In 2003, the world set out to find Nemo.
And find him we did. In tropical habitats all over the world, clown fish suffered for our newfound love.
Earlier this month, we highlighted the dangers that clown fish faced as a result of the original movie. Luckily, Clown fish can be bred in captivity, which spared some pressure from wild populations.
‘Dory’ is not going to be so lucky.
You see, blue tangs (the real-life inspiration for Dory) cannot yet be bred in captivity. And when millions of children fall in love with a new favorite cartoon character, they will demand mom and dad get them a ‘Dory’ for their home aquariums. The problem is, ‘Dory’ will have to be plucked from the ocean, in an sad but ironic twist, often using chemicals that destroy wild habitats.
So today, with the premier of the heavily-anticipated sequel, Finding Dory, we want to highlight that while animal rights activists are busy claiming that Disney’s tale is anti-zoo and anti-aquarium, the truth is that Disney is teaming up with the world’s leading zoos and aquariums to save the wild blue tang from exploitation and to protect tropical coral reefs from destruction.
Disney and the AZA
Disney recognizes the impact Finding Dory will have on public demand for the blue tang and has turned to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (a preeminent zoological accreditation organization) to create resources for the public to understand responsible fish ownership and the ecological backdrop of their new movie.
First, they have produced a guide to fish ownership.
Want to know what kind of fish you should buy? That depends on how knowledgeable you are about fish maintenance, the time and money you can invest, and the size tank you have available. If Finding Dory inspires you to buy a pet fish, check this handy guide out to ensure you have the right resources to keep your new friend healthy and happy.
Disney has also published a 43-page guide to educate students from 2nd to 6th grade on the fish they encounter in the movie, the ecology of their natural habitat, and the efforts individuals and organizations can take to protect the ocean and its inhabitants.
By partnering with the AZA, Disney is making an effort to ensure the damage done to wild populations by the popularity of the movie is as limited as possible. The AZA in turn is working with Disney to demonstrate that accredited zoos and aquariums are truly a valuable resource for education and conservation.
It’s a commendable action both groups are undertaking and the bottom line is the best place to see a real-life ‘Dory’ is at an accredited zoo or aquarium.
This video does a fantastic job of explaining the situation – give it a watch: