A few days ago a friendly local fisherman was fishing for Sand Eels not far from Fowey and when pulled in the net and this beautiful juvenile female Spiny Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus) was in the net with them. She was very dazed and so the fisherman contacted Phil Croxton owner of the Fowey Aquarium who took her in and looked after her over night.
In the close up picture of her is a Dog Fish Egg case and it shows she was about two and a half to three inches from the top …of the head to the end of the tail.
Phil then phoned us at The Seahorse Trust to report the sighting for inclusion on the National Seahorse Database (we hold all British Seahorse sightings since 1821) which is part of the British Seahorse Survey that we run and to get advice as to what to do. In conversation we advised once she was in good health, had a good feed and was rested to return her to the same spot she was fished from and release her. (we are keeping the exact location secret for obvious reasons)
Seahorse here in the UK are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981 as amended) and the act allows for tired animals to be held in captivity and to be released at the earliest opportunity, so Phil, the fisherman and the team did the exactly right thing and they should be commended for their quick thinking actions which undoubtedly saved the young seahorse
They released her yesterday by kayaking out and gently putting her over the side into the same spot she came from.
Pictures kindly from Ian McCarthy