Scientist worries Finding Nemo sequel could endanger real blue tang fish
'We've put out a call to Disney,' says Karen Burke da Silva
Will the new movie Finding Dory be a fish tale with a tragic end?
The founder of the Saving Nemo Conservation Fund, Karen Burke da Silva, told As It Happens guest host Helen Mann that the new Disney-Pixar sequel to Finding Nemo could be very bad news for the blue tang fish.
Dory — voiced by Ellen DeGeneres — is a blue tang fish
In 2003, when the animated hit Finding Nemo came out, it triggered a huge demand for clownfish.
People fell in love with the story of the timid clownfish, and it wasn't enough just to see Nemo on the big screen — people wanted to see him, or a reasonable facsimile — in their fish tanks.
The demand led to reports of overfishing and Burke da Silva says eventually clownfish were declared virtually extinct in some parts of the world.
Now, conservationists are trying to get ahead of the curve on the likely threat that Finding Dory will pose to the blue tang fish.
Burke da Silva has reached out to Disney and DeGeneres, but has not yet heard back about her concerns, fearing this sequel could spark a dangerous demand for Blue Tangs and other wild ornamental fish.
"We've put out a call to Disney and a call out to Ellen DeGeneres hoping that we can get her on board," Burke da Silva explains. "We've also applied for a Disney Conservation Fund grant that we are supposed to hear about in August, so we'll keep our fingers crossed."
Burke da Silva, a Vancouver native, is an associate professor at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Flinders University in Australia.
For more on this story, take a listen to our full interview.