Demand For Clownfish May Be Putting Them In Peril

I read an article today which is basically saying that the numbers of clownfish have fallen by the region of 75% in some areas of the world.

The marine biologist who performed this study is putting this down to the Finding Nemo film.

I am not sure how true this is as it was just an article I was reading and was not the actual report from the marine biologist in question.

What they have said is that even though the Finding Nemo film is now around five years old children and adults alike are so taken with ‘Nemo’ that they want their very own Nemo lookalike.

I remember thinking at the time of the film that this could be good for the hobby but also thinking that it could be quite bad for the hobby. I was very dissapointed to see a lot of Finding Nemo aquariums coming up for sale with clownfish, regal tangs etc all being made available for sale in aquariums which were just too small for them. A lot of shops I admit refused to sell these items but there was a lot that did.

Don’t get me wrong I do think that the film did a lot of good for the marine hobby as it raised awareness of it but people started purchasing fish just because of the film without doing any research first as to what their requirements were. As we all know and John and I go on about it all the time research is imperative in this hobby – there is life at stake and we as responsible aquarists need to ensure that we do everything in our power to ensure that they are well cared for.

Anyway the study was apparently a five study of clownfish in Australia and on one coral reef his research found numbers had fallen from 25 to just 6.

If true it is quite worrying. I admit that you are able to purchase captive raised clownfish and I urge anyone who is interested in purchasing a fish to consider captive raised. not just for clownfish but for any fish.

It is the belief of the marine aquarists that clownfish should now be put on the endangered list.

One statement the marine biologist made was one I actually quite liked :

‘My message to kids who love the film is simple – tell your parents to leave Nemo in the sea where he belongs’


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4 Comments
  1. Great article!

    I agree with you that because fish are living beings that people should be educated about their care requirements before purchasing and keeping them.

    Like you, I also advocate the purchase of captive-bred fish whenever possible.

    In addition, if the numbers of a particular fish species is declining, then collection of that species should be stopped, whether the public demand for them is high or not.

  2. I was surprised by the fact that so many clowns are still imported, when the clownfish is one of – or perhaps the – easiest to breed.

    Any danger to the wild population needs addressing, and support in this circumstance must go to selecting home bred fish or, if necessary, protecting the wild stocks by reducing import numbers. This protection has been fairly recently given to the Bangaii Cardinal.

  3. I have been breeding clownfish in my home aquarium for over a year. It is not that hard to do and can pay for the aquarium electricity bill. Not to meantion that you are doing the right thing by helping the hobby and protecting the reefs of the world.
    Breeding Clownfish

  4. Hello Scott.

    You are to be congratulated! Many aquarists are now ‘fragging’ corals (and this is certainly to be applauded) but you belong to a still small club who breed marine fish. The numbers are increasing though, as are the species of fish that are being bred.

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