Seahorses are creatures that evoke positive feelings in everyone, so it is almost unbelievable that they are understudied, and virtually unexplored. These unique creatures actually live within the swimming area, and if you know how to look for them, you can spot them on the beach while you are snorkeling.
Research so far:
In Croatia, there is actually no real data about them. Of course the species and their distribution are known, but the population density and reactions to changes are still unknown to us. Research conducted by scientific institutions is very expensive, while, on the other hand, associations in cooperation with diving centers and divers can achieve excellent results without large investments.
Potential in nature protection:
Because of their uniqueness and beauty, their greatest value lie in the fact that they very easily sensitize the public. By protecting their habitats, we actually protect all the other species that share their living space. In fact, by protecting them, we are protecting a number of species.
Potential in tourism:
In fact, few people know that they can only be seen with a diving mask (while snorkeling). Their frequent haunts are crowded beaches, so everyone can see them. We know from practice that on a discovery dive (first dive for non-divers), people are delighted to see a seahorse.
Diving centers are entities that actually earn little compared to other stakeholders in the tourist traffic. However, their value lies in the fact that guests come to the Republic of Croatia to see the seahorses, and in doing so, they have to eat, sleep somewhere, and use transportation. By using new action cameras in daily diving, you can constantly record the presence of seahorses in an area.
Underwater cleaning actions in Croatia have become common, but they do not achieve tangible effects. The amount of extracted waste in new actions does not decrease. That points to a situation where waste continues to pile up. In some places, clear shifts are visible and are always the result of communication with the local population and raising their awareness. However, the best results are long-term ones, and therefore it is most important to work with young people. Seahorses work very well with young generations, so by influencing their consciousness, we also influence the world of adults.