Don’t Let Seahorses Disappear From Our World

Target: Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries of South Africa

Goal: Protect seahorses from extinction.

Seahorses are very captivating and truly magnificent marine creatures. They have a head like a horse that moves independently, a tail like a monkey, and their skin color can change like a chameleon. They are classified as fish, and lack teeth, a caudal fin, and a stomach. Another interesting fact about seahorses is that the males are the ones to give birth. But the lifespan of a seahorse is still unknown and most of its natural history remains a mystery. One known fact is that these jewels of the ocean are in great danger.

The most endangered seahorse is the Hippocampus capensis, also known as the Cape seashore, most common in South Africa. Its habitat is threatened by development and water pollution, legal and illegal trade of their dead and dried bodies for ornamental display,  coral reef destruction, and land-based deforestation. Additionally, it is estimated that more than 20 million seahorses are traded each year for traditional Chinese medicine. On top of that, hundreds of thousands of seahorses are sold for the aquarium trade, driven predominantly by North Americans. Most of these seahorses are juveniles and usually die a miserable death shortly after they have been captured. Bycatch in the shrimp hunt and other fisheries are further threats to these magical beings. Seahorses are a vital part of the marine world and saving them is extremely important. They can serve as flagship species for a broad range of marine conservation concerns.

The majority of seahorse species are poorly assessed and their population trends and status are unidentified. Eight species are classified as threatened, vulnerable, or endangered.

Sign this petition to urge the South African Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries to implement measures to protect marine areas, reduce ocean pollution, and start promoting forest conservation and reforestation along coastlines to save seahorses.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Miss Creecy,

South Africa is the home to one of the most endangered seahorses, the Hippocampus capensis or Cape seahorse. This truly amazing seahorse species and its relatives are in acute danger.

The seahorse is faced with numerous threats including habitat destruction due to coastal development, marine pollution, coral reef destruction, and land-based deforestation, the trade of their dead and dried bodies for ornamental display, and their use for traditional Chinese medicine. On top of that, hundreds of thousands of seahorses are sold for the aquarium trade where most of them meet a premature death. Bycatch in the shrimp hunt and other fisheries are further threats to these precious beings. Seahorses are a vital part of the marine world and saving them is of great importance.

I urge you as the South African Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries to implement measures to protect marine areas, reduce ocean pollution, and start promoting forest conservation and reforestation along coastlines. You must protect seahorses now.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Brian Gratwicke

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4 Comments

  1. Paula Morgan says:

    Climate change is here. We need our oceans and the animals, birds, and sea creatures living in, and on them. The Sea Horse is important as are all living beings. They are not trinkets. They are not here to be exploited. There are so many wrongs being done by so many countries that it is as if no one cares. Yet if we burn up the planet those who are so destructive will scream the loudest. Please be part of the solution and no the problem. Thank you.

  2. No species will be saved if there is money to be made off of it. People are greedy and money “talks”. Explaining that the species in question will become extinct doesn’t seem to matter, as long as there is something to exploit in the here and now. Changing the way these people make money is the only way to stop the species’ decline.

  3. PROTECT THESE (AND ALL CREATURES) LOVELY LITTLE CREATURES FROM THE EVIL DOERS.

  4. We MUST PROTECT our Natural World — We MUST PROTECT our Seahorses — if not, we are dooming our Planet.

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