BREEDING CLOWNFISH: Dr David Kopelke from the BIEEC showing BSL employees Nicole Henry and Daryl Henry where the funding is setting up the clownfish breeding program.
BREEDING CLOWNFISH: Dr David Kopelke from the BIEEC showing BSL employees Nicole Henry and Daryl Henry where the funding is setting up the clownfish breeding program. Mike Richards GLA161118FISH

Nemo found in Boyne breeding program

NEMO, the well-known beloved clownfish, will be making a splash with the Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre breeding program.

The Caring For Clownfish breeding program will be getting its first orange and white striped fish early next year.

BIEEC principal Dr David Kopelke said the infrastructure for the program was being completed and on time to receive the popular aquarium fish.

"The aquarium tanks are all set up and next step is to get water in them and the systems to support the fish all set up," Dr Kopelke said.

"We will receive our first stock early next year and look at contacting local suppliers for them."

The idea first started after a meeting with Flinders University who are coordinating a UNESCO program to breed the clownfish both internationally and in Australia.

The popularity of these little fish for the aquarium trade has seen them disappear in some parts of Australia and in many areas throughout Asia.

Internationally, there is a serious developing issue because of the popularity of the blockbuster Hollywood movies Finding Nemo and Finding Dory (regal blue tang) and people wanting them for their aquariums.

"It's estimated that 90 per cent of the clownfish trade are wild caught, which is causing a serious decline in its numbers in natural habitat," Dr Kopelke said.

"This program will enable aquarium owner to have their Nemos and still protect the wild populations."

Local industry Boyne Smelter Limited has gotten on board with sponsoring the program by donating $4500 to set up the infrastructure and another $2500 next year for ongoing costs.

Boyne Smelter Limited Community Relations Specialist Nicole Henry said they were excited about supporting the clownfish breeding program.

"Anything we can do to support the environment we live in is a wonderful thing," Nicole said.



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