Saving Seahorses

27 July, 2023

The population of seahorses in Ria Formosa in southern Portugal was probably the largest in the world. But in the mid-2010s, it collapsed, and 95% of the seahorses disappeared. Climate change, poachers, and environmental pollutants are believed to be the causes.

Now, efforts are being made to restore the pride of this region.

Jorge Afonso at the University of Algarve loves seahorses. He runs the research station, which is squeezed on a small strip of land between the airport and the sea. I

In the beginning, every seahorse in the aquariums died. But now, fifteen years later, the survival rate is up to 60%.

The researchers have learned that seahorses are very “picky” with their food, so Jorge and his colleagues sweep their nets through the waters of the river delta every day in search of the perfect food.

Reportage: Daniel Hager

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