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Secure our shallow seas

The threat to our oceans begins in the shallows

The first 10 metres of depth along the world's coastlines is where seahorses and a huge diversity of other marine species live, grow and breed. Our coastal ecosystems are also where the greatest pressures are felt in terms of fishing, sea filling (a.k.a. land reclamation), aquaculture, real estate development, land-based run-off, pollution, and climate change. Many species and habitats are threatened as a result.

Shallow seas: A need to protect our maritime backyard

Nearly three billion people depend on the sea as a source of food and medicine and 90% of all economic activity in our oceans takes place in coastal areas. We urgently need to take care of our maritime backyards, the 10-metre depth where most people swim and fish. Yet there is little public or political awareness of the value or fragility of this narrow fringe, and even less coordinated action for its survival.

Project Seahorse: Shallow seas experts

Having conducted decades of research in the seahorses’ mangrove, seagrass, coral, and estuarine habitats, Project Seahorse is determined to broaden support for these critical environments. Our innovative and interdisciplinary approach, which marries biology, ecology, social science, and advocacy, gives us unique insight into the problem and its possible solutions. We use this insight — and our considerable academic credibility — to place shallow seas high on the conservation agenda.

An island village in the Danajon Bank, Philippines. Photo: Tyler Stiem/Project Seahorse