New Pixar Movie “Finding Dory” Could Imperil Blue Tang Fish Species

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Can we adore them both and keep them safe?


The Inertia

Humans have a way of loving nature to death. With the “Finding Nemo” sequel slated for release on June 17, conservationists are worried that could happen to the new movie’s namesake fish. Luckily, in this case you can easily help prevent the over-loving.

After the release of “Finding Nemo” in 2003, interest in clownfish — the orange and white fish on which Nemo is based — skyrocketed. Scientists are warning the same effect could take hold of Dory, the “Finding Dory” protagonist, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. Only much worse.

Here’s the difference: Clownfish have been easily bred in captivity for decades. But blue tang, Dory’s species of deep blue fish with a fluorescent yellow tail, has never reliably bred in captivity. When consumers predictably clamor for their own little Dory, fishermen will meet the demand by catching them in the wild, totally unregulated. This could bring some mothaf**kin’ ruckus to members of the Blue Tang Clan (too soon for jokes?).

Found near coral reefs in warm parts of the Pacific and Indian oceans, blue tang is also known Ol Dirty Fishtard, Raekwon the Fish, Fishface Killah, Infishtah Deck, and Mastah Fisha. Also, palette surgeonfish. Annually, 300,000 blue tang are among the global fish trade. Seeing as clownfish sales rose 40 percent following “Finding Nemo,” Dory’s headlining debut could see a similar spike in blue tang ownership.

Fish breeders are hard at work to raise blue tang in captivity, but the struggle is real. The fish are not threatened or endangered at the moment, but it’s feared the Dory craze could push them over the brink.

Here’s how you can protect their necks:

Earlier this month the Saving Nemo Conservation Fund started a campaign called A Million Kisses For Nemo. They’re hoping your fish-kiss faces uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag #fishkiss4Nemo will bring attention to the cause, getting the likes of DeGeneres and pretty much everyone else to settle for loving the animated Dory. And to let real Dorys populate our oceans without fearing the figurative Guillotine (Swordz) of the aquarium trade.

Let’s see that kissy-face:




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