We have joined forces with Almancil International Rotary Club, based in Portugal on a project to develop a safe area for the seahorses to live.
Seahorses in Portugal’s Ria Formosa are under threat. In 2001, they had the largest colony in the world. Since then, numbers have fallen by 96%. There are many reasons for this including, mainly, the loss of their natural habitat and illegal fishing for medicines. If urgent action is not taken, it is likely that these beautiful animals will become extinct in the next 2 to 5 years.
Seahorses inhabit seagrass meadows in shallow waters of 5 to7 meters and generally spend their lives within a few hundred meters of their home. Which is why the Ria Formosa is the perfect location to protect this fragile species from extinction. The habitat is very fragile and easily disturbed.
A solution to the problem is available. The proposal is to create two protected Marine Conservation Areas within the Ria Formosa where navigation and fishing is excluded. This will require the installation of new buoyage and signage together with barriers to prevent entry. This is a method that has proven successful in the North Sea and can be recreated in Portugal with your support. To achieve this, it is expected to cost around €75,000.
Factfile: Did you know that seahorses mate for life and, unusually, the male fertilises and carries the eggs?
How to help
We are raising funds to help support the conservation project within Ria Formosa!
A simply donation is welcome of course or for a minimum donation of £1 why not encourage a younger member of the family to send a photo of their seahorse artwork. To access the artwork resources CLICK HERE.
Online Craft Event - Silk Painting
A great night was had by all (online!) at our seahorse conservation awareness/fundraising event; we captured the amazing talent of our tutor and Rotary member Emma Bailey in the video below:
more Take a look at the wonderful artwork that has been created in support of the Ria Formosa seahorse conservation project.
more A fun colouring and collage activity for children to support Seahorses in Portugal’s Ria Formosa under threat of extinction.