Selsey Bill Seahorse Survey

Trust volunteer and friend of The Seahorse Trust Alison Mayor (Ali) has set up the Selsey Bill Seahorse Survey, working under our license (she is listed on the license) for surveying seahorses here in the UK, issued by MMO (see below).

Ali and her friends had found seahorses a few times in the Selsey Bill region over the years and reported them to us at the trust. This led on to conversations about the seahorses there, with Ali suggesting that she get involved and setup a formal survey on the site.

After spending months putting together a very in-depth survey proposal, she has now got the team together and they have started working on surveys for the site.

It is hoped over time that Ali and the team will discover more about the seahorses of Selsey Bill and the Hounds MCZ, building on our national knowledge of these amazing fish.

Ali and and the survey team are all members of the Southsea Sub Aqua club.

They are working around the Selsey Bill and Hounds MCZ area and dive many sites. They visit stunning dive sites with lots of species living there. The whole area is also really interesting due to the topography of the seabed, which appears to be deeper in some areas than others, which seems to give the seahorses a safe haven to live in.


The picture on the right is a pregnant male Short Snouted Seahorse, photographed by Ali (copyright protected).

A Short Snouted Seahorse by Martin Davies. Please note the picture is copyright protected. Please do not use without permission.

This beautiful panoramic picture is by Ali, who is setting up the Selsey Bill Seahorse Survey, in partnership with The Seahorse Trust.

Selesy Bill is on the south coast of England, in West Sussex.

Selsey Bill sticks out into the English Channel and because of this has some unique species in and around it, including seahorses.

Taking photographs of the seahorses is strictly controlled under the Seahorse Wildlife license held by The Seahorse Trust, which this project falls under and the use of lights and flash photography is strictly forbidden.

The Spiny Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus) might also be found in the area, there is a mixture of habitats which both species could occupy.

Ali and the team belong to Southsea Sub Aqua Club and it is a club run project, who are very keen on preserving their part of England for the future. If you are interested in joining the club please click on the logo to visit their site or visit

It is important to note as the two native seahorse species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside ACT 1981, then it is a legal requirement to have a license when looking for seahorses. The licensing authority is the Marine Management Organisation, their details can be found at