Seahorse conservation and assessment

Project Staff

Amanda Vincent
Director, Co-founder
Christina Czembor
Research Assistant
Heather Koldewey
Field Conservation Manager & Co-Founder
Lucy Woodall
Research Associate
Mai Yasue
Research Associate
Sara Lourie
Research Associate

Seahorse conservation and assessment

Effective marine conservation must be complemented by sound policy. Project Seahorse works with national governments, authorities and international organizations to develop policies with positive marine conservation effects.  

In our role as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List Authority for all syngnathids, we have wriiten and reviewed assessments of the conservation status of seahorses, pipefishes, and seamoths

The IUCN Red List is the most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. The aim of the Red List is to communicate the scope and urgency of conservation problems to the public and policymakers, and to motivate the global community to prevent species extinctions.

Currently, 38 seahorse species are included on the Red List: one as Endangered, seven as Vulnerable, one is Least Concern and 29 as Data Deficient. Working with partner organizations, Project Seahorse collects biological information on these fishes throughout their global range to inform and support conservation action.

Our wide and thorough work identifying seahorses makes Project Seahorse the authority on assessing threats, protection and conservation.  

We have created a network of 130 researchers in 28 countries to exchange ideas on syngnathid biology and conservation; generated the global conservation assessments for seahorse species for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; recommended a universal minimum size limit for seahorses in international trade, now officially recommended for use in 175 countries; and informed national and international regulations. 

Program publications

O’Donnell, K.P., M. G. Pajaro and A.C.J. Vincent (2010) How does the accuracy of fisher knowledge affect seahorse conservation status? Animal Conservation 13(6): 526-523. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00377.x

O’Donnell, K.P., Pajaro, M.G., Vincent, A.C.J. (2010) Improving conservation and fishery assessments with local knowledge: future directions. Animal Conservation 13 (6): 539-540. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00427.x

Perry, A. L., K. E. Lunn, and A. C. J. Vincent (2010) Fisheries, large-scale trade, and conservation of seahorses in Malaysia and Thailand. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20:464-475.

Hall, M., D. Pauly, V. Conover, A.C.J. Vincent, K. Davis, C. Safina, G. Sugihara, U.R. Sumaila and T. Agardyhttp. (2007) 10 Solutions to Save the Ocean. Conservation 8(3):23 

Foster, S.J. and A.C.J. Vincent (2005) Enhancing sustainability of the international trade in seahorses with a single minimum size limit. Conservation Biology 19:1044-1050 

Foster, S.J. and A.C.J. Vincent (2004) Life history and ecology of seahorses: implications for conservation and management. Journal of Fish Biology 65:1-61 

Lourie, S.A. and A.C.J. Vincent (2004) Using biogeography to set priorities in marine conservation. Conservation Biology 18:1004-1020 

Martin-Smith, K.M., M.A. Samoilys, J.J. Meeuwig and A.C.J. Vincent (2004) Collaborative development of management options for an artisanal fishery for seahorses in the central Philippines. Ocean & Coastal Management 47(3-4):165-193 

McPherson, J.M. and A.C.J. Vincent (2004) Assessing East African trade in seahorse species as a basis for conservation under international controls. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 14(5):521-538 


5 May 2014 / Posted by rbestbier

H. algiricusGood. Two more seahorses species should get better help, thanks to the recent CITES technical meeting for animals.

At this meeting, CITES expressed Urgent Concern about Guinea and Senegal’s exports of West African seahorses (Hippocampus algiricus - photo right) and...