Over 20 million seahorses are taken from the wild each year for medicinal or commercial use, coupled with overfishing and damage to their natural habitat — seahorse populations are in trouble. Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is looking to address these issues and more with the Seahorse Symposium being held from Nov. 1-4. The official title is “The Husbandry, Management and Conservation of Syngnathids,” and tackled topics within the field, such as seahorse husbandry, research and ongoing field conservation initiatives, such as Project Seahorse.
“From the time our fascination with these charismatic species began in 1998 through our award-winning Seahorse Symphony exhibit, Shedd Aquarium has carried on its commitment to the survival of seahorses in the wild,” said Chuck Knapp, director of conservation and research at Shedd. “We’re proud to welcome back the world’s best and brightest thinkers in marine conservation to address the new husbandry innovations, ongoing conservation work and past challenges that affect this fragile species.”
Originally held in 1998, the symposium on synganthids, which are seahorses, pipefishes and their relatives, is bringing together top-flight researchers from all over to discuss changes in the environment, habitat, declining populations, sustainable collection techniques and more. The symposium is the result of collaboration between the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Project Seahorse and the Zoological Society of London.
For more information, visit the Shedd website.
[Image via Ethan Hein]