Anchor-free zone introduced to protect UK seahorses

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Experts have introduced an anchor-free zone in Dorset's Studland Bay to protect its population of seahorses.

Studland Bay is thought to be one of the UK's seahorse hotspots and is home to two species - the Spiny seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus, and the Short-snouted seahorse, H. hippocampus.

The Bay has a seagrass meadow at its southern end which is an ideal habitat for seahorses, including pregnant specimens.

Unfortunately, its sheltered location also makes it a popular area for anchoring boats and these may have a detrimental effect upon the seagrass habitat the seahorses need.

However, according to the Dorset Wildlife Trust, it has introduced a no-anchoring zone for a trial period in the seagrass meadow in order to allow a proper study to be undertaken to assess the impact of anchoring.