After the HUMANE NEWS story appeared in the recent June/July issue concerning sea creatures such as seahorses, starfish, etc., it was a consciousness-raising for many. In a walk through several large stores, i.e, Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc., it became apparent that it is not necessary to be a `vacationer' as there are a host of products that have such sea creatures as adornments.
Be an educated consumer - you can use your pocketbook as a weapon. There are new permit requirements for global trade in seahorses which took effect in May. Millions of seahorses are `harvested' each year and most are dried and used in traditional medicine. Hundreds of thousands are also collected live for sale in the aquarium trade. According to the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, shipments of seahorses must be accompanied by a permit from the country of origin which confirms that they were legally acquired and that the trade does not threaten the species' survival. All species of seahorses now fall under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species & Flora) protection.