SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has successfully bred and raised some 111 endangered young seahorses, releasing them into special “seahorse hotels” in Botany Bay on Monday, September 26.
The species, known as White’s seahorse or the Sydney seahorse, has seen a dramatic population decline over the past decade. But this is the aquarium’s third successful seahorse release since 2019.
The project is led by seahorse expert Daniel Sokolnikoff, who said, “It means the world […] to be able to contribute towards the recovery of a species that really needs our help, in our own backyard."
This year, the seahorses will be treated to three different types of “seahorse hotel”, the aquarium said, each grown over with sponges and algae, making them perfect for the little animals to curl their tails around and call home
This footage shows the seahorses being transported by divers down to their new homes, along with interview segments with Sokolnikoff. Credit: Charli Beale/SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium via Storyful
DANIEL SOKOLNIKOFF: My name is Daniel. I'm one of the aquarists at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. And I help to look after the White Seahorse Recovery Breeding project. Today we are releasing our third year of our juvenile White's seahorses. These are an endangered species endemic to New South Wales, and we are releasing 111 animals back into the wild to help recover the natural population.
So, this project is a collaboration between SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Department of Primary Industries Fisheries, Gamay Sea Rangers, UTS, and UNSW. So the team of experts here today are really excited to be part of this program. It's really heartwarming to be able to contribute towards the recovery of a species in our own backyard. So as part of the release today, we are hoping to boost the natural population here in Botany Bay. So today we're releasing our seahorses onto three different seahorse hotel designs. We're really interested to see if there is a preference for any one of these designs. This isn't the end for breeding the White's seahorses at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. We're about to go into our fourth year of breeding and we hope to release even more seahorses next year.
So come on down to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbor to witness the White's seahorse breeding program in action.
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- OK, you guys ready?