Finding Dory, the sequel to the much-loved Finding Nemo finally hit the cinemas this weekend. However, there may be problems for aquariums, pet shops, and children who want to find a real-life Dory fish for themselves.
In 2003 when Finding Nemo became an instant Pixar hit, petshops around the world saw a huge boom in demand for clown fish, the species the characters Nemo and his father belong to.
The massive popularity of the clownfish following the movie nearly drove the species to extinction due to overfishing. In Australia, the regulation of fishing on the coral reef is strict, but in other areas of the Pacific Ocean near to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines the fish suffered serious drops in local stock.
Scientists and maritime researchers have expressed worry that the latest Finding Dory film will see another rush for clownfish and the blue tang (dory) fish.
The blue tang, or ‘dory fish’ as it has become known, isn’t yet bred. The estimated one million dory fish bought for aquariums and petshops worldwide are all wild and come from the coral reef.
Saltwater fish like the dory fish are much more difficult to breed compared to their freshwater counterparts such as the clownfish. The exact breeding conditions are difficult to replicate in research tanks. But once the right formula is found it can be easily copied and shared with commercial companies to breed the fish for sale.
The University of Florida’s Tropical Aquaculture Lab recently announced for the first time they successfully bred the blue tang fish. This research discovery can now be replicated by commercial companies to breed the fish for sale. The breakthrough by biologists may then come just in time to save the dory fish in the coral reef from potential overfishing and threats of extinction.
So while parents take their children to see Finding Dory biologists say they should be wary that the popularity of the clown and blue tang fish doesn’t see the real life Nemo and Dory taken from their homes in the coral reef.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved