Some of the fishing boats around Phu Quoc Island off southwestern Vietnam use trawl nets that drag along the seafloor, catching everything in their sweep. Others send divers into the water to snag seahorses by hand.
A recent study in the journal Fisheries Research by the Canada- and U.K.-based conservation group Project Seahorse estimates that between 127,000 and 269,000 seahorses are taken from the waters off this one island each year. Around Phu Quoc seahorses are harvested intentionally, but that isn’t the case in most places. By and large it is indiscriminate fisheries ensnaring seahorses as bycatch that is putting populations under pressure, the group contends.
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