Since the incredible popularity of Finding Nemo and its sequel Finding Dory, clownfish (Nemo) have become a favoured addition to many home aquariums.
As a result, over one million fish from the clownfish family are collected from the wild each year, causing significant population declines.
Flinders University research, led by Professor Karen Burke da Silva, is working on solutions to this issue, with a focus on the long-term conservation of the clownfish family.
“Marine Biologists like us around the world are concerned we may lose Nemo in the wild. Clownfish, also called anemonefish, also suffer from habitat loss as coral reefs decline due to global warming,” says Professor Burke da Silva.
“However, Clownfish can be easily bred in captivity, so our solution is to help supply stores with nursery bred fish. Our Saving Nemo project is also focused on clownfish conservation through education and scientific research.”
Seven-year-old Tanner learnt about the project when he was looking into options for his school fundraising ‘dollar project’.
“My teacher gave each of us a dollar to get our fundraising started. We couldn’t keep the dollar but had to find a way to use it to make more money to donate to something we were interested in,” says Tanner.
“I’m passionate about anything that lives in the ocean and found the Saving Nemo website about research that supports the clownfish.”
Tanner then drew a colourful picture of ‘Nemo’ and went about asking friends and family for donations. If anyone gave a donation they received a copy of the drawing with a personal thank you note.
Tanner’s one dollar soon grew to nearly $200!
His mum Angela says, “He was pretty excited and had a great time doing it.”
A big thank you to Tanner for this fantastic support that will help us to keep finding Nemo on our reefs for years to come.
If you would like to help keep wild fish free please donate today.
100% of your tax-deductible donation will support clownfish and anemone research, run clownfish education programs, and breed clownfish for the aquarium industry.
Learn more about the project savingnemo.org