‘Finding Dory’ could damage fish populations, Australian scientists say

(AP Photo/Disney Pixar)

(WRBL)–The release of the new Disney Pixar movie Finding Dory could lead to a decline in certain fish populations, say researchers at two prominent Australian Universities. Scientists from the University of Queensland and Flinders University say since the 2003 release of Finding Nemo, clown fish populations on coral reefs have been declining, due to the popularity of a ‘Nemo’ in household aquariums.

Now, researchers say Finding Dory could cause the same effect in people who want a ‘Dory’ in their aquarium and cause a decline in her fish — the blue tang.

Dory -- a blue tang fish -- with her friend Marlin the clown fish in the movie 'Finding Nemo'. The 2003 movie release led to a dramatic decline in wild clown fish populations thanks to a demand for 'Nemo' aquarium pets.Dory — a blue tang fish — with her friend Marlin the clown fish in the movie ‘Finding Nemo’. The 2003 movie release led to a dramatic decline in wild clown fish populations thanks to a demand for ‘Nemo’ aquarium pets.

 

The Saving Nemo Conservation Fund aims to provide education, awareness and captive breeding programs to protect popular marine ornamental species that are often captured on reefs for sale in pet shops.

UQ School of Biological Sciences PhD candidate and Saving Nemo Queensland Project Coordinator Carmen da Silva says the marine fish aquarium trade was a major cause of coral reef fish decline.

“What most people don’t realize is that about 90 per cent of marine fish found in aquarium shops come from the wild,” she says.

The Saving Nemo project encourages captive clown fish breeding in nurseries instead of snatching fish from the wild. Organizers say they are also hoping to get the attention of Ellen Degeneres, voice of Dory, and gain her support by using the hashtag #fishkiss4nemo.

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