One of the charities very close to our hearts is The Seahorse Trust. Seahorses are in danger of becoming extinct in the wild within 25 – 30 years if nothing is done to stop the illegal trade in them for jewellery, medicine, taxidermy and food. The Seahorse Trust is a small but dedicated charity that is trying to save seahorses around the world and is totally reliant on donations from seahorse lovers!
I volunteer for the Seahorse Trust, and, between the three of us who work there, we have managed to get Ebay, Amazon, Shpock and Ali Baba to stop seeling real seahorse products on their platform. Any that slip through the net we report to them and they are removed immediately. We have also worked for nearly 3 years to get Etsy to remove seahorse sales from their platform. They have been very reluctant to do so because seahorses are “only” Appendix I I protected species under CITES. Etsy only disallow sale of Appendix I species. However, Etsy now have listed the sale of real seahorse products as being banned on their platform. With Facebook and Instagram we now have a system with them where we report any for sale and they are immediately removed. This sort of work is important because selling seahroses glorifies seahorses as products for making jewellery, medicine or taxidermy. They are not, they are amazing little creatures who are endangered, which is why they are CITES-protected.
Neil Garrick-Maidment, founder of the Trust and renowned expert on seahorses is very grateful for all donations received from Wildflower Favour customers. This is how the donations are spent:
“Here at The Seahorse Trust we would love to say a massive thanks to Wildflower Favours and their clients for their amazing donations to our work. We use the donations to advise projects all around the world, including 7 governments, organisations and individuals on all aspects of seahorse education and conservation (our two key functions). We have volunteers in over 30 different countries looking for seahorses for us in seahorse surveys in the sea and for the various trades such as the curio and medicine trades; only by gathering this information can we have a greater understanding of seahorses in the wild and as they are used for the various trades that are sending them towards extinction.
“This year we are hoping to start a project in April/May in Jordan to assist the Jordanian government on seahorse surveys, education and captive breeding of their native seahorses for release back into the wild. The is a tri-country project which includes Jordan, Ireland and ourselves but set up and organised by us. One of our main projects is the World Seahorse Survey and we started this back in 1994 and is now the longest running continuous survey of its kind in the world. The information from this survey is used for the conservation of and education about seahorses throughout the world. The other main project is about the illegal trade in seahorses and other marine life and we hope to get these horrendous trades banned entirely.”
It’s only when you see a seahorse swimming along, living its life, that you appreciate how extraordinary these little creatures are. Want to find out more about them? You can view the Seahorse Trust’s video here about their work:
You can help the Seahorse Trust save seahorses and help stop the horrific trade in them by buying our Seahorse Trust wedding favours. 50p from every packet sold goes to the Trust. Imagine a world without seahorses in the wild – unthinkable.