Seahorse trade under stricter control

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The trade in seahorses in Singapore is set to come under stricter controls next month.

Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority is governing the trade of seahorses from May 15 and any import or export will fall under Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) legislation.

Seahorses are predominantly fished for sale in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) trade, which uses 2 tonnes of dried seahorses every year worth $170,000. TCM practitioners believe that eating dried seahorses will cure impotence and asthma. The aquarium trade imports around 47,000 fish, worth $40,000 to the trade, and is actively involved in the ex-situ conservation of the fishes.