Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 10:13 UK

Rare seahorses born at aquarium

Dozens of seahorses have been born at an aquarium in East Sussex.

The tiny short-snouted seahorses, which are difficult to rear in captivity, are part of a nationwide breeding scheme.

They were born at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium, where keepers are having to feed them three times a day on live food and carry out daily water changes.

Spokeswoman Jo Cole said they were being kept in nursery tanks and would not be put on display until they were out of special care.

"In April 2008 the short-snouted and the spiny seahorses, which are both found around our coast, were listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 because so little is known about their numbers in the wild," she said.

"At the same time 50 short-snouted seahorses were collected to begin a breeding programme in captivity designed to learn more about their life cycle so these juveniles are very important.

"At present we are keeping them in special nursery tanks in the aquarium's quarantine area."

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