Nemo may have found his way to theaters for a 3D sequel to Disney-Pixar’s “Fidning Nemo” franchise, but the real-life fish, the Orange Clownfish, is endangered and could possibly become extinct.
Environmental activists at the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect the enemonefish, commonly referred to as the clownfish, from becoming extinct under the Endangered Species Act. The petition also includes other fish species that dwell in the coral reef that could potentially become extinct, as well.
However, the petition is not based on a drop in population of the Nemo fish but rather the poor health state of coral reefs resulting from the drastic climate change and ocean acidity levels.
“We risk losing the striking fish that inspired ‘Finding Nemo’ forever if we don’t put the brakes on global warming and ocean acidification,” Center for Biological Diversity climate science director Shaye Wolf said. “Carbon pollution harms these fish and destroys their coral reef homes. If we want these beautiful animals to survive in the wild, not just in a movie, we have to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.”
According to Arizona-based activists, the petition serves as a preventative measure so that fish like the Orange Clownfish do not reach endangered levels.
“Coral reefs are the rainforests of the ocean, but carbon pollution will bulldoze their biodiversity…. The longer we wait to provide Endangered Species Act protection and reduce the greenhouse gases harming reef fish and destroying their homes, the harder it’s going to be to save these unique creatures.”
The original "Finding Nemo" film by Disney-Pixar came out in 2003, starring Albert Brooks as Nemo's dad Marlin, Ellen DeGeneres as Dory and Alexander Goud as Nemo. Marlin goes on a quest in Sydney, Australia after his son Nemo was kidnapped on the Great Barrier Reef with the help of Dory.
“Finding Nemo 3D” was released in theaters last Friday and received positive reviews from critics, earning the movie a 99 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.