We are dedicated to seahorse breeding, education and conservation.

It is estimated that over 20 million seahorses are taken from the wild each year predominantly for traditional Chinese medicine.

Seahorse numbers have been impacted worldwide by wild harvesting, particularly in the Asian region, but also by habitat destruction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of endangered species includes all 50 (plus) species of seahorses. Trade between countries is regulated by the United Nations Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Under permits issued by Environment Australia, Seahorse World is one of very few seahorse farms in the world that are registered to export seahorses under the CITES program.

About us

Seahorse Australia was initially created to farm seahorses to supply to the Traditional Chinese Medicine market and as a result reduce pressure on Seahorses from being over fished.  However the cost of producing enough seahorses at market price was too high to attract buyers who found cheaper options from unregulated (and currently not illegal) wild harvesting.

This meant we had to change our focus from medicinal production to breeding seahorses for the marine ornamental market via pet wholesalers and public aquariums around the world.

We are the only Australian CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) approved seahorse farm with a licence to practise captive breeding of seahorses and also export live seahorses around the world.

From humble beginnings in a shed in Beauty Point, in northern Tasmania, our seahorses now make their way all around the world to countries such as USA, Canada, The Netherlands, Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Singapore, China and Korea.

We also sell our seahorses to some of the largest aquariums in the world including Florida Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Sealife Park Dorset in England, Melbourne and Sydney, Bangkok Oceanworld and the Shanghai Aquarium.

Visitors to Seahorse World get the unique chance to see from where these seahorses have come.

Our focus

The focus is in providing visitors with a personalised, friendly and informative experience. The Seahorse World experience includes:

  • The Cave of the Seahorse – an exhibit of various types of Seahorses.
  • A high-tech working seahorse farm, demonstrating from birth to adulthood thousands of pot-bellied seahorses.
  • The Southern Ocean Aquarium features various bizarre marine species of the wild southern seas including weedy seadragons, sharks, giant cuttlefish, a Tasmanian Giant Crab and a touch pool for the kids.

Our story

Seahorse World grew out of research work initiated at the University of Tasmania in the 1990’s looking into the life cycle of the Pot Bellied Seahorse that is native to Tasmania.

From this, a commercial breeding project, Seahorse Australia, began in 1998 and from its earliest days attracted visitor interest. In 1999 a feasibility study was conducted to explore a tourism venture alongside the breeding project

Since 1999, Seahorse World has been a significant regional attraction for northern Tasmania attracting over half a million visitors and employing up to 14 local staff. Seahorse World is a wonderful illustration of both business and environmental achievement.

In 2010, Seahorse World was purchased by Craig and Rachelle Hawkins. Rachelle was the Senior Biologist at the commencement of the project. Seahorse Australia is the parent company of Seahorse World.