A World Oceans Day Gift to Sydney Seahorses
New luxe SeaBnBs helping to Seahorses
What better way to celebrate World Oceans Day than with 18 new Seahorse hotels or ‘SeaBnBs’ in Sydney Harbour, which will provide vital housing for the next colony of baby Endangered White’s Seahorses to be released from SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in time for National Threatened Species Day on 7th September.
Commenting on the deployment of hotels in both Delwood Beach and Little Manly, Laura Simmons, Curator at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, said, “We’re now in year two of a multi-year project that aims to recover and eventually de-list the currently Endangered White’s Seahorses.”
The White’s Seahorse breeding and recovery project is truly a collaborative effort between the aquarium, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries, Ocean Youth, the Gamay Rangers, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science , with generous support from Taylors Wines and all those who support the SeaBnB campaign – with special mention to the philanthropic support of the Lim-Sutton Initiative.
SeaBnB, an initiative between Taylors Wines and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, aims to Save the Sydney Seahorse by combining Seahorse Hotels or underwater BnBs with restoration of the seahorse’s native habitat, endangered Posidonia seagrass meadows. The campaign asks Australians to donate by “booking an accommodation package in a SeaBnB” for a seahorse, while scientists set about restoring their damaged habitats.
Research funded by SeaBnB is guiding this current deployment of Seahorse BnBs and the tagging of wild Sydney Seahorses so that researchers can determine how seahorses use the natural habitat compared with the artificial habitats and how the addition of Seahorse BnBs can aid recruitment and breeding.
“We’re excited to be part of the science solution and privileged to partner with Taylors Wines who are committed to supporting restoration of marine habitats and species recovery. SeaBnB is a wonderful collaboration built on shared values around protecting the future of our planet. In this UN Decade of Ocean Science, the campaign unites community with specialists from a broad range of disciplines, including vignerons and gives us all a chance to be part of the solution,” said Professor Martina Doblin, CEO SIMS.
Third-generation winemaker and Managing Director Mitchell Taylor said, “We are thrilled to see the next major milestone of our SeaBnB initiative come to life. For more than 50 years, seahorses have proudly featured on our wines as a symbol of quality and winemaking excellence. Seahorses, much like grape vines, are indicator species that raise the alarm on serious climate related issues. It’s important as an agricultural business that across both land and sea, we do what we can to see the planet flourish. SeaBnB is just one of many initiatives we’re a part of to see that happen.”
Robert Cooley, Senior Ranger for the Gamay Rangers says, “The Gamay Ranger team is delighted to be a part of this important project to save the Sydney Seahorse populations. Seagrass beds are prime habitat for these wonderful creatures and are culturally significant areas to Indigenous communities along the southern coast as they provide critical habitat for all types of marine life – including many fish species which are very important for our communities. We look forward to seeing the Sydney Seahorse population recover and thrive again in our bays.”
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Sydney Seahorses are not the travelling type. They like to find a “happy place”, “fall in love” and give birth. So, when their habitat is lost, they’re lost too.
Dr. David Harasti, Senior Marine Scientist with DPI Fisheries, said, “To ensure the survival of the White’s Seahorse in the wild, it is essential that we maintain and protect the marine habitats that they rely on. If we lose the habitats, then we lose the seahorses.”
Give seahorses a temporary SeaBnB home, villa or penthouse – while our scientists set about restoring these natural seagrass meadows.
The iconic Sydney seahorses are an endangered species, and their preferred homes, underwater seagrass meadows known as Posidonia australis, are declining at the same rate as our coral reefs.