Finding Dory is on our list of kid-friendly must-see movies for the summer, and our little ones have been looking forward to the Finding Nemo sequel for quite some time. Before we beat the heat in time for some maritime-themed entertainment, we hope there’s going to be a little message from Disney: keep Dory where she belongs, in the ocean. After Finding Nemo came out in 2003, demand for clownfish skyrocketed, with estimates of a 40% increase in sales after the movie was released, and 1 million clownfish were removed from the reef every year for home aquariums. There are numerous reasons why this has caused problems for the clownfish population including earning them a place on the Endangered Species list, but one thing these cheerful-looking fish have going for them is that they can actually breed well in captivity. Scientists have NOT been able to breed the blue tang, a.k.a Dory in captivity, and the movie’s release has conservationists concerned. Read on for why Dory’s adventures shouldn’t include a trip home with your family.
Blue tang fish aren’t on the endangered species list, but 100% of them are taken from the wild, which means movie-related excitement about these fishy friends could cause serious population problems. Breeding blue tang in captivity hasn’t been successful due to how reproduction occurs within the species (FYI: it involves floating eggs and sperm in a water column!). The delicate blue tang is also hard to keep and prone to sickness. The non-profit Saving Nemo is launching a Million Kisses campaign in the hopes of grabbing the attention and support of Ellen DeGeneres, who voices Dory. Other awareness efforts include a petition to have Disney add a PSA to the beginning of the film, asking viewers not to adopt Dory.
You know if your kids are going to ask for a pet fish they’re going to want a “Nemo” or “Dory” just like you wanted a flying dragon dog like Falkor from The Neverending Story or a dalmatian from 101 Dalmatians or any other number of exotic, wild, or appealing pets that played prominent roles in favorite movies or television shows. Promise them a trip to a conservation-minded aquarium or to a beach where they can look for any number of fishy friends. If all else fails, remind them that the movie is called Finding Dory not Buying Dory and that Dory and co. will be much happier in the great blue ocean than in a small tank in their bedroom.
Image via Wikimedia Commons