Dory is a Pacific Regal Blue Tang – one of several blue tang fishes, none of which you want to bring home with you.
Her scientific name is Paracanthurus hepatus. Scientific names help us to be clear about which species we are talking about, since fish have different common names in different regions and languages.
“Dory” fish facts:
– can grow to about a foot long – a challenge for home aquariums
– live in saltwater exclusively
– eat a lot of algae which is important for coral reef health, since the fish help keep the coral from getting smothered by the algae
– have small but dangerous tail spines
– do not thrive in captivity
Some fish are bred in captivity, like “Nemo” fish or clownfish, but blue tangs are not bred in captivity.
Any “Dory” fish you see in stores are caught in the wild
The methods used to capture the fish in the wild are very destructive and include pouring poison into the ocean. These fish are important for coral reef health so removing them is a problem.
It is wasteful to take them from the ocean because they do not survive long in captivity.
Do not buy these fish! You will be encouraging the stores to capture more.
If you hear of someone who is thinking about buying a “Dory” please encourage them NOT to invest money into a short-lived and destructive practice, and instead support marine conservation efforts.
Canadian Radio Interview with Dr. Heather Spence about Finding Dory and marine conservation