Say Goodbye To Nemo: Artificial Light Pollution is preventing Clownfish from reproducing

According to National Geographic, a study has revealed clownfish depend on coral reefs and cannot raise eggs that are exposed to the artificial light which we humans produce, as published in Biology Letters on July 9.

Rising to fame is the bright orange clownfish with white stripes who we all sometimes still refer to as ‘Nemo’ based on Disney’s Finding Nemo. If you remember the first scene of the movie, Marlin is protecting his eggs, his children, from a barracuda attack.

Aside from being overharvested when it became popular, the bleaching of their coral and anemone homes due to climate warming waters, they now seem to have another new concerning problem: artificial light pollution.

This artificial light seems to be nature’s enemy as it endangers animals’ ecosystems like nighttime lights alter birds’ nocturnal migrations and sea turtles avoid nesting on brightly-lit beaches.

“I wasn’t expecting the result [in the paper] to be that nothing hatched,” shares Thomas Davies, a conservation ecologist in Wales. “It’s quite worrying…a really big result that speaks to how light pollution can have a really big impact on marine species.”

If you want to help in preserving the clownfish, here’s 3 Ways to Save Nemo and Dory: How Finding Dory Can Inspire People.

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