Swimming with seahorses
CHRIS BROWN, a marine biologist, made an unusual discovery during a dive in Weymouth Bay, Dorset, recently, when he came across a pregnant male spiny seahorse (it’s the males that carry the eggs, depositing them into the sea). Hippocampus histrix (right) is rarely found in British waters and this specimen was unusual for the fronds growing from its breed pouch.
Neil Garrick-maidment of the Seahorse Trust, who has been studying the curious creatures for 36 years, comments: ‘This discovery is so valuable because it shows another site where seahorses are. If we can find this one again, we can see where he gave birth, usually on a full moon.’
Seahorses are becoming increasingly rare on the south coast, partly due to illegal mooring and anchoring. The trust has achieved a ban on ebay of seahorses in Europe, America and Australia—sales are banned in the Uk—and is working with natural-medicine practitioners to stop using them in treatments.