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A fish is for life... ...not just a night at the movies!

Byline: Louise Day

AS PARENTS brace themselves for the release of Disney's next blockbusting animation, they are being advised not to take more than souvenirs home.

Finding Nemo has already broken box office records in America and it is expected to do the same in the UK when it goes on general release this Friday.

But animal welfare campaigners say the Nemo phenomena in the US has seen a dramatic increase in the sales of tropical fish, that could threaten the future of the species.

The RSPCA has now appealed for children to enjoy the film but not to buy their own Nemo.

Marine wildlife officer Laila Sadler said: 'It's a great film but the take-home message is really going to backfire if it encourages people to go out and buy anemonefish. Unlike other domestic pets, tropical aquarium fish are often captured in the wild, damaging the environment and hurting the fish.'

In South Wales, interest in the film, which tells the story of a boy anemonefish, or clown fish, who is stolen from his coral reef home, has already reached fever pitch.

Stuart Tipples, from Ster Century Cinema, Millennium Plaza, Cardiff, said: 'There has been a big buzz about this film. We have been selling tickets for the opening night of this film for about a month.'

But the message is - a tropical fish is for life, not just a film.

Alex James, manager of Maidenhead Aquatics at Cardiff, said: 'We are expecting an increase in inquiries but keeping tropical fish is an expensive and demanding hobby.

NEMO HAS NETTED ARECORD IN AMERICA

Finding Nemo is a computer animated film that has been produced by Disney and Pixar Studios, the company behind Monsters Inc.

In the opening week it took $70.6m, equivalent to pounds 43.4m, beating the record for an animated film set by Monsters Inc in 2001.

The film stars the voices of Alexander Gould as Nemo, Albert Brooks as his father Marlin and Ellen DeGeneres as Dory.

Nemo is a clown fish which is a marine tropical species found in the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 7, 2003
Words:359
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