Nemo the clownfish movie star.
Because of Disney's "Finding Nemo" film, tropical clownfish is facing extinction. Let's take a step back: I think almost everyone on this world knows perfectly who is Nemo the clownfish, the little star of the Disney Pixar's animated movie "Finding Nemo". The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was a financial blockbuster as it grossed over $864 million worldwide being also the best-selling DVD of all time, with over 40 million copies sold as of 2006. In just a few words Nemo is probably the cartoon carachter that most stuck in the mind of people (especially children of course) from the times of Mickey Mouse. If you make a survey asking people who is "Nemo" I think the people who would answer "Captain Nemo is a fictional character featured in Jules Verne's novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island" would be under the 10% even if Verne's carachter is clearly the origin of the little striped fish name.
If you are in the little minority that never saw Finding Nemo it was about a Clownfish who desperately tries to retrieve his son that has been caught by a sub in order to become an aquarium pet. Therefore one thing you could learn from "Finding Nemo" it is that probably wild animals really have to remain in their habitats and we should be satisfied with cats and dogs who are more than happy to live in our houses with us. However, despite the incredible success of the movie this message seems not to be stuck in the mind of children as much as the name of their hero considering that Tropical clownfish are facing extinction five years after the animated film was released because the movie itself made them the must-have pets for kids all over the world!
It is estimated that just half of global demand can be met by clownfish bred in captivity, which means the rest have to be taken from the sea. Now the average group of clownfish population in Queensland, Australia, has shrunk from 25 members to just six, making it harder for them to breed. Dr Billy Sinclair, of Cumbria University, has spent five years studying the species has been the first to raise the alarm: "The film did much to educate children about marine life but the fish were then sold as a 'must have' children's pet, leading to soaring demand. My message to kids who loved the film is simple: tell your parents to leave Nemo in the sea where he belongs".
As you can imagine however the changing environment was also playing a part in this current dramatical sitution: "Rising sea temperatures cause reefs to 'bleach' and then die, is another factor, I am not saying it is solely down to over-harvesting, as climate change is clearly having an impact on the coral reefs and anemones on which the clownfish live" Dr Sinclair added.
Now my question is: "Will Disney/Pixar which had earned billions of dollars with little Nemo do something to save it?".
I know that even if the movie is clearly blameable for the current critical situation of the clownfish, it's obviously an unwilled consequence and as I've said before the movie tries to teach exactly the opposite. Nevertheless i think that Disney and Pixar with all their comunication and economic power could easily do something effective to save clownfish, making a good impression too.
A clownfish peeping out an anemone
© Eric H Cheng