We took the grandkids to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Friday — what a treasure for the area.
The boys had a great time going from exhibit to exhibit, and despite the large crowd, no one got separated and lost — well at least not for long, as I stayed put until I was found again!.
This is the second time we saw the fascinating exhibit “The Secret Life of Seahorses”. I didn’t remember seeing the display of a big frame made of coral, dried seahorses and marine animals at last visit.
The type of frame is ubiquitous (in varying sizes) in beach town tourist shops. This time, I stopped to read the information.
Growing up in the Philippines, I was accustomed to seeing these frames or other items decorated with shells and marine animals.
Maybe because they were so common…I thought that these items were picked up by beach combing…as in, the creatures are already dead and washed ashore.
This is not the case, and much of these animals are collected ALIVE and dried to make these souvenirs.
I am saddened at how uninformed I was about this practice!
Family and friends, please do not buy these souvenirs.
With everything else happening to our oceans, we all have to do our part to stop this. And please spread the word about protecting these fragile and fascinating creatures. In the process, we also protect and preserve their homes —and our home.
Additionally, visit Alex Pronove’s blog for an informative article on the seahorse and sea dragon market & supply chain (starting in the Philippines) – http://retirednoway.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/seadragon-hunter/