(US) HI: editorial on aquarium fish
selkie at hawaii.rr.com
Wed Jun 18 06:53:10 EDT 2003
Posted on: Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Clownfish frenzy belies 'Finding Nemo' message
The Disney-Pixar movie "Finding Nemo" has apparently triggered a desire for
clownfish. Suddenly, those bright-orange-and-white critters, which sell for
$35 to $40 apiece, are in hot demand.
But it has not escaped our notice that Nemo spent most of the movie trying
to get out of an aquarium and back into the open ocean.
Is this irony lost on young aquarium owners? After all, in the movie, the
aquarium is treated as a prison with its aquatic inmates spending a good
deal of energy figuring out how to escape.
Just to back up, "Finding Nemo" tells of a neurotic clownfish called Marlin
who is forced to leave his safe anenome patch when his only child, Nemo, is
caught by a diver collecting tropical fish. To his horror, Nemo ends up in
an aquarium in Sydney, Australia.
But we need not lament the plight of captured clownfish in Hawai'i too much.
Clyde Tamaru, aquaculture specialist at the University of Hawai'i's Sea
Grant Program, estimates about 70 percent of clownfish here are bred in
tanks while the rest are caught in the wild.
Sure, "if (the-tank-bred clownfish) had a chance to get out of the tank, I'm
sure they would. But they'd never survive," Tamaru says.
It's important to reinforce to children pining for their own Nemo that
aquariums are hard work, requiring regular cleaning and other forms of
upkeep. And unlike the movie, don't expect the tank to be bubbling with
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