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