British Seahorse Survey

The more we know the better we can protect them

British Seahorse Survey

The British Seahorse Survey (BSS) was set up in 1994 and is the longest running continuous survey of its kind in the world and it would not be possible without the input of so many volunteers.

The sightings from the survey are fed into the National Seahorse Database (NSD), the only one of its kind in the UK and as a result of this survey we got both British seahorses protected.

In 2008 we got both British seahorses protected as named species under the Wildllife and Countryside Act (1981 as amended). This was as a direct result and the hard work work of the 5,000 plus volunteers we have had helping us since the start of the survey and we owe them a massive vote of thanks for all their hard work.

Another achievement in 2010 was the banning of the use of flash photography on welfare grounds as we felt through our 41 years of experience that flash photography is harmful and does kill seahorses.

It is now illegal to kill, take or disturb seahorses in British waters; as well as this the habitat where seahorses are found is also protected which means that if you find a seahorse in a seagrass bed that seagrass bed is protected, good news for the seahorses abnd otehr species that live there.

Due to our knowledeg of British Seahorses we have advised many governments including the British Government through its departments such as Natural England, JNCC and DEFRA amongst others. We also helped to shape the Seahorse license that is required from MMO to set up Seahorse Surveys in our waters.

We still need to gather more data about British Seahorses, so if you find one, then please let us know so that we can build more information on their ecology and behaviour so that we can make sure we have this amazing ‘Little horse of the sea’ around our shores for many years to come.

Please fill out the online survey form below or e-mail us on British Seahorse Survey so we can make your sighting count. If you have any pictures please e-mail them across.