The Seahorse Trust has achieved another result in the further protection of Seahorses in the wild with our recommendations being used to ban flash photography under license in the wild.
The Marine Management Organisation who issue licenses allowing diving with seahorses (a protected species under the Wildlife and Countrside Act) has stated that ‘Due to advice received during wildlife licence consultations in relation to the potential impact of flash photography on seahorses, we are no longer issuing licences which permit flash photography. This is on a precautionary basis while we develop our evidence base on potential impacts.’
Seahorses have very sensitive eyes that can see in full colour in very low light levels and the sudden burst of flash into their eyes repeatedly can cause them a great deal of stress which in turn can cause death due to the latent diseases held in their body. Under normal conditions these diseases cause the Seahorses no problems but stress in the cases of flash have been known to kill Seahorses and that is why flash is banned in most aquariums in the world and on other research projects in the wild around the world.
This is an amazing achievement that will help to ensure the future of Seahorses in the wild and is another step in the long process of getting the Wildlife and Countryside Act enforced. The Seahorses have been officially protected since the 6th of April 2008 under the act as a result of the hard work of volunteers of The Seahorse Trust but up to now this protection hasnt been enforced so it is fantatsic to see this going one step further.