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Sydney Seahorse Breeding Project

Recovering an endangered species

Recovering an Endangered Species

A world first conservation project to help an endangered species

To help declining populations of the White's Seahorse recover, our team here at SEA LIFE Sydney undertook a breeding program. Wild seahorses from Clifton Gardens were moved to the aquarium where they gave birth to hundreds of babies. These baby seahorses grew healthy and strong and in May 2020 they were released onto the Clifton Gardens swimming net and nearby seahorse hotels. The project has continued for its fourth year in 2023, where we're set to release over 700 seahorse fry back into Australian waters.

Watch the videos below to learn more about the project and the seahorse's journey. 

Love seahorses and want to support our work? You can now get an e-adoption pack, with the ability to name your seahorse! 

WLS Seahorseadopt Bholgate 3331
Adopt for $55

Adopt a juvenile White's seahorse!

2024 is the fifth year of our seahorse breed and release program. A world first conservation project to help an endangered species which is endemic in Sydney Harbour. We are delighted to have successfully bred and released over 800 White’s seahorses into the wild and are committed to this important recovery work.

Learn more

The timeline of our program

Project Begins Seahorses

The Project Begins

To help recover declining populations, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium began implementing an exciting new breeding and conservation project in collaboration with a suite of organisations including the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) who are their two main partners. The project aims to successfully breed, raise, and release White’s Seahorse back into the wild and monitor their success in helping reverse the decline of this iconic Endangered species.

One Of The Baby White's Seahorses Surviving After Release In The Wild

Seahorse Hotels launched in the Harbour

The primary cause for the White’s Seahorse decline is the loss of natural habitat across their range. To help recover populations, suitable habitat must be available for the seahorses to live on. The sheltered bay at Clifton Gardens provided an ideal location to install seahorse hotels, and simulate the natural habitats which have been lost.

Inspired by lost crab traps, these seahorse hotels start as artificial structures then grow into natural habitats once they are placed in the marine environment. Over time they are grown over by sponges and algae, making them the perfect home for seahorses.

Seahorses Released Video File

Endangered White's Seahorse Released

In a landmark event ten months in the making, a group of aquarium-bred White’s Seahorses have been released into Sydney Harbour as part of a critical conservation project aimed at helping recover this iconic Endangered species.

Project deemed a success

Babies born into a custom-built seahorse breeding facility at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium were released in Clifton Gardens in Mosman in May and have since been observed weekly by a special team of divers under the guidance of a UTS Masters Research Student.

Robbie McCracken, a SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Aquarist and seahorse expert said the babies are growing well in their new natural environment so-much-so that we are hoping they will begin pairing off and taking part in the upcoming summer breeding season.

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