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Endangered species status sought for ‘Finding Nemo’ star

Global warming, aquarium trade taking a toll on clownfish

Orange clownfish may need protection under the Endangered Species Act. Photo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity/G.R. Allen.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — “Finding Nemo” may be harder than ever, as global warming devastates coral reef habitats that tiny clownfish need to breed and feed, so environmental activists this week petitioned the federal government to protect the fish, along with several other related species, under the Endangered Species Act.

“We risk losing the striking fish that inspired ‘Finding Nemo’ forever if we don’t put the brakes on global warming and ocean acidification,” said Shaye Wolf, climate science director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Carbon pollution harms these fish and destroys their coral reef homes. If we want these beautiful animals to survive in the wild, not just in a movie, we have to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.”

The seven coral-dependent species are also harmed by the marine aquarium trade, but ocean acidification is probably the biggest threat, damaging their hearing, sight, and smell. Ocean acidification interferes with the ability of young fish to avoid predators and find their coral reef homes. Continue reading

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