Reports suggest that Britain’s largest seahorse colony has been decimated by boats dropping their anchors. Studland Bay in Dorset has historically been home to the native spiny and short-snouted seahorses-five years ago, 40 pairs of the former species and one pair of the latter were recorded.
However, it’s thought that anchors churning up the seagrass beds where they breed have caused a dramatic decline in numbers, and some conservationists say that the colonies have been wiped out. ‘We are aware that recent surveys have returned a negative result, but we have also received two separate reports of seahorse sightings in Studland Bay within the past fortnight, suggesting the picture is not clear cut,’ explains a Natural England spokesman.
‘We are working closely with Defra and other organisations to help inform decisions on how the seagrass can be conserved.’ The no-anchor zone that was introduced in the area several years ago is no longer in force.
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Image from: The Joint Nature Conservation Committee