Pregnant male Short Snouted Seahorse
Pregnant male Short Snouted Seahorse

Southsea Sub-Aqua Club members are delighted to be working in partnership with The Seahorse Trust to conduct a survey in the Selsey and Hounds Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) to record the presence of seahorses in the area. The Seahorse Trust Selsey Bill Seahorse Survey. This important survey will be expanded and support the Seahorse Trust's recording and research of these elusive and mysterious creatures.  

Seahorse sightings have been recorded in The Selsey Bill and Hounds MCZ area in the past and are listed in the marine life that is a feature of the site. 

Following successful training and the easing of Lockdown restrictions, the diving phase of the Selsey Bill Seahorse Survey will start at the end of May and carry on through the summer until October. Under the Seahorse Trust's Licence granted by the Marine Management Organisation, SSAC member Alison Mayor has been designated as an 'Agent' for the Trust in undertaking the survey activities and will lead the project. 

"It's a privilege to be supporting the work of The Seahorse Trust in gathering information about the presence of seahorses in the area," Alison said. 

The survey will require divers to have good buoyancy control and navigation skills. We will be using GPS to track our survey area and if we are lucky enough to spot a seahorse the GPS will allow us to record its position and take important details which may help identification in due course. 

It is important to note as the two native seahorse species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, then it is a legal requirement to have a license when looking for seahorses. The licensing authority is the Marine Management Organisation, their details can be found at Planning and development: Marine licences - detailed information - GOV.UK.