Take Individual Steps
Project Seahorse is excited to encourage everybody who cares about marine life to promote more commitment to the ocean, its species and its spaces. We very much welcome efforts by communication professionals, influencers, researchers, professors and teachers to grow the impetus for action.
We applaud all individuals who take the right decisions, making a lot of noise for the ocean along the way. We are keen to reach into new communities of people who could be encouraged to become ocean advocates… and thus to effect change.
Expand conservation discussions (and journals!) to embrace ocean wildlife and include marine fishes and invertebrates. Give fisheries the same attention as forestry and farming. Refuse to allow marine species to be treated solely as economic commodities.
Contribute your seahorse sightings in the water to iSeahorse.org, a partner of iNaturalist. The many thousands of sightings so far have greatly expanded our understanding of species occurrences and distributions. We also really welcome offers to conduct repeat monitoring of wild populations of seahorses, following our easy-to-use protocols.
All seahorse species desperately need more research. We can’t even assess the conservation status of more than one-third of seahorse species. We need to know much more about many population parameters, relationships with other species, dependencies on habitat quality, resilience to fishing and so many other aspects of their life history and ecology. You can help, as a trends monitor for iSeahorse or as a professional scientist.
Most people will stop and listen if you recount a true story about giant helicopters repeatedly using giant weighted nets to strip a mountainside, levelling off all vegetation and removing every bird, butterfly, bear and bush. Now explain that this happens every day all over the world, using hundreds of thousands of underwater helicopters called bottom trawlers. Let’s turn up the heat on this issue.
Do the ocean a favour… remember the destructive force of bottom trawling and refuse to eat seafood obtained that way. As well, reject farmed shrimp or fish raised on food caught in bottom trawls. If we ask our vendor or server often enough, they will have to find out about the seafood they are selling. As well as avoiding bottom trawling, you can find more information on good choices from seafood choice cards in a number of countries. Use your purchasing power to effect change.
Ask all elected officials and all candidates for office (coastal and inland) about their ocean platform and policy. If they don’t have one, then asking will provoke them to think about it. If they do have one, consider voting for them!
Communicate with elected officials on issues that matter to you. Contact government agencies and resource management bodies about issues that concern you. Request action, monitor their responses and hold them accountable. Praise and publicise effective engagement.
Build an army of ocean warriors by exciting and engaging people with the marvels of marine life and the magic of marine communities. Learn and share in as many ways as possible.
As journalists, influencers, journal editors, teachers… ask yourself if you are treating marine conservation fairly. Remember that the ocean provides 99% of the living space on Earth.
How much time are you allocating to marine news and issues?
As well…. please donate to Project Seahorse if you can. We already punch way above our weight and have wonderful ideas of what to do next, with great partners. We just need a few more people to help move things along, and project funds to get things done. We hugely value funding and other resources, including donations in kind. Donations result in tax receipts.
[Updated 10 June 2021]
[Updated 13 June 2021]