After the film Finding Nemo became a worldwide hit, reports of skyrocketing clownfish sales soon followed. The film’s sequel, Finding Dory, prompted fears that the royal blue tang, another popular character in the movie, would suffer a similar fate.
The phenomenon became known as ‘the Nemo effect’. However, a new study has found that warnings about consumers being influenced by such movies are unsubstantiated, says a report published in the journal Ambio.
Researchers from the University of Oxford investigated ‘the Nemo Effect’ to find the source of the reports about clownfish sales and to see if animal movies influence consumers.
The researchers reviewed data from the Google Trends platform to identify search trends, fish purchase data from a major ornamental fish importer and data from 20 aquariums across the US.
They found no evidence proving this to be the case.
Lead researcher Diogo Veríssimo said: “Our results suggest that the impact of movies is limited when it comes to the large-scale buying of animals.
“There is, however, a clear effect in terms of information-seeking which means that the media does play an important role in making wildlife and nature conservation more salient.”