Seahorse Australia was established in 1998 at Inspection Head Wharf, Beauty Point Tasmania. It was one of the first commercial seahorse farms in the world and grew out of research being conducted by the University of Tasmania. The purpose of the establishment was to try and supply seahorses to the traditional Chinese medicine trade, reducing the pressure of that market on wild populations. The economics of production caused a change in production, and instead, seahorses were produced for the aquarium trade.
Following the design, engineering and installation of advanced equipment, 600 breeding stock of the attractive Tasmanian variety of the Australian Pot-bellied seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis
- sometimes called H. bleekeri) were taken from the pristine waters around Tasmania under permits issued by State and Federal Governments. Experimentation over the next couple of years helped determine the best husbandry systems for the species. A high level of breeding success has been achieved and a reliable supply of quality seahorses known as Southern Knights was first offered to the aquarium market in 2001. In time, other species of seahorses were introduced and we now also breed H. kuda, H. barbouri, H. whitei,
and H. reidi
as well as a range of other marine fish and invertebrates. We have also produced a wide variety of freshwater fish.