Good news for the hobby as the potential threat of the clownfish being listed as a threatened or endangered has been averted. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the species does not warrant the listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The NMFS completed the 12-month review of a petition put forward by the Center for Biological Diversity to list the orange clownfish (A. percula) endangered, and published the findings today.
If you recall, if this would have moved forward it would have made selling, breeding and even keeping this fish illegal. While we applaud organizations looking to keep our planet’s rich biological diversity intact, there are better ways to accomplish this particularly with a species that is so readily available thanks to captive breeding.
There should be more effort in education and even possibly more incentives for the industry to improve captive-breeding programs to ensure we are reducing our impact on the wild reefs. The scientific advances we’ve gained from the hobby have given us better understanding reefs in general. We want to ensure we continue these efforts, while ensuring the overall health and well-being of our oceans, but doing so in ways that make more sense than the original petition.
Here is the full statement listed on the Federal Register Today:
“We, NMFS, announce a 12-month finding and listing determination on a petition to list the orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We have completed a comprehensive status review under the ESA for the orange clownfish and we determined that, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, the orange clownfish does not warrant listing under the ESA. We conclude that the orange clownfish is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range and is not likely to become so within the foreseeable future.”