Key components

The PSP will advance seahorse conservation in the Philippines by making a difference to their status, habitats, fisheries, and trade.  We are implementing the following five key components (which were identified in the 2016 National Plan of Action):

Knowing the Philippine seahorses

  • Conduct the IUCN National Red List Assessments of the 10 seahorse species.
  • Create the Philippine iSeahorse Network – a multi-sectoral network of volunteers to monitor seahorse population in sentinel sites and build local capacities on science-based seahorse and habitat protection.
  • Support setting up the Philippine Aquatic Red List Committee Database and pilot seahorse data capture.
Hippocampus comes (Tiger tail seahorse), Danajon Bank, Philippines. Thomas P. Peschak / iLPC
Hippocampus kuda (spotted seahorse) is one of the most commonly traded seahorses. Photo by Marleen Baas / Guylian Seahorses of the World

Establishing/strengthening MPAs as seahorse strongholds

  • Strengthen the management of at least 10 locally managed MPAs with seahorse population and will be assessed using the MPA Effectiveness Assessment Tool.
  • Expand coverage of at least three existing MPAs to include protection of seahorse population or establish at least three new MPAs using seahorses as flagship species.
  • Develop policy brief to lobby MPAs as a component of adaptive management plan/option for seahorse conservation in the Philippines.
Gaus Island with MPA in entire foreground. Photo by Project Seahorse
MPA guard house. Photo by Mai Yasue / Project Seahorse

Limiting problem fisheries

  • Assess and evaluate illegal fishing gears affecting the seahorse population.
  • Develop the management plan to address the problem fisheries through workshop and round-table discussions with different stakeholders and provide technical support to LGUs for the implementation.
  • Integrate seahorse fisheries dependent monitoring survey at sentinel sites for by-catch monitoring in DA-NFRDI’s National Stock Assessment Program.
Fishers in San Salvador. Photo by Myrtle Arias / ZSL-Philippines
Targeted fishing for seahorses (kay kay fishing) in the Philippines. Photo by Jennifer Selgrath / Project Seahorse

Legalizing a sustainable seahorse trade

  • Develop and implement a standard seahorse seizure data template.
  • Train at least 50 wildlife law enforcers in seahorse identification and implementation of the standardized seizure template.
  • Conduct NDFs in Bohol as the pilot site and develop a functioning management plan.

Developing knowledge products (KPs)

  • Develop and produce at least three KPs to engage and motivate wider audience to take action for seahorse and marine conservation.
  • Develop and produce at least three KPs for Aquatic Wildlife Enforcement Officers to use in enforcing aquatic laws (e.g., iSeahorse ID guide, measuring dried seahorses, etc.)
ZSL-Philippines biologist, Myrtle Arias training 40 participants to identify seahorses. Photo by Chai Apale / ZSL-Philippines
[Updated 16 Jan 2024]

[Updated 16 January 2024]