In The News
Pet industry and Disney urge responsible ownership as animated film Finding Dory gets ready for release Friday
June 6, 2016
PHOENIX – The animated Disney film Finding Dory opens this Friday and the pet industry, in partnership with Disney, has launched a campaign promoting the responsible and safe handling of fish and aquariums.
Finding Dory is about a loveable but forgetful blue tang, a saltwater fish that is captured in the wild and cannot be successfully bred in captivity or commercially. The movie is the sequel to Disney’s blockbuster hit Finding Nemo, released 13 years ago.
The goal of the campaign is to avoid what happened after Finding Nemo hit theatres: the movie created a 25 percent spike in demand for the cute featured clownfish and many who rushed to purchase them were either unaware and/or unable to provide the appropriate conditions for the species and many of them died.
In the movie, Nemo escapes life in captivity through a drain, because (in the movie) drains lead to the ocean. Countless kids tried to free their own
Nemos the same way leading to even more deaths, according to the Sustainable Aquarium Industry Association (SAIA), which also says that should demand for the blue tang (a palette surgeonfish) rise similarly to that of clownfish in 2003, local populations will be threatened by overfishing.
“We sell the blue tang species at our Phoenix store, but because of the impulse purchases that history has shown occur when films like Finding Nemo and Finding Dory are released, we are not selling them right now. We will eventually, but at this time we are keeping them here for their own safety,” says Dan Walker, manager of The Ocean Floor, an 18,000 sq. ft. tropical fish and aquarium store in Phoenix and the largest of its kind in the western states.
“We encourage potential owners to do their homework. Not all fish (like other animals) make the best house or aquarium pets. Certain fish, in particular the blue tang, come from the wild and cannot breed in captivity, so they should go to those who understand the species and the responsibility.”
Disney recognized the potential consequences of the film and developed educational materials to raise public awareness, including stating “pets should never be an impulse buy as they will be a part of your family for years to come and require a commitment to provide lifelong care.”
Walker says that fish can be a wonderful part of a home, many make great pets, and aquariums offer beauty and relaxation to those who own them, but they should never be mistaken for anything other than a pet that needs attention, time and care.