The annual oyster survey monitors the catch rates of oysters and other shellfish giving an indication of the health of the estuary. Finding a rare seahorse adds to growing evidence that the Fal estuary, with its well managed sustainable fishery, is still productive and in reasonable health.
Matt Slater says,
“I had heard that oyster fishers occasionally see seahorses but didn’t want to even hope that we might see one as the chances are so small. However, just an hour into the survey and Cornwall IFCA’s, Principle Scientific Officer Colin Trundle, yelled out ‘seahorse!’ and sure enough this little beauty had come up in the dredge. We were all amazed!”
The seahorse was identified as a female, short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus). It was photographed and then swiftly returned unharmed to the sea in the same position that it was found.