The coronavirus pandemic put the entire world on hold, and this gave nature enough time to heal. Governments created strict guidelines and measures to keep everyone safe at home.
We didn’t like the lockdown, but animals sure did. Nature enjoyed every bit of it, and actually regained its full strength.
A group of English divers found 16 spiny seahorses in Studland Bay in Dorset. This is the largest number of seahorses in that particular area since 2008. It was also the first sighting in two years.
Experts at Seahorse Trust explain that this amazing occurence is a result of the reduced number of tourists and boat traffic. There’s also less noise caused by the anchors, and seahorses used that.
“We have seen so many seahorses because the food chain has recovered, giving seahorses plenty of food to eat, and crucially, somewhere to hide,” founder Neil Garrick-Maidment said.
“The seagrass has started to repair itself, and the spiny seahorses have taken advantage of this.”
Scientists have recognized two types of seahorse species in England – the spiny and short-snouted seahorse. Spiny seahorses thrive in shallow waters in warm periods of the year. They grow up to 15-17 cm and use their tails to cling onto seagrass.
Seahorses are under the protection of The Wildlife and Coountryside Act (2008).
Campaigns forced the designation of Studland Bay as a Marine Conversation Zone in 2019. They tried to emphasize the importance of seagrass habitat and seahorses.
“The 16 seahorses discovered on a single dive are an amazing discovery, but we now need the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Natural England to enforce the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Marine Conservation Zone and put in place measures such as environmentally friendly moorings,” Garrick-Maidment explained.
“The seahorses need protection to stop them being disturbed again as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and to stop them vanishing from this legally protected site.
We have a unique opportunity to help nature and to restore the balance of our planet. We must grab this with both hands, f
r the seagrass, for the sea, for humanity, and crucially for these incredible seahorses.”