Seahorse conservation

As the IUCN global authority seahorses and their relatives, Project Seahorse ensures that wild populations are healthy and well-managed. We regularly assess the threat of extinction for these animals, work with governments to develop conservation action plans and management tools, help to regulate the global trade, and more. 

Our work / Field stories / Why save seahorses?

(Banner photo: Els Van Den Borre/Guylian Seahorses of the World)

A tiger-tail seahorse ( H. comes ) in one of the marine protected areas Project Seahorse has established with local communities in the Philippines.  Luciano Candisani/iLCP

A tiger-tail seahorse (H. comes) in one of the marine protected areas Project Seahorse has established with local communities in the Philippines. Luciano Candisani/iLCP





The year Project Seahorse achieved landmark CITES trade protections for seahorses


Seahorses citizen scientists and conservationists we've recruited since 2013


Seahorse population monitoring projects we've established through iSeahorse


Shark and ray species we've helped protect through our seahorse trade work 




What we do

Built upon a strong foundation of scientific research and knowledge, our seahorse conservation program ties together many areas of our work: 

IUCN Specialist Group

Project Seahorse's Director, Dr. Amanda Vincent, chairs the IUCN SSC Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group. Comprised of leading academics and conservationists, the Specialist Group provides independent technical and scientific advice to governments and other stakeholders to improve the conservation status of all 43 seahorse species around the world.

Sustainable fisheries and marine protected areas

Trawling and other unsustainable fishing practices threaten seahorses, with millions of animals being caught as bycatch in trawl nets every year. Through a combination of research and practical action, we promote sustainable fishing practices and help establish marine sanctuaries where seahorses populations can survive and thrive.    

Trade and policy work

In the mid 1990's, Project Seahorse uncovered vast global trade in seahorses, and in 2002 we helped achieve landmark trade protections for seahorses under CITES. We work tirelessly to strengthen national and international conservation policy, helping governments to ensure their seahorse trade is sustainable.

Citizen science and conservation

Through iSeahorse, our citizen science program, we're increasing the number of people studying seahorses and advocating for their protection from fewer than twenty to over a thousand. Our goal is to build a global early warning system for at-risk seahorse populations and habitats.

Guylian Seahorses of the World

Guylian Seahorses of the World


Stories from the field

Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor/iLPC

Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor/iLPC