“Finding Nemo” was a huge box office success, but the clown fish population took a serious hit in the process because fans raced to pet stores to get their own pet Nemo.
As “Finding Dory” is heading into theatres, a Care2Petition is requesting Disney to run a PSA before the movie, stressing the importance of protecting the Blue Tang fish. The petition has reached 27,000 of the 30,000 signatures goal.
Care2Petition creator Kelsey Bourgeois told FOX411the Blue Tang fish is at risk due to the upcoming film.
“When I saw a recent article about how the movie (‘Finding Nemo’) had adversely affected the Clownfish population, despite its main moral theme, I was dismayed,” she said. “Then I learned that with 'Finding Dory' the risk is even greater because Blue Tang Fish can't be bred in captivity, I was super worried.”
After “Finding Nemo” in 2003, the sales of the clownfish skyrocketed. The Saving Nemo Conservation Fund proclaims on its website that over 1 million clownfish are taken from reefs and brought to aquarium’s each year, which adversely affects the population.
Bourgeois said she believes Disney doesn't mean to be harming the fish population.
“I really think Disney would not intend for their films to harm the actual animals their characters are based off and adding a PSA at the beginning of the movie would be such an easy way to help prevent that,” she explained. “It also seems like stating that would encourage more people to buy merchandise based on the fish, which would be great for Disney.”
In her petition, she notes that “Finding Dory” has researchers panicking.
“With the new film 'Finding Dory' coming out, researchers are seriously panicking,” she wrote. “So each and every 'Dory' Blue Tang Fish that is adopted will have been plucked from its home in the ocean. Individual viewers may not know that Blue Tang can’t be bred in captivity. But Disney does, so they should educate viewers to protect the fish.”
“Finding Dory” stars Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O’Neill, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy hits theaters June 17.
Disney and Pixar did not return FOX411’s request for comment.
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.