Put an End to the International Seahorse Trade

Target: Convention for International Trade of Endangered Species

Goal: Ban the seahorse trade before seahorses become extinct

Millions of seahorses are traded every year as a part of the international seahorse trade. Little is known about the 47 different species of seahorses due to the difficulty in gathering research, and thus, it is unclear as to how many seahorses exist and how fast they are dying due to the trade. Despite this uncertainty, what is significant is the increase in the export and import of seahorses between nations. In 2001, a reported 25 million seahorses were consumed, the majority of them being sold as a form of medicine in China, and the number continues to grow. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that seahorses can cure many ailments such as kidney failure, but they are mostly used in promoting fertility. These markets prefer large, fully grown seahorses; however, many of the seahorses captured and killed today are smaller, indicating a decreasing population of seahorses.

Some conservationists fear the imminent extinction of these seahorses, reporting that the real number of seahorses killed to make Chinese products every year is 150 million. The combination of this number and the increased  number of nations involved in this trade have led many marine biologists to believe that the seahorses will become extinct in 10 to 20 years if nothing is done. Countries that are involved in this trade, such as China, Australia, Brazil, the Philippines, and many more, need to be educated about the consequences of losing seahorses.

Seahorses contribute to their ecosystem by eating shrimps and thus, losing them would harm the conditions of these ecosystems. It is also important to educate the global community of other factors that are harming the seahorses and causing their numbers to fall quickly. Millions of seahorses risk losing their habitat due to the pollution of coastal waters and the shrimp-trawling industry that destroys coral reefs and sea grass beds. When their homes become inhabitable, the seahorses become more vulnerable to their predators.

It is vital to acknowledge the severe consequences of this international trade. Put an end to the seahorse market until more research is conducted so that we can fully understand the severity of this market. Seahorses contribute to our ecosystem and we must not risk losing them forever. Sign the petition to save this threatened creature from extinction.


Dear Convention for International Trade of Endangered Species,

The seahorse trade has existed for too long and you must help ban this market. Hundreds of millions of seahorses are killed every year because they are believed to contain curing abilities in traditional Chinese medicine. In today’s world, seahorses are mainly sold as remedies for sexual reproduction and fertility. Whether or not this is true is not the issue here because the seahorse population is at risk of extinction and you must protect them.

Not only are seahorses suffering from poachers, they are also losing their habitats due to pollution and the fishing industries. Pollution of the coastal waters and shrimp-trawling of reefs and sea grass beds pose huge threats to seahorses because they push them out of their homes and make them extremely vulnerable to predators. Seahorses are a part of an ecosystem and without them, the ecosystem would be unbalanced.

Over 70 nations are involved in the seahorse industry and each nation must be educated about the severity of their actions. I urge you to ban the international seahorse trade and save the seahorses.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Daniela Bress says:

    Is there any part of any animal the Chinese don’t consider as useful for their virility or health?

    Do they really think they all will have to die after they’ve destroyed their “medicine” – or are they just as short-sighted and greedy as all the other human beings?!

    • NANCY BRAGG says:

      Thurs Aug 16 ’12 I have been wondering the same thing myself!!! I recently saw somewhere … that the keep the bears alive, (but is it?)& drain bile daily??????? W T F !!!!! Vancouver Canada

      • Daniela Bress says:

        Yes, they drain the ´bear’s bile daily and yes, these bears are alive, they “live” in small cages where they are not able to move til the age of five and then getting killed for their meat and fur.

        And yes, they also skin animals alive, unfortunately, the stories about the Asian people and their treatment of animals are true.

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