Seahorse at Labaquac Lab / Photo: Marilene Viero/Funbio
Seahorse species are endangered the world over and are listed as a key target under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Brazil is home to three of the fifty known species of seahorse. These tiny, solitary fish spend their lives camouflaged among corals and algae and suffer immensely from bycatch and habitat loss
The state of Rio de Janeiro is a fisheries hotspot in Brazil, with 156 fishing ports across 25 coastal municipalities. Of all the fishing modalities, bottom trawling for shrimp and fish is by far the most damaging to seahorse populations in marine and estuarine environments. To a lesser extent, bottom and surface gillnet fishing also results in seahorse bycatch.
The initiative “Study on Seahorse (Syngnathidae: Hippocampus) Bioecology and Bycatch with a view toward Sustainable Management in Rio de Janeiro State”, led by the Marine Aquaculture Laboratory (Labaquac), will propose new ways of mitigating the impacts caused by fishing and other activities upon seahorse populations, and hopefully furnish models and theories for the creation of public policies.
Marine and Coastal