If you’ve seen Finding Nemo, you’ve probably had an inexplicable desire to own a salt water tank full of bright tropical fish and colourful coral. That’s perfectly understandable. Who knew clown fish were so cute? But we may have a problem.
When Finding Nemo was released in 2003, there was a 30% increase in clown fish sales and a noticeable decrease in the wild population. Everyone wanted a Nemo and about 90% of these new pets were taken from the wild.
Remember the movie? It’s basically 100 minutes explaining why it’s bad to take fish from the ocean. Think of all those desperate fish fathers down there trying to track down their sons, traversing the ocean in their wild search. Or all those scared handicapped fish who have been stolen away from their overprotective fathers.
Australian scientists are concerned that there will be another decrease in the fish population when Finding Dory comes out in June.
But wait! We’re not saying you shouldn’t keep the entire cast of Finding Dory in your home. That would be way too cool to discourage! It’s just important to know where your fish are coming from. You don’t want to be Darla.
There’s no problem with keeping fish as long as you’re taking care of them properly (and, as we learned from the movie, NOT SHAKING THE BAG). Clown fish are easy to breed and resilient when bred in captivity. Buying nursery fish rather than wild fish preserves their natural populations and makes for happier fish. Fish PTSD is real.
Some concerned marine biologists have created the Saving Nemo Campaign to help educate aquarium shops and supply them with healthy tank-bred Nemos… er, clown fish. They’re also educating fish owners on how to properly care for their exotic fish so your whole tank population doesn’t spend every day plotting ways to return to the ocean.
To raise awareness ahead of the movie’s release, Saving Nemo has launched a social media campaign, A Million Kisses for Nemo. Share a selfie of you doing a fish face and post on Instagram to encourage smart buying of tropical fish and spread concern for the reef bleaching that is threatening Nemo’s habitat.
You can help save Nemo too! Take your best #fishkiss4nemo to gain awareness about the importance of reef fish conservation. Challenge 3 friends to get involved too! We are trying to get Ellen DeGeneres on board the campaign so tag @theellenshow and @savingnemo_ ! Can’t wait to see your fishy kisses! 🤘🏼💪🏾🙌🏼💋🐟🐠🐡
So, don’t worry, we can all have our own Nemos! We just have to make sure we don’t pull a P. Sherman and steal innocent school-age fish from their parents. That doesn’t seem too hard.
Be warned though: there is currently no breeding program in place for Royal Blue Tangs (Dory’s species). Any of those sold were taken from the wild. So, while we can all have Nemos, maybe leave Dory in the ocean.
You can watch Finding Dory in theatres June 17th.