A sprinkling of news from the Project Seahorse team
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The Project Seahorse NewsletterSpring 2018

Annihilation trawling?!? What is that?!


“In trawl fisheries we’ve transitioned from having target species with quite a bit of bycatch, the normal scenario which has worried us all for a long time, to a situation which I call annihilation trawling, where there really is no target anymore” says Amanda Vincent, "Instead, it’s any and all sea life they’re after, for processing into chicken feed, fishmeal and other low-value products". Together with her PhD student Tanvi Vaidyanathan, Amanda led a campaign to alert India’s policy makers to this issue and to urge them to take action to better manage their coastal resources.  To this end we developed a toolkit, for like-minded organizations to use while engaging with policy-makers to end the devastating practice of annihilation trawling. 

Amanda has also written a few blogs highlighting this devastating practice. Stay tuned as we continue to explore solutions to this serious global challenge.  

iSeahorse National Seahorse Experts & Ambassadors

iSeahorse harnesses the power of divers, photographers, scientists, conservation groups and other seahorse enthusiasts to improve what we know about seahorses and increase conservation efforts. As Project Seahorse acts in the capacity of the IUCN SSC Seahorse, Pipefish and Stickleback Specialist Group, iSeahorse provides a vital tool for global conservation action for these fishes.
Seventeen of the most knowledgeable people in seahorse ecology and conservation have agreed to act as National Seahorse Experts (NSE) and another 18 committed to seahorse conservation as Ambassadors. 
National Seahorse Experts review and validate seahorse observations for their country and will answer your country specific seahorse questions or comments.  Ambassadors are valued seahorse conservationists that help to promote iSeahorse. Together, our hope is to increase public awareness of seahorses and marine conservation, empowering citizens to take action for seahorses and the seas.

Find out here who the NSEs or Ambassadors are in your country.

Destructive fishing has become ever more common…

Our recently published study by Selgrath et al (2018) found that some fishing methods in use today in small-scale fisheries are causing more damage to coral reefs than ever. Our study tracked changes in the types of fishing methods — such as hand line, traps and nets — used on coral reefs between 1950 and 2010, in the Philippines.  We found that from the 1960s onwards, the use of relatively sustainable fishing methods like hook and line fishing remained stable, while there was a marked increase in the use of fishing practices that were less selective and more destructive, even illegal (such as explosives and poison), despite legislation that banned such destructive fishing.

Continue reading here

Another Endangered Seahorse

Did you know that there are now two seahorses listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List? Sadly, Hippocampus capensis has been joined by Hippocampus whitei.  For the complete list of threatened syngnathid species click here.
From the blog

In the last few months not one but two of our iSeahorse National Seahorse Experts have written guest posts for our “On Conservation” blog. Dr Diego Luzzatto shares how he came to describe a Patagonian seahorse species, while Dr Miguel Correia tells us about the strange case of Stratoni seahorses.
iSeahorse highlight

Every month we feature an unusual / interesting / fun iSeahorse observation on our blog. Can you view them here.
Amanda in the field

Our Director, Prof. Amanda Vincent, has been on sabbatical since Sept 2018.  She has spent much time on active conservation in China, India, Chile, South Africa and is now in France.  Watch our blog space for updates on her many adventures.
Thank you!

Guylian Belgian Chocolates has been the major sustaining sponsor of Project Seahorse since 1999.  We can't thank them enough.

Find out more here
New manuscripts

Aylesworth, L., & T-C. Kuo. 2018. Reporting time period matters: quantifying catch rates and exploring recall bias from fisher interviews in Thailand. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
Kuo, T-C. and A.C.J. Vincent. 2018. Assessing the changes in international trade of marine fishes under CITES regulations – A case study of seahorses.  Marine Policy 88:48–57.
Selgrath, J.C., Gergel, S.E., and A.C.J. Vincent. 2018. Shifting gears: Diversification, intensification, and effort increases in small-scale fisheries (1950-2010). PLoS ONE 13(3): e0190232.
Woodall, L. C., Otero-Ferrer, F., Correia, M., Curtis, J. M., Garrick-Maidment, N., Shaw, P. W., & H.J. Koldewey. 2018. A synthesis of European seahorse taxonomy, population structure, and habitat use as a basis for assessment, monitoring and conservation. Marine Biology. 165(1):19.
Zhang, X. and A.C.J. Vincent. 2018. Predicting distributions, habitat preferences and associated conservation implications for a genus of rare fishes, seahorses. Diversity and distributions.

More here
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