This year has marked a very exciting time for Disney fans (myself included) from all around the world. That’s right, our favourite fish have swam back onto the big screen to provide adults everywhere with waves of rippling entertainment. I guess you could say that children are pretty happy about the release of ‘Finding Dory’ too.
I’m not going to go into the film what so ever, so don’t ink yourselves if you haven’t seen the film yet. I’m not going to give any spoilers. However, I am going to dive right into the problems that this film has already caused from a conservationist point of view. When ‘Finding Nemo’ was released back in 2003, a particular orange tropical fish became the biggest craze to ever hit the animal kingdom. I guess Dumbo had potential to have this effect, but elephants are just a tiny bit harder to purchase and squeeze into a tank. Apologies, I digress.
Let Dory keep on swimming
Children have become obsessed with the iconic clownfish. They were and still are everywhere. From starring as the main attractions at aquariums, to swimming in their dozens in your local pet shop. Although the film portrayed divers to be villains as such (taking Nemo from his father and home), this attempt still failed to prevent parents from making their child’s dreams come true and deter them from bringing Nemo into their homes. However, this demand for clownfish was never acknowledged as a major threat to the species, due to their ability to reproduce in captivity. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our whale-speaking friend, the blue tang.
Despite biologist experts and Ellen DeGeneres herself voicing their concerns about the blue tang’s welfare and the film’s potential to send this fish species into a spiral of decline, shops and people everywhere are continuing to fill their tanks with these beloved blue characters. You might purchase the most expensive tank imaginable, filled with realistic coral and waters at sea temperature, or you may feed your blue tang with the most luxury foods, but you’re never going to make your Dory completely happy! And here’s why…
It has been proven that blue tang fish only reproduce and lay eggs in their natural habitat. Not to mention, their unexpected aggressive nature means that they are difficult to maintain and keep in tanks with other fish populations (even other blue tangs!). Every blue tang that you see and/or purchase has been taken from its home in the ocean and because of this, combined with their inability to reproduce in captivity, blue tang populations are rapidly sinking in number. The increase in the blue tang’s popularity has led biologists to already label the need to save this species as urgent, going as far as contacting The White House to try and prevent further exportation of tropical fish throughout the US.
It’s once again time to spread awareness of this travesty and make a difference before it’s too late. Don’t buy Dory, despite how pretty she may look in your home or how much your child begs . She may not be able to remember where she comes from, but I know that you can… For more information on the blue tang species and the problems they are facing, please visit the links below.
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