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SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium Complete Seahorse Release

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 10, 2021 11:00 am

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Seahorse Release

An adult white's seahorse

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium have celebrated their second successful release as part of a breeding program for the white's seahorse. Over 140 juveniles seahorses spent their first night in the harbor after their release on September 9th 2021.

With 140 seahorses released yesterday it brings the program total over two years to 200.

Laura Simmons, Curator at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, said, “We’re now in year two of a multi-year project that aims to recover the Endangered White’s seahorse. I’m extremely proud that today we saw over 140 tagged White’s seahorses released into the wild, where we hope they’ll go on to breed all around Sydney Harbour and the East Coast of Australia to help White’s seahorse flourish. Today was a major milestone in the long-term, collaborative effort to recover and eventually de-list this species.”

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Seahorse Release

A white's seahorse gets its first look at the seahorse hotel, an artificial reef environment where it will grow up.

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Last year the white's seahorse, also known as the Sydney seahorse was listed as endangered in NSW. Australia's only threatened seahorse species they are declining as a result of habitat loss and degradation to their harbor habitat.

In 2019 SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium built a dedicated seahorse breeding center and  NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries, placed the first of 27 Seahorse Hotels in Sydney Harbour. 

Seahorse hotels are artificial structures which help to protect the seahorses when released in to the harbor.

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Breeding and recovery efforts for the white's seahorse are being managed by a number of partners including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, DPI Fisheries, Ocean Youth, the Gamay Rangers, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the Sydney Institute of Marine Science(SIMS), generous support from Taylors Wines and all those who support the campaign.

Dr. David Harasti, Senior Marine Scientist with DPI Fisheries, said, “just last year the White’s seahorse was listed as an Endangered species in NSW and this collaborative project is helping provide artificial homes for seahorses to live on in Sydney Harbour. The captive breeding program and Seahorse Hotels initiative is providing hope for this iconic and mythical marine species and will hopefully contribute to their numbers increasing in the wild."

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Seahorse Release

An aquarist releases a group of juvenile white's seahorse in to Sydney Harbour

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

The release is a major milestone but as the project continues funds are being raised through the SeaBnB campaign. The SeaBnB fundraising initiative is a collaboration between the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and family winery Taylors Wines. It has so far raised $25,000 with a goal of $150,000.

Donation details and further information on the program can be found here – https://seabnb.com.au/

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Seahorse Release

A group of white's seahorse are ready for release in to the harbour.

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Learn more about SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium on their website – SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

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