Scientists say that clownfish, made famous in the film Finding Nemo, are in trouble due to climate change. The fish has a finicky reproductive cycle that make it vulnerable to any changes in its habitat and environment.
The scientists evaluated the fish over a ten year period. Describing the reproductive cycle of the fish, researcher Benoit Poujol told news service AFP, “When the female dies, the male becomes female and the largest of the non-sexually active males became sexually active. The clownfish does not have the genetic variation which will allow it to modify its reproduction (method) if there are environmental constraints.” A single anemone are home to one female fish, non-sexually active males and one sexually-active males.
Protecting their anemone home is vital to protecting these important fish. Warming oceans affect coral, including anemones. The paper said that 50% of the fish’ ability to survive was the quality of its anemone home.
Biologist Simon Thorrold, a coauthor of the paper said in a press release, “The findings reported here were made possible by a huge sampling and DNA sequencing effort that had not been attempted for any marine species before. The biggest surprise to us was also the most troubling: conservation efforts cannot rely on genetic adaptation to protect clownfish from the effects of climate change. It seems that Nemo won’t be able to save himself.”
You can help protect coral by choosing the right sunscreen, cutting down on single-use plastic, and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more about how to help coral reefs in One Green Planet.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below:
- Marine Animals that are Dying because of our Plastic Habit
- Where Plastic Really Goes When You Throw it Out
- 5 Documentaries to make you Rethink Single-Use Plastics
- 6 Million Tons of Single-Use Plastics Get Thrown Out Every Year!
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