KNYSNA SEAHORSE RESEARCH PROJECT
Oceans Alive Conservation Trust together with SANPARKS and IUCN is working together on The Knysna Seahorse Project in the Knysna Estuary. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations and is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. The Knysna seahorse is considered to be a national treasure. It is South Africa's country’s only endemic seahorse and is one of only two endangered seahorse species in the world. Found in only three Southern Cape Estuaries (the Knysna, Swartvlei and Keurbooms Estuaries) the Knysna Seahorse is an iconic species for Knysna, South Africa and the world.
Oceans Alive Conservation Trust is the main contributor towards this project and we are using our very own Oceans Alive Maritime Training Academy Commercial Divers to capture data on the Knysna Seahorse that will be used to determine their status and what needs to be put into place for more protection. The Knysna Estuary is among the most heavily used water bodies in South Africa. Commercial development, recreational sports and sewage has unfortunately led to a decline in the health of the Knysna Estuary ecosystem and its rich biodiversity. By joining hands Oceans Alive Conservation Trust, SANPARKS and the IUCN are able to do a survey for the first time in 18 years.
The Knysna Seahorse is considered to be the only known true estuarine species and the Knysna Estuary is one of the most biodiverse estuaries in South Africa with the Knysna seahorse (Hippocampus Capensis) being one of the most prominent residents in this biome. There are more than 50 different seahorse species worldwide of which the Knysna Seahorse is the only known true estuarine species.
The Knysna seahorse is the most threatened seahorse in the world. It was the first seahorse to be listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2004.
Our Oceans Alive Commercial divers in the water doing their best to find and identify the Seahorses. It’s incredibly challenging to see them in and among the vegetation. Follow us on our social media pages to stay updated on The Knysna Seahorse Research Project, 14 October 2022 - 10 November 2022.