By Catherine McGeer •
Published: 08 Dec 2023 • 18:15
Diving for Data: Collaborative Efforts in Seahorse Conservation
THE Regional Department of Environment and the Hippocampus Association are collaborating on a study to analyse the current status and census of long-snouted and short-snouted seahorses, as well as pipefish species in Mar Menor.
The regional government is actively promoting the study and monitoring of seahorse populations in Mar Menor, along with other unique fish species, aiming to enhance understanding and ensure the recovery and greater protection of the marine biodiversity in the area.
This involves regular underwater dives with volunteers (at least 15 outings with a minimum of six divers), and recording the location of individuals along with biological data. Moreover, immediate alerts will be raised regarding potential incidents or threats that could significantly impact these species or their habitats.
Seahorses are among the most unique creatures inhabiting Mar Menor, having been notably abundant along its coastline half a century ago. Since 2011, continuous citizen science-driven samplings and periodic monitoring of seahorse populations have been conducted to gather data for species management, and conservation actions, including their potential inclusion in the Spanish Catalogue of Threatened Species.
The Hippocampus Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine conservation, aims to raise awareness about protecting coastal and marine habitats through research and monitoring of the long-snouted seahorse population (Hippocampus guttulatus).
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I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!
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