Trade in seahorses and other syngnathids in countries outside Asia (1998-2001)

This volume provides the first synthesis of information on the trade in syngnathid fishes (seahorses, pipefishes and seadragons) in countries outside of Asia. Their consumption for use in traditional medicine, aquarium displays and curiosities is thought to threaten the persistence of many syngnathid species. The trade was originally documented in 1996, when it was shown that Asian countries contributed substantially to the international trade in seahorses.

Project Seahorse researchers undertook a broad geographic survey of the syngnathid trade in 1998-2001 to ascertain its full international scope. The ensuing analyses for the surveyed countries outside Asia are compiled in this report, which reveals that syngnathids are (often newly) traded by nations from every continent in the world, outside Antarctica, including most non-Asian countries surveyed.

This report provides a very important tool in support of a new international instrument. Since 2004, seahorse exports have been regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Their listing on Appendix II obliges the 175 signatory nations to limit exports to levels that will not damage wild populations. The data in this report, never before brought together in a volume, contributed to that decision and would continue to inform countries’ actions in implementing CITES.

Vincent, A.C.J., Giles, B.G., Czembor, C.A. & S.J. Foster (eds.). Trade in seahorses and other syngnathids in countries outside Asia (1998-2001). Fisheries Centre Research Reports 19(1). Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia [ISSN 1198-6727]