Thorny seahorses (Hippocampus histrix) in Negros, the Philippines. Photo by Gino Symus / Guylian Seahorses of the World


Saving Mr Mom: the Philippines Seahorse Program

We are excited to introduce our new initiative, the Philippine Seahorse Program (PSP), also known as Saving Mr. Mom. The PSP aims to support the Philippine government in implementing the 2016 National Plan of Action for Seahorses, enhancing the conservation status of seahorse species, many of which are globally threatened. The program will contribute to increasing awareness of seahorses, reinforcing marine protected areas, improving enforcement of fisheries regulations against illegal gears, and promoting sustainable trade in accordance with CITES regulations, including the development of seahorse-specific management measures.

BFAR regional staff identifying seahorses. Photo by Chai Apale / ZSL-Philippines

This three-year program is in line with the National Plan of Action for Seahorses, co-developed in 2016. Our key objectives involve conducting a comprehensive IUCN Red List assessment for the 10 recorded seahorse species in the Philippines, establishing and strengthening marine protected areas where seahorses are located, and providing capacity-building training for wildlife law enforcers to accurately identify seahorse species.

We will conduct non-detriment findings (NDFs), which are thorough scientific studies evaluating whether the trade of a particular species would negatively impact its survival in the wild. In the case of seahorses, our goal is to assess the viability of legal seahorse trade in the Philippines.

This program is a collaboration between Project Seahorse, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and various Filipino government organizations such as the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI).

We are committed to protecting and conserving seahorses in the Philippines.
Stay tuned for updates on our progress, or contact us to learn more about the program.

[Updated 16 Jan 2024]

[Updated 5 July 2023]