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Safety net for horses, dragons
By KARA PHILLIPS
20 Feb 06

“SEA horses, pipe fish and the weedy sea dragon have been made protected species in South Australia after being declared vulnerable to poaching.

It is now illegal to take these members of the syngnathidae fish family from their habitats, after the Australian Institute of Criminology reported that tighter controls were needed. Their relative, the rare leafy sea dragon - the state's marine mascot - was heavily fished for home aquariums in the 1980s and was later declared a protected species. The weedy sea dragon is already listed on the International Red List of Threatened Animals. Fisheries Minister Rory McEwen said sea horses, pipefish and weedy sea dragons, which were some of the most admired creatures in SA waters, had become popular tourist attractions. "The least we can do is protect our wild population from exploitation and make sure that South Australian waters remain a haven for the much loved marine life to flourish," he said.”

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