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Seahorse whisperers in Kona mark 25 years in operation

The Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Seahorse Foundation at the Natural Energy Laboratory on Hawaiʻi Island. 2
Catherine Cruz
/
HPR
The Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Seahorse Foundation at the Natural Energy Laboratory on Hawaiʻi Island.

The Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Seahorse Foundation at the Natural Energy Laboratory has been around for two-and-a-half decades. The clean cool ocean waters are key to rearing the native species, as well as the unusual leafy sea dragons.

2023 marks 10 years since they offered tours of their facility, which boasts 25 species of mystical and enchanting creatures. It is one of the most popular eco-tours at the facility for visitors interested in marine conservation and science.

The Conversation spent time with one of the co-founders, Carol Cozzi-Schmarr, who considers the facility a live gene bank. She said Hawaiʻi has aquaculture rules on the books that have not been updated in 30 years, which prevents the company from bringing in shrimp as feed for certain species of seahorses it would like to raise.

More from Aquaculture Week on The Conversation:

This interview aired on The Conversation on Jan. 12, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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