Quirky Seahorses Have Become the Face of Marine Conservation

Like many other marine animals, seahorses face devastation from overfishing and habitat loss

 |  Transcript [PDF]

The seahorse is an interesting marine animal for several reasons: the males are the ones that carry the eggs, they are seasonally monogamous, and, let’s face it, they are pretty odd looking! But seahorses, like so many other marine animals, are threatened due to overfishing and habitat loss.

Professor Amanda Vincent from the University of British Columbia uses the seahorse as a flagship species for marine conservation. As a founder of Project Seahorse, she aims to create a world where marine ecosystems are healthy and well-managed.

So far Project Seahorse has helped designate 35 “no-take” marine protected areas, create national marine policies in many countries including Australia, and put in place the first global export controls for marine fish.

But she also wants you to do your part.  Check out Sea Choice and make sure the seafood you eat is sustainably acquired. Download the Microbeads app to find out which cosmetic products contain tiny microbeads that build-up in the oceans, and switch brands. Insist that ocean health is included every time there is a national policy discussion.

We depend on our oceans for climate management, food provision, shipping and transport, recreation, and much more. Let’s make caring about the ocean as Canadian as hockey.

‹ Previous post
Next post ›

Amanda Vincent (@amandavincent1) suffers from aqualust and needs to spend more time underwater. She is now full Professor in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia, after previous stints at Cambridge, Oxford and McGill. She directs Project Seahorse, a marine conservation team committed to conservation and sustainable use of the world’s shallow coastal marine ecosystems. Its work includes ecological and social research, establishment of marine protected areas, fisheries and trade management, development of national and global policy, and citizen science.  The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has designated Project Seahorse to be the official global expert group for seahorses and their near relatives.  Amanda has many other international roles with the IUCN and United Nations Conventions, spends lots of time in Southeast Asia, and seeks to take quick and effective action for the ocean.   She and her team have been given some lovely recognition for their measurable impact on ocean life, including a Rolex Award for Enterprise and the top award in her field, a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation.  Amanda argues against any determination to give perfect advice, recognizing that the only options are imperfect advice or none at all.