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OATA Seeks Retailers’ Help in Discouraging ‘Dory’ Purchases


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The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA), the U.K. trade body that represents the ornamental aquatic industry, doesn’t want fishkeepers to buy regal tangs, aka “Dory,” on a whim.

OATA is concerned that the new Disney film “Finding Dory” could encourage impulse online purchases of the fish without people doing the proper research and preparation necessary for caring for such a pet.

The organization also is advising first-time fishkeepers to avoid marine fish like regal tangs (Dory) and clownfish (Nemo), which need an experienced hand to keep successfully.

“Since ‘Finding Nemo’ was released more than 10 years ago, the Internet has changed the way people shop,” said Keith Davenport, OATA’s chief executive. “We hope people enjoy the new ‘Finding Dory’ film, and if it inspires people to think about what’s involved in keeping fish, then that’s great. But please act responsibly by going to a shop and talking to a good retailer before buying your first fish.

“Ornamental fish are beautiful, delightful, breath-taking animals,” Davenport said. “Like any pet, they deserve respect and a lot of research before you take the plunge into ownership. Do it right and we’re sure people will be hooked by this hobby for life. “Don’t buy a regal tang like Dory or a clownfish like Nemo on a whim and hope it will all work out. It won’t.”

The organization is hoping that aquatic retailers, who understand the complexities of keeping tangs and clownfish, will step up to thoroughly educate those who might be interested in keeping these fish.

“A responsible retailer will be able to explain everything people need to know about particular fish species, whether they’re right for them and what they need to keep them successfully,” said the OATA in a statement. “Marine fish like regal tangs and clownfish are not the fish to start with for beginner aquarists, but there are fantastic tropical freshwater fish that make a great introduction to keeping fish.”

“We would expect any responsible retailer to be able to help with information on the care and welfare involved in keeping any kind of fish and to help customers to make the right decisions,” said Davenport. “Regal tangs are caught in the wild, so we would encourage retailers to talk to their suppliers about where and how the fish are sourced. Fish caught sustainably from the wild can be an important source of income to vulnerable coastal and riverine communities across the world, encouraging them to conserve their environment because they get a long-term income from it.”

Find out more about the issues in Wild Caught Ornamental Fish – The Trade, the Benefits, the Facts.  

“Finding Dory” opens in the U.S. on Friday, June 18.

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