Find and Watch Dory, But Don’t Buy Her
With the recent release of Finding Dory, marine life organizations want to remind families of being a proper pet ownership for fish.
In the movie Finding Dory, the main character is a Blue Tang. At the moment, Blue Tangs cannot be bred in captivity. What some marine life organizations fear is that Blue Tangs will be pulled out from the wild and attempted to be sold in pet stores. When that happens, collectors will double their efforts to obtain more blue tangs, and that will inevitably lead to their coral reefs habitats in the Coral Triangle being harmed. While blue tangs are sold as 1- to 2-inch animals, they reach 12 inches as adults and have difficult care requirements, making them unsuitable for most home aquarists.
Similarly, this happened with Clownfish with the release of Finding Nemo. After the release, sales skyrocketed for Clownfish. These fish are different from Blue Tangs in that they can be good for a beginner pet fish owner and can be bred in captivity. According to Variety, “By 2012, the orange and white stripped fish were the fifth-most imported species in the United States. In the process, wild populations of Clownfish in countries such as the Philippines were decimated.”
The positive from movies such as Finding Nemo and Finding Dory is the spike in interest from all different age ranges about marine life. The opportunity for education now presents itself about fish, aquarium keeping and other topics to discuss in the classroom and at home.
Disney developed educational materials for those who may look for more information regarding pet fish ownership, including recommendations that “Blue tangs, like Dory, do not make good pets so instead choose appropriate aquacultured fish.”