WASHINGTON – An environmental group asked the U.S. government on Thursday to consider classifying the orange clownfish – Nemo, to a whole generation of children – as endangered.
The growing acidity of the ocean threatens the tiny fish’s coral reef habitat, the Center for Biological Diversity said in its petition, which asks for the orange clownfish to be protected along with seven species of similarly coral-dependent damselfish.
“As we continue to emit greenhouse gas pollution, we are seeing more and more animals and plants in the U.S. and around the world that are in danger from climate change,” Shaye Wolf, the climate science director for the center, an Arizona-based advocacy and environmental law organization, said in an interview.
Orange clownfish aren’t found in U.S. waters; they live primarily in the Pacific Ocean near Australia. But many of the other fish are in U.S. waters, and the government has a long history of protecting species in other parts of the world.
Orange clownfish became well known in popular culture with the 2003 Pixar film “Finding Nemo.”