Disney: tell fans to find Dory, not buy her

Disney’s newest animated film Finding Dory will threaten the population of Blue Tang Fish unless Disney takes action to protect it. After Finding Nemo came out, the demand for Clownfish as souvenirs spiked in the US. Fortunately, Clownfish can be bred in captivity, so the market has been partially fulfilled that way. But Blue Tang Fish cannot be bred in captivity, so there is no way to fill a demand in pet Blue Tang except pulling them from their natural habitat. If Disney does not place an explicit warning at the beginning of the film asking viewers not to adopt Blue Tang like Dory, then we will see a sharp decline in their population.

Finding Nemo’s central message is conservation, yet it still prompted a 40 percent rise in sales of Clownfish for pets or decoration. This increase is alarming because even though Clownfish can be bred in captivity very easily, they are still often pulled from the ocean instead. The transition from ocean to captivity is very hard on reef fish like Clownfishes and Blue Tang fishes, often costing them their lives. Now that Disney knows the effect Finding Nemo had on Clownfish, they should prepare for the effect Finding Dory will have on Blue Tang by doing their part to warn folks who see the movie.

With the new film Finding Dory coming out, researchers are seriously panicking. That’s because Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGenerous, is a Blue Tang Fish and that species has never been successfully bred in captivity. So each and every “Dory” Blue Tang Fish that is adopted will have been plucked from its home in the ocean. If folks purchase Blue Tang at the same rate as they did Clownfish after Nemo, the Blue Tang population will become extremely threatened. Even worse, researchers would have no way to repair the loss with captive breeding. Individual viewers may not know that Blue Tang can’t be bred in captivity. But Disney does, so they should educate viewers to protect the fish.

Putting a simple PSA at the beginning of Finding Dory would significantly decrease the number of people who decide to adopt a Blue Tang fish. The film premiers on June 17; we have less than a month to convince Disney that they must educate consumers on the effect of adopting their own Dory. Add your name to this petition to tell Disney you want to see a warning at the beginning of Finding Dory discouraging folks from buying Blue Tang.
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