‘Finding Dory’: Why Blue Tangs (or Any Other Fish) Don’t Belong in Tanks

Finding Dory (the sequel to Finding Nemo) is here, and that’s great news for movie fans, but it could mean danger for fish. After seeing the movie, viewers might be tempted to purchase a blue tang at a pet store. But life is tragic for fish who are stolen from their homes in the wild and sold as “pets” to spend the rest of their lives in tiny bowls.

Ellen DeGeneres Finding Dory Quote

Dory is a blue tang – one of 70 species of surgeonfish who thrive in coastal waters, coral reefs, and rocky or grassy areas inshore that are 6 to 131 feet deep. Sounds a lot better than a tank, yes?


Almost all saltwater fish sold in stores are captured in their homes in the wild – just as Nemo was caught in Finding Nemo. Fish collectors spray coral reefs with cyanide, and the fish end up stunned, which makes them easy to catch.

Half of the fish who are poisoned die on the reef, and many others die before they reach an aquarium.

Read more about why fish make unhappy “pets”, and remember: never buy a fish (or any other animal) from a pet store – and ask your friends and family not to, either.

Fishing Hurts

It’s important to remember that all fish feel pain and deserve our admiration and respect.

In addition to all the damage to fish, the current rate of commercial fishing could spell disaster for our oceans. Eighty million tons of fish and other aquatic animals are torn from the oceans every year – and some experts predict that we could see oceans empty of fish by 2048.


We can all do our part to help by choosing sustainable, cruelty-free plant foods instead. Try Gardein Fishless Filets (available at many IGA stores and other specialty shops).

Live in Sydney? Bliss & Chips is a completely vegan fish and chip shop that’s well worth a visit!

Bliss Fish! All Vegan & Gluten-Free! Friday, no Fryday? Battered or Grilled? Smash or Salad? What’s your preference this Friday? 🌱🐠🍟 #blissandchips #burgers #fishandchips #dairyfree #eggfree #nongmosoy #coeliac #coeliacsociety #veganfoodporn #vegan #vegetarian #vegansydney #newtown #newtownsydney

A photo posted by BlissandChips (@blissandchips) on

Watch Joaquin Phoenix experience the panic of being “fished” here: