MP Sir Hugo Swire becomes the new patron of The Seahorse Trust

PUBLISHED: 14:34 15 March 2019

Close up image of seahorses in an aquarium. Picture: Getty Images

Close up image of seahorses in an aquarium. Picture: Getty Images

Dewald Kirsten Photography

A mission to put a stop to illegal seahorse trade has been backed by East Devon’s MP.

Sir Hugo Swire has been named a patron of The Seahorse Trust and has been working hard to raise awareness of the cause’s work.

In November 2018, he secured a Parliamentary debate on the illegal trade in seahorses, which highlighted that 150million seahorses were illegally traded around the world every year for the curio and medicine trade.

Sir Hugo has arranged a meeting between The Seahorse Trust and MP Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to discuss what measures could be put place to tackle the illegal online trade as well as proposals for a marine conservation zone in Studland Bay, Dorset - with the aim of protecting two of the UK’s native seahorse species, the Spiny Seahorse (Hippocampus Guttulatus) and the Short Snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus Hippocampus).

Sir Hugo Swire said: “I am delighted to become a patron of The Seahorse Trust based in Topsham. Tragically, seahorses are threatened in Devon, the UK and around the world. I look forward to working with The Seahorse Trust to continue to raise public and political awareness of much-needed conservation efforts for seahorses and the broader marine environment.”

Neil Garrick-Maidment, the charity’s executive director, said: “Sir Swire has already been a fantastic support to us, enabling us to make inroads into the illegal trade of seahorses and spreading public and parliamentary awareness. We are extremely grateful to Sir Hugo for becoming a patron of The Seahorse Trust and we look forward to continuing to work closely with him to secure the future of one of the British Isles’ most iconic species, the seahorse.”

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