Aquarium breeds Short-snouted seahorse

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Over 120 endangered seahorses have been born at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth.

It is the first time that the Short-snouted seahorses, Hippocampus hippocampus, has been bred at the aquarium " and is being done so as part of a nationwide captive-breeding project.

This is the first time we have successfully bred short-snouted seahorses here and for so many to have been born is fantastic, said Robbie Robinson of the Blue Reef Aquarium.

The Short-snouted seahorse is one of two species, along with the Long-snouted seahorse, found in the British Isles.

As with all seahorses, the female lays her eggs in a ~pouch on the males stomach, where they are fertilised and incubated until birth.

Found in shallow inshore waters among seaweed and in estuaries " including the River Thames " the Short-snouted seahorses are threatened with habitat loss and pollution, like almost all seahorses across the world.

The species is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. (See Seahorse population discovered in Thames, News, Nicolette Craig, 16 April 2008.)

It's obviously very early days, said Robinson, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that many of the babies will survive into adulthood and help boost the captive bred populations of these endangered and beautiful fish.