Sea Life Malaysia and Aquaria KLCC mark first animal exchange with endangered pot-bellied seahorses

The pot-bellied seahorse gets its name from its distinct rotund appearance. — Picture courtesy of Sea Life Malaysia
The pot-bellied seahorse gets its name from its distinct rotund appearance. — Picture courtesy of Sea Life Malaysia

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PETALING JAYA, April 26 — Sea Life Malaysia has embarked on an animal exchange programme with Aquaria KLCC to conserve aquatic species for future generations.

The marine sanctuary located at Legoland Malaysia Resort in Johor recently exchanged 20 of its newly hatched pot-bellied seahorse fry and eight juveniles for Aquaria KLCC’s freshwater fish, consisting of two striped carp and 10 hampala barb.

The pot-bellied seahorse is currently classified under the Cites Appendix II which means while the species is not necessarily threatened with extinction, trade must be controlled to prevent further harm from coming to it.

Overfishing and habitat loss has also contributed to the dwindling number of pot-bellied seahorses in the wild.

Sea Life Malaysia has successfully bred around 50 of the rotund creatures under its Breed, Rescue, and Protect (BRP) Programme, a global initiative run throughout Sea Life sanctuaries across the globe.

“We look forward to more animal exchanges with marine sanctuaries in the region in the future.

“We are always open to forming partnerships with reputable and sustainable organisations and looking for new ways to highlight more of the many interesting and wonderful creatures of the ocean to the public,” said Sea Life Malaysia manager Kristian Griffin in a press release.

The pot-bellied seahorse is one of the largest seahorse species on the planet and can grow up to 35cm in length. — Picture courtesy of Sea Life Malaysia
The pot-bellied seahorse is one of the largest seahorse species on the planet and can grow up to 35cm in length. — Picture courtesy of Sea Life Malaysia

Besides the pot-bellied seahorses, Sea Life Malaysia has also successfully bred two blue spotted rays and 14 epaulette sharks under its BRP Programme since it opened in May 2019.

Griffin hopes that by offering up-close experiences with aquatic animals, the sanctuary can foster a love for the ocean and raise awareness about the importance of marine conservation amongst visitors.

Aquaria KLCC curator Andrew Lee added that he is looking forward to a fruitful partnership with Sea Life Malaysia through the animal exchange programme.

“These exchanges will form the basis for the sharing of knowledge, care, and expertise between our marine sanctuaries and aquariums around the region.

“With the addition of these marine animals, visitors at both sanctuaries will be able to appreciate Malaysia’s thriving underwater ecosystem.”

For more information on Sea Life Malaysia and its BRP Programme, visit the Legoland Malaysia Resort website.

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