The Daily Telegraph

Diver ‘humbled’ to spot rare seahorse off the Devon coast


A RARE seahorse has been spotted off the coast of the UK.

Mark Parry, a developmen­t officer with the Ocean Conservati­on Trust (OCT), was surveying seagrass near Plymouth in Devon when he spotted the long-snouted seahorse, also known as a spiny seahorse.

Mr Parry said: “After seven years of working in seagrass conservati­on for the Ocean Conservati­on Trust, it was humbling to experience this rare seahorse sighting.

“It highlights the significan­ce of what we’re trying to do with our seagrass restoratio­n work.”

Long-snouted seahorses are native to UK waters, but their numbers have been in decline in part because of the destructio­n of seagrass.

The OCT has been working to restore seagrass meadows off the south-west coast of Great Britain, with the aim of protecting marine wildlife.

Mr Parry told BBC News: “I think the biggest problem is people aren’t aware of its significan­ce. They aren’t aware of its location and they’re not aware that even small impacts in our day-to-day lives can impact that really fragile coastal habitat.”

He added that in seven years and about 700 dives he had “never seen one of these animals”.

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