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‘Finding Nemo’ Fish Could Be Listed as Endangered

Two Clownfish
Stephen Chernin/Stringer, Getty Images

The Center for Biological Diversity has started a petition to get the orange clownfish, who was popularized as Nemo in Pixar‘s hit movie ‘Finding Nemo,’ and seven other species of damselfish to be classified as an endangered species.

The orange clownfish, who is found in the Pacific Ocean near Australia’s coral reefs, is in danger of becoming extinct if swift action is not taken. Their habitats are disappearing thanks to greenhouse gas pollution and climate change. The world’s oceans absorb much of this carbon pollution that’s emitted from power plants, cars, etc., and the immediate effect is that the waters are now highly acidic, which makes it difficult for ocean creatures like coral and shellfish to construct calcium carbonate. If the coral reefs disappear, then the orange clownfish and damselfish do too.

Like the polar bear’s status, there’s no guarantee that an “endangered species” listing will do much to save the orange clownfish’s habitat from being destroyed by carbon emissions, but it’s a chance the Center of Biological Diversity is willing to take. They have had a good deal of success in protecting two Caribbean species of coral in 2006 and petitioned to save  83 other coral species in the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Indo-Pacific in 2009 as well. Only time will tell if Nemo’s real-life doppelgangers will get a happy ending and live on for future generations.

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