31st of December 2020
Neil Garrick-Maidment, Founder and Executive Director of The Seahorse Trust, won a judicial review from the Court that the 1999 Regulations were not fit for purpose and needed to be amended. The Secretary of State agreed to carry out a detailed review of the 1999 Regulations to amend them following the review and a public consultation on the options for change, The new legislation came into force on the 31st of December 2020.
The challenge came after the Secretary of State agreed to the application by Corallian Energy Limited to drill for oil in Poole Bay, Dorset in breach of the European Union’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive. Neil argued that the drilling application was not subject to a lawful, transparent Environment Impact Assessment process, and the Secretary of State agreed.
Neil and The Seahorse Trust want to ensure that any future drilling in UK waters will be subject to proper consultation and scrutiny, so that sensitive species such as seahorses, are properly protected.
Protest card copyright of Steve Harper firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Ring, partner at Harrison Grant Solicitors, said that the Environmental Impact Assessment of offshore oil projects was “still in the dark ages” and needed “urgent amendment to bring them into the 21st century”.
Commenting on the Court’s decision to allow the judicial review, and the Secretary of State’s agreement that the 1999 Regulations needed amending, Neil said: “I am delighted. The law was not fit for purpose and has now been reviewed. Although this drilling has already gone ahead, it is crucial that this cannot happen again. Ordinary people must be given the chance to challenge the granting of licences to the oil industry and that the Environmental Impact Assessments must be done correctly. Thank you everyone who supported us, fund-raised and cared.”
Scuba Zoo Film on Seahorses
GALLOPING EXTINCTION: LAST STAND OF THE SEAHORSES
Have a look at this thought-provoking film by Scubazoo. It clearly shows how amazing seahorses are, and the threat of extinction they face in Borneo.
Please forward this link to as many social media sites as you can, to show the plight of the seahorse before it is too late. We can still do something about them if we all act now.
The film can be found at Galloping Extinction: Last stand of the Seahorse . What a brilliant film it is!
A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO KINDLY DONATED THEIR IMAGES IN AID OF THE SEAHORSE TRUST
This stunning set of images featuring seahorses and seadragons, has been made into a series of 6 individual postcards.
They are for sale for £7.65 (incl. P&P UK only) with 100% of the profits going to the work of The Seahorse Trust.
The images have been kindly donated by the photographers to aid the Trust’s work. We would like to say a massive thank you to them all.
If you want to buy a set or two, then please email us at