First public release of seahorses in the Balearic Islands

The “Cavallets de mar balears” seahorse project came about thanks to the Palma Aquarium Foundation’s collaboration with Banca March. These two entities joined forces to drive the conservation of these fascinating marine creatures and now, thanks to this project, 25th June 2024 saw the first public release of seahorses in the Balearic Islands, a major achievement for marine conservation!


A conservation project

A breeding pair of Hippocampus Guttulatus and four male fry of the common seahorse, Hippocampus Hippocampus, were released in the nature reserve on the island of Sa Dragonera. These seahorses were born and cared for at Palma Aquarium, ensuring that they were healthy and ready to be released into their natural habitat.

The seahorses were taken from Palma Aquarium to Puerto de Andratx and from there transported to the Sa Dragonera nature reserve on Blue Circle, the zero-emission electric catamaran operated by TrueWorld. The Firusbu diving centre also collaborated with the event, providing a backup vessel.

The technical team from Palma Aquarium and its Foundation were accompanied during the release by representatives from Banca March. Also present were members of the Balearic Islands Government, the Council of Mallorca and Sa Dragonera Nature Park.

Previous technical releases have allowed for the introduction of no fewer than 579 seahorse fry and young into their natural habitat. This latest release brings the total number of seahorses released into the Balearic Sea to 585.


Why are seahorses important?

Seahorses are considered key indicators of the health of marine ecosystems, but they are also extremely vulnerable. The “Cavallets de mar balears” project, launched in March 2022 and renewed in 2024, aims to facilitate the reproduction of seahorses in a controlled environment before introducing them into their natural habitat. These actions are crucial, as populations of these species in the Mediterranean have decreased by between 25% and 30% in recent decades.


Sustainable commitment

The “Cavallets de mar balears” project has been made possible thanks to the  Mediterranean Fund, Banca March’s fund for supporting sustainability and worthy causes. By renewing this agreement, the Palma Aquarium Foundation and Banca March have furthered their commitment to sustainability, marine biodiversity conservation and the protection of the environment.

This public release is not just a step forward in the effort to conserve seahorses, but also is an effective means of raising public awareness of the importance of protecting our marine ecosystems.

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