West African seahorse

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West African seahorse
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gasterosteiformes
Family: Syngnathidae
Genus: Hippocampus
Species: H. algiricus
Binomial name
Hippocampus algiricus
Kaup, 1856

The West African seahorse (Hippocampus algiricus) is a species of fish in the Syngnathidae family (Seahorses and pipefish). It is found in the Atlantic Ocean off Algeria, Angola, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.[1]

It was first videotaped in 2012. The video is part of a joint investigation between Project Seahorse, Imperial College London, and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) into West Africa’s burgeoning seahorse trade. The number of seahorses exported, primarily to China for traditional medicine, has risen sharply in the last few years to about 600,000 seahorses annually. Meanwhile, scientists know virtually nothing about their numbers, habitat, or life cycle.[2]

The efforts of Project Seahorse, directed by Dr. Amanda Vincent, resulted in the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) adopting international trade controls for seahorses in 2002.[2]

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