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Hong Hong’s First Systematic Pipefish and Seahorse Survey


Seahorses and pipefish have medicinal value. Seahorses are also caught for aquariums, and are threatened by over-exploitation. Presently, all trade in live seahorse is regulated by the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" (CITES). Due to their extreme sensitivity to environmental and pollution changes, both pipefish and seahorses are often used as indicator species. They can also reflect habitat integrity.

Our survey discovered that a number of inshore waters in Hong Kong are breeding and nursery grounds of Pipefish and Seahorse. We also found Hippocampus kuda in the mangroves of eastern waters of Hong Kong. The situation is unusual compared to other parts of the world, as most seahorses live among corals. The long-term purpose of the survey is to establish a database that details the survival and fertility of the both the pipefish and seahorse.

2018
  • Ongoing
2017
  • No pipefish or seahorse recorded in the Eastern water.
2016
  • 1 species of Seahorse recorded in the Eastern water.
2015
  • 1 species of Seahorse recorded in the Eastern water.
2014
  • 1 species of Seahorse recorded in the Eastern water.
2013
  • 1 species of Pipefish and 1 species of Seahorse recorded in the Eastern Water.
  • Hippocampus kuda was found in Lo Fu Wat and Fung Wong Wat, both are areas of mangrove. The situation is unusual compared to other parts of the world, as most seahorses live among corals.
2012
  • 1 species of Seahorse recorded in Eastern water; 1 species of Pipefish recorded in the Western Water.
2011
  • Commencement of the Seahorse and Seahorse Survey. 1 species of Seahorse recorded in Eastern water; 2 species of Pipefish recorded in the Western Water.
  • Juvenile Syngnathus schlegeli were recorded at Tung Chung Bay and Sha Lo Wan, while juvenile Hippocampus kuda was found at Tap Mun. The above indicate these waters may be breeding and nursing habitats for Syngnathus schlegeli and Hippocampus kuda.
Image
Hippocampus kuda
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Syngnathoides biaculeatus

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