Two individual seahorses have been discovered just days apart in separate locations in English waters.

A diving contractor found a female spiney seahorse whilst working in the Hamble Estuary, Hampshire whilst a Cornwall Council nature recovery officer spotted another spiney seahorse in a Cornish Estuary. The spiney seahorse is also known as the long-snouted seahorse.

Sightings of seahorses in UK waters are rare, with only a small number identified in Cornwall since 2014. Locations of the sightings are not disclosed to help protect the species although the species are though to enjoy seagrass-rich habitats.


The spiny seahorse was found by a diving contractor working in Hamble Estuary, credit: Seahorse Trust


Cllr Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s member for environment and climate change, said:

“This incredible sighting by a member of our nature recovery team highlights the wealth of wildlife we have in Cornwall and the great work we’re doing to protect and restore nature”.

The diving contractor was able to photograph the individual before releasing it back into the water. The Seahorse Trust praised his “quick thinking” in carefully releasing the seahorse and reporting the find to the national database.

In 2008, both species of UK seahorses – spiny (Hippocampus guttulatus) and short-snouted (Hippocampus hippocampus) – were protected as named species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981 as amended).

If you spot a seahorse you can fill out the Seahorse Trust survey form here to log your sighting.

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