Australia is actively working to rehabilitate the endangered White’s seahorse population, unique to the country and considered an “Australian icon.” Following the release of hundreds of captive-bred seahorses north of Newcastle earlier this year, another reintroduction is set to take place in a tide pool north of Sydney Harbor at Clontarf.
The seahorses, also known as the New Holland seahorse, were bred at the Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney. Laura Simmons, the Aquarium’s curator, emphasized that this release is part of a comprehensive effort, with several releases already completed and more planned for 2024. The goal is to reverse the decline in the population of these seahorses, showcasing their fascinating characteristics, such as ovoviviparous reproduction and strong fidelity in seasonal monogamous mating.
Simmons stated, “We really want to reverse that trend and get them re-established. They’re our seahorses; this is an Australian icon.” The release at Clontarf marks the sixth release this year, building on successful reintroductions at Chowder Bay in Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, and Little Manly Beach, totaling over 400 individual seahorses.
Swimmers at Clontarf may have the opportunity to observe the seahorses clinging to the habitat net in the tidal pool. However, they are encouraged not to disturb the animals, contributing to the ongoing conservation efforts for this iconic species.