Frito the Tiny Seahorse Rescued from Fishing Line Entanglement

Seahorse found with line wrapped around its neck, released today by Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater, FL, June 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) rescued and rehabilitated its smallest rescue yet: Frito, the tiny seahorse. Frito, a female lined seahorse, was rescued Sun., June 10 off Redington Shores, FL by local resident Dawn McCartney and her two daughters.  Today, CMA released Frito back into the wild, in a lush seagrass bed, reached via boat.

Dawn says they were snorkeling when they found the seahorse tangled in fishing line among trash, with the fishing line wrapped around its neck several times. She carefully untangled the tiny seahorse and placed her in a water bottle she filled with ocean water. Dawn, a Tampa Bay resident, has been coming to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for years and immediately knew who to call to assist. The CMA rescue team picked up the seahorse and brought her back where she was rehabilitated before being released.   

It has been one year since the famous rescue, rehab and release of Cheeto the lucky seahorse, watched by millions around the world. Cheeto was followed by the rescue, rehab and release of Funyun the seahorse, who was treated for a buoyancy issue. Frito, the most recent rescued seahorse, has a rescue story similar to many rescued animals at CMA of being affected by fishing line entanglement. Monofilament fishing line floating in the ocean threatens many different species of marine life including sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, birds, and even seahorses.

 “Our mission of rescue, rehabilitation and release applies to all marine life, big and small,” says David Yates, CEO of Clearwater Marine Aquarium. “The level of care our team gave to tiny Frito is inspiring. It is so rewarding to get her back home.”

Media Information:

  • CMA researchers available for interviews upon request.
  • Click here to download video of Frito's story, including the release
  • For more information please contact Julia Anderson at or 727-686-3499.

About Clearwater Marine Aquarium:

Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more. Winter the dolphin’s story of survival, after an injury that caused her to lose her tail, has impacted millions of people around the world. A major motion picture, Dolphin Tale, highlighted her life story in 2011. The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, was released in September 2014 and features the incredible story of Hope, a young resident dolphin of CMA. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiates Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world. 

WE BELIEVE in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life, environmental education, research and conservation.

                               249 Windward Passage | Clearwater, FL 33767 | 727.441.1790 |

A Florida non-profit 501(c)(3)


Frito the Tiny Seahorse, found with line wrapped around its neck, was rehabilitated at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Frito was released into a lush sea grass bed only five days after being rescued!

Contact Data