UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Identifying national conservation status, legislation and priorities for syngnathid fishes globally Stanton, Lily M.; Foster, Sarah; Vincent, Amanda C. J.


The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) concludes in their Global Assessment1 that the world’s marine biodiversity has been declining for decades because of overfishing, climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and others human activities. Such losses have wide-ranging and cascading impacts on people’s livelihood, health, and wellbeing. Actions to reverse such trend are urgently needed, yet the lack of understanding on the status of marine biodiversity is an important barrier to effective conservation actions. Such knowledge gap is also a syndrome of the broader global conservation and societal challenges. The research and its findings conducted by the Project Seahorse* and documented in this Fisheries Centre Research Report provide in-depth assessments on the gaps in global extinction risk assessments with particular focus on Syngnathid fishes. Syngnathids include seahorses, pipefishes, pipehorses, and seadragons. They are unique and marvellous in many aspects such as their morphology, reproductive biology, the mythology around them, as well as their societal values. In contrast, the conservation challenges that syngnathid fishes face are common across many other marine species groups. The comprehensive global assessment for syngnathids presented here thus serves as a lens to highlight where effective policies, research and investments are needed to safeguard the conservation of marine biodiversity in general.

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