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Volume 6 Number 4 April 2020

Captive Breeding, Rearing and Closing of Reproductive Cycle of the Three Spot Seahorse, Hippocampus trimaculatus (Leach, 1814)

Authors: Mohamad Saupi Ismail ; Muhammad Fadzil Harun ; Chee Kong Yap
Pages: 27-33
DOI: doi.org/10.32861/ajls.64.27.33
Seahorse aquaculture can provide a platform to reduce pressure on its wild populations and to meet the demand for global trade. However, techniques for breeding seahorses are yet to established for every species and information is limited especially for species dwelling in Malaysian waters. Hippocampus trimaculatus is among the heavily exploited species and red listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under IUCN [1].  This study was conducted for one and a half years at the Fisheries Research Institute, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.  The goal of this study was to develop a simple yet practical husbandry technique for H. trimaculatus.  The study described protocols applied to the establishment of brooders, from the newborn to adulthood, and ultimately to the closure of the reproductive cycle. The seahorses were fed with a live diet ad libitum daily. Juveniles attained a total length of 50mm within a rearing period of 90 days.  At 7 months old, the seahorses had reached their matured sizes of 111mm and 106mm for males and females respectively.  After a year in captivity, we achieved the closure of the reproductive cycle for the captive-born H. trimaculatus. The results showed that the captive breeding of H. trimaculatus is feasible in Malaysia.  These findings will be useful in promoting this species for commercial seahorse culturing and conservation purposes.