Drug farm equipment helps to conserve seahorses


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Native seahorses at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth are to benefit from confiscated equipment used to manufacture drugs.

Devon and Cornwall Police have donated the equipment including lighting and growing trays — previously used for growing cannabis — to the aquarium where it will be used instead for growing seagrass, as part of the Community Seagrass Initiative.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), this three-year project aims to help conserve native seagrass and seahorses, getting the human communities that live around seagrass beds involved with the communities of marine life that thrive on the beds themselves. The range of lighting solutions, growing trays and growing mediums donated by Devon and Cornwall Police will be used to grow and study seagrass at close range, enabling project staff to gain a better understanding of its importance to the range of marine wildlife, including native seahorse species for which it is an important habitat.

Mark Parry, Project Development Officer for the Community Seagrass Initiative, said: "Seagrass beds, and the animals that rely on them for food and shelter, face a number of threats from pollution, coastal development and disturbance by vessels, as well as natural factors including disease and storms. This generous donation from Devon and Cornwall Police will enable us to grow our own seagrass for further study, all contributing to our ultimate aim of protecting these threatened species."

Mike Clayton, Property Store Supervisor for Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We’re very pleased to be able to assist the National Marine Aquarium with its research through donating confiscated equipment previously used for drugs manufacture. We always aim to work closely with our local community, and this project will see the equipment put to very good use to help with marine conservation, rather than having to be disposed of by ourselves."

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