Since its release in the US on the 17th June this year, Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory has grossed $462.8 million in North America and $322.5 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $785.2 million.
This is good news for entertainment giant Disney but less so for Dory herself, as she belongs to a species of fish called the Royal Blue Tang.
Concern has been aroused over the future of the Royal Blue Tang fish as the huge popularity of Finding Nemo in 2003 lead to an increase of 40% in sales of clownfish. Luckily, the upswing in popularity of the stripy orange fish was not as devastating as might have been, as clownfish can be born and raised in captivity with out too much difficulty. Even so, clownfish have gone locally extinct in the Philippines, parts of Thailand and parts of Sri Lanka due to the increase in demand causing divers to fish directly from the clownfishes native habitat.
Considering the effect that Finding Nemo had on the sales of clownfish worldwide, it is horrifying to imagine the outcome of huge demand for the Royal Blue Tang - a fish that, because of its particular biology, is nigh impossible to reproduce in captivity.
There is a very thin silver lining, however - researchers working with the University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory have successfully raised the Pacific Blue Tang in captivity for the first time. They are not close to being able to mass-produce the newly-popular fish, but it is a step in the right direction. In the meantime, however, we must all be careful not to contribute to the destruction of yet another species on our planet - or the next Disney Pixar film to be released may have to be called We Lost Dory.
What do you think about keeping fish taken from oceans? Let us know in the comments below!