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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, December 3, 2023


Thanks to an experiment conducted by Coral World, 140 seahorses have a new home in the Mangrove Lagoon at Long Point on the east end of St. Thomas.
Coral World curator Donna Nemeth, Reef Rangers Marie Freeman, Choni Arri and Bryson Bryan, and other volunteers snorkeled into the lagoon in late December and released dozens of seahorses into the calm waters.
The lagoon, which is monitored by guides and guests of V.I. Ecotours, is a relatively safe environment for these tiny fish, who like to attach to coral reef and trees with their tails since they are not good swimmers.
Unfortunately, they have a low survival rate, with only about 1 percent surviving. Nemeth said they are often eaten immediately upon release.
They are, however, prolific. Some seahorse species can have up to 1,500 babies in a single delivery, according to Nemeth. The babies are carried and delivered by the males.
More seahorses will come to the lagoon in the weeks and months to come. A seahorse at Coral World recently had 300 babies. They will be released as soon as they are big enough to survive, usually when they are about an inch long.
Ecotours manager Tara Sheen said everyone is excited about the new residents.
"We are really looking forward to the job of monitoring the babies," she said.

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