Journal archives for October 2023

October 06, 2023

iSeahorse turns 10 !

seahorse photo by imogenisunderwater on iSeahorse

This week we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of iSeahorse, our invaluable community science tool dedicated to seahorse science and conservation. Community scientists, especially divers, have been instrumental in its success.

Project Seahorse initiated this groundbreaking solution to address significant data gaps in seahorse populations. Seahorses, iconic ocean species, present unique research challenges due to their distinctive biology and elusive behaviors, which are further complicated by the small community of seahorse scientists.

Dr. Sarah Foster, Program leader for Project Seahorse and one of the iSeahorse creators, expresses her gratitude, saying, " A decade ago, we embarked on a journey to partner with community scientists to help us fill gaps in our knowledge about seahorses. Today, I'm filled with gratitude for all the passionate people who've joined us along the way. It's humbling to see how much iSeahorse has grown over the years, and exciting that contributors have made a real difference in seahorse conservation. We can, and will, save these fantastical fishes together."

iSeahorse operates on the iNaturalist online platform, fostering a diverse community of divers, scientists, conservationists, experts, and enthusiasts. Since its launch in 2013, iSeahorse has received nearly 11,000 observations worldwide, allowing us to address gaps in seahorse distribution, behavior, and conservation status. We have updated geographic ranges for seven species, described new habitats for 24, and documented sightings beyond known depths for 14 species. Notably, iSeahorse data played a pivotal role in the establishment of a new marine protected area (MPA) in Anda, Bohol, Philippines, and the expansion of another MPA in the Philippines.

The success of iSeahorse underscores the dedication of more than 1,900 contributors, with 96% of sightings originating from diving activities. We have initiated 20 long-term seahorse population monitoring projects worldwide, supported by 15 experts from 13 countries, ensuring scientific accuracy. Additionally, 22 iSeahorse ambassadors from 14 countries actively promote the program.

Support from Guylian Belgian Chocolates, iNaturalist, John G. Shedd Aquarium, Sea of Change Foundation, Synchronicity Earth, Taiwan Forestry Bureau, and Whitley Fund for Nature have made iSeahorse's successes possible.

As we mark the 10th anniversary of iSeahorse, our commitment remains strong to nurture a global community of passionate individuals, scientists, and divers united by their dedication to protecting these unique and vulnerable marine creatures. Seahorses, recognized for their conservation importance and iconic value, have played a pivotal role in generating marine protected areas, influencing fisheries management, and regulating wildlife trade. We eagerly look forward to further engaging with community scientists and expanding the network of seahorse experts and enthusiasts.

Posted on October 06, 2023 12:02 AM by projectseahorse projectseahorse | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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