Incredibly rare seahorse found in Cornish waters

A long-snouted seahorse, like the one spotted in Cornwall. Credit: Ocean Conservation Trust / PA

A rare seahorse has been spotted in a Cornish estuary.

Only seven sightings of long-snouted seahorses, also known as spiny seahorses, have been reported in the Duchy since 2014.

Alicia Shephard, from Cornwall Council's nature recovery team, caught a glimpse of the long-snouted seahorse on a tideline during a walk alongside an estuary.

The exact location of the sighting is not being disclosed to help protect the species.

According to marine experts, thriving populations of seahorses are seen as good indicators of healthy oceans and habitats for a multitude of other marine animals.

Alicia said: “I can’t stress enough how special it is to see a seahorse thriving in Cornwall waters.

“Seahorses are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and you must have a license to handle them.

“This is an insanely rare species to find and isn’t something most people will ever see in their lifetime.”

Anyone who spots rare species such as the long-snouted seahorse is asked to record it with the Environmental Records Centre.