Save Our Seahorses (SOS) was set up by Kealan Doyle with The Seahorse Trust and is the Irish branch of The Seahorse Trust. It aims to conserve and preserve seahorses for future generations through educational awareness, by forming alliances, marine habitat restoration and by Conservation through Cultivation. This innovative project will be carried out by our working with people all over the world, to address the problems facing seahorses and the natural world.
What is Save Our Seahorses?
Save Our Seahorses is the Irish branch of The Seahorse Trust in England that aims to prevent the extinction of seahorses. If nothing is done, this is predicted to occur over the next 30 years. Save Our Seahorses takes an holistic approach to conservation. Aiming to solve the problem of dwindling populations of wild seahorses through study, but also helping resolve the long term social issues.
Kealan Doyle (Founder)
Save Our Seahorses founder Kealan Doyle is a conservationist who has worked for many years in the cultivation and conservation of seahorses. He has worked with seahorses over the last 30 years primarily in the Indo-Pacific and South America where seahorses are actively fished. He has had a passion and love for seahorses from an early age and has used this passion and love to set up Save Our Seahorses. SOS was put together by Kealan, or as many like to call him, the Seahorse Man. SOS is the irish branch of The Seahorse Trust. He is a highly experienced marine biologist and dedicated conservationist. Kealan has succeeded with seahorse cultivation where so many others have failed.
In a documentary called The Seahorse Man, to be aired on Netflix from the 22nd of Ocotober 2022, Kealan highlights for the first time the bleak future for seahorses globally. The Seahorseman, which was filmed over many years in collaboration with The Seahorse Trust, has been sold around the world. Save Our Seahorses plans to use the documentary as a springboard to launch its campaign to a global audience. An eight minute version of the film was being shown on 93% of all domestic flights in China which aimed to discourage the use of seahorse products. You can see this video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/F3QnbFTNzgQ
The Seahorse Trust
Set up in 2000, the Trust is a conservation not-for-profit charity. The Seahorse Trust (registered number 1086027) carries on the work of Neil Garrick-Maidment, its founder, who has worked with seahorses for over 47 years. He has observed the life cycle of 22 species of seahorse. He advises governments, individuals and projects on seahorse conservation all around the world. The ethos of the Trust is to work in partnership with nature. They do this by working in partnership with people like Kealan and others such as the SEALIFE group of aquariums, Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC), Save Our Seahorses in Malaysia and many others around the world. Only by working together can we all make a difference. Time is running out and unless we do something about it now it will be too late.
Seahorse Man tells the story of Kealan and his quest to understand the Traditional Medicine Trade. Throughout his journey he discovers things are considerably worse than the official figures say and drastic action will need to be taken before seahorses go extinct in the next 30 plus years.
THERE MUST BE CHANGES TO FISHING LAWS
Current fishing practices are detrimental to the survival of seahorses. We are campaigning for changes in fishing laws to better protect the wild populations of seahorses. Our research shows that up to 100% of males fished are pregnant. If they were simply held for several days in sea cages and allowed to give birth, this would have a significant positive effect on the wild population. This would at least give seahorses more of a fighting chance of survival. It would also give the indigenous fishers an income for the future. At present they are set to exterminate seahorses from the wild within the next 10 to 20 years.
Create awareness of the plight of the Seahorse and encourage alternatives to the use of seahorses in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). We are able to deliver multimedia campaigns and documentaries that target millions of people worldwide, this really creates a larger interest in Seahorses and the visual components of films and footage gives people a real view on why Seahorses should be protected.
One of the most well-known and effective methods in conservation is the introduction of reserves. It has been proven repeatedly both in terrestrial and marine reserves that after time ecosystems return to their natural state. Marine reserves would also encourage ecotourism. This would not only spread the word on the problem of dwindling seahorse numbers but also be a source of income for locals. In partnership with Marine Conservation Cambodia, the Cambodian Government and Projects Abroad, we are working in Southern Cambodia to set up just such a project.
Rewilding The Oceans
CAMBODIA RESTORES THE NATURAL SEABED TO BRING BACK THE SPECIES
It is vital we rebuild our ocean eco-systems by rewilding devastated areas. Rewilding is a concept that is sweeping the world and has mainly been done on land. However, through the hard work of everyone at Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC) in the project in Cambodia, there are moves going ahead to restore (rewild) the seabed to bring back all the species big and small that should live there. The evidence is already showing that around the project site at Koh Rong Samleon Island the seabed is restoring itself and species are returning. This is the only way forward to preserve the planet for the future.
Save Our Seahorses Campaign Website
BECOME A PART OF OUR SEAHORSE ALLIANCE
We strongly believe in partnerships in conservation, and with this in mind we are setting up the Seahorse Alliance which will bring together individuals, projects, organisations and governments from around the world to work as a group to preserve the marine environment, using seahorses as its enigmatic symbol. The Seahorse Alliance is the first of its kind in the world and will:-
- Form partnerships around the world
- Give advice to governments and individuals alike
- Assist with captive breeding projects on a subsistence and higher level
- Advise marine researchers around the world
- Set up partnerships with other conservation organisations working with other species such as Corals for Conservation
- Study seahorses in the wild to learn more about them
- Aim to work to restore, conserve and protect habitats around the world for the benefit of all species, using the enigmatic seahorses as the flagship species.