Hi Decosnapper or should I say Hi Simon, I haven't heard from you for a few months, well not since you last asked to come diving with us at Studland to take pictures of seahorses to sell (I seem to remember you wanted to help promote the work of the trust), even though you knew we do not allow flash or light under licensing conditions. Funny how you were happy to accept my 'opinion' when you wanted to come and get a dive, interesting that.
You may find your job a lot easier if you try and gain the support of the masses. Comments like this misdirected accusation and your previous insinuation that anyone who opposes your opinion is doing so for alternate reasons (e.g commercial interest, or in bed with the author of the scientific paper) do quite the opposite.
The reason that your opinions are met sceptically is because they are based on nothing more than your own experiences, and as you quite freely say, you are far from objective when it comes to seahorses, your sole concern is to protect them, at whatever cost.
For sure, you have a huge amount of experience... however so have other people. Dive guides will regularly take divers to known seahorse spots, day after day, week after week, and allow photographers to take photos, with strobes.... if the effect of strobes was as you say, then those seahorses wouldn't last a season. So whilst I fully support the sentiment (of protecting seahorses), the message you give re strobes doesn't seem to stack up.. especially given that the only scientific test performed seems to say that strobes are OK (fore sure, a limited sample, but that's the only real data we have to go on)
What was very interesting to me is to understand the basis for your opinion, i.e. that strobes cause stress, and that stress is known to cause issues, also to understand the signs of stress to look for in a sea horse, i.e. rapid breathing, swimming away etc. As it is, people (as seen on this thread) don't know that. And given that your main message has become that strobes cause stress they may presume that taking photos without strobes is therefore OK.
Surely a far more valuable approach would be to focus on the broader aspect, that stress can be fatal to a seahorse, and that any interaction can cause stress, here are the signs to look out for, conduct yourself appropriately.
I know that would mean trusting us to care about seahorses as much as you do, which is perhaps to big a pill to swallow. But then the ones that don't care will carry on regardless, the ones that do will have far better ammunition at their disposal to help the cause.