The Ria Formosa lagoon is located
in the south coast of Portugal. It’s a great ecosystem
and very biodiverse. The Ria Formosa lagoon had a really dense
population of seahorses back in 2001. In the recent years,
we have found a dramatic decline, so now we are going to
try to find out why. We monitor seahorse population
on a regular basis, try to assess what is the status of the population,
and try to identify the critical areas for their habitat. The biggest plight of seahorses are
overfishing and also the destruction of habitat. The Ria Formosa lagoon
is a very touristic area, and so many people come here for the
natural beauty of the location. So like any coastal area,
we find a high impact of human activity here. We found a mesh bag, a yogurt container.
We found a plastic bag, a Ziploc. It’s a very beautiful place.
It’s a nursery ground for many species, so we have to keep it clean as possible. The habitat for seahorses are very important.
Not only for seahorses, but other creatures. So by protecting that specific habitat,
we are also protecting the habitat for many other species.