Meet Richard Smith, the pygmy seahorse expert

Tucked away in coral kingdoms, with their otherworldly beauty and elusive nature, pygmy seahorses might seem more fairytale than fish. But IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group member Dr. Richard Smith is here to bridge the gap between fact and fable - he swims with them, he studies them, he photographs them. Recently, he even helped name one! 

New hope for seahorse conservation 18 years after CITES listing - Part 2

I’m on a plane again - this time heading home. I’m excited to get there - my cousin is getting married this weekend and so there’s lots to celebrate. But truthfully I’ve already been celebrating! Just as my cousins will soon embark on a new chapter in their lives, so have seahorses embarked on a new chapter in our efforts toward their conservation under The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

New hope for seahorse conservation 18 years after CITES listing

I still vividly remember finding out that all seahorses had been listed on CITES  Appendix II. It was November 2002 and I was in Chicago, sitting in the lobby of the Shedd Aquarium (a long time Project Seahorse partner). My phone rang. It was Amanda Vincent, Project Seahorse director, calling me from Chile to tell me the proposal had received the 2/3 majority vote needed to be brought into force. I was early in my career and had not been involved with CITES for very long – but I knew this was something to get excited about.