Ocean Action Hub

29 Mar 2019 - Shoko Noda, UNDP Maldives - I still remember seeing ‘kumanomi’ for the first time on a dive in Japan. It was so beautiful. Kumanomi in my language, or clownfish in English, usually live in warmer waters than the ocean around Tokyo, so I was lucky to spot one that day.

When I started to dive in the Maldives, I was thrilled to see clownfish everywhere, swaying within the sea anemones, with which they have a symbiotic relationship. The clownfish in the Maldives is bright orange with a white stripe behind its eyes and black fins around its belly. I always look for this photogenic fish on my dives, though they love to play hide-and-seek in their sea anemone homes.

The attractive and charming clownfish are a popular pet, kept in aquariums across the world. I noticed them in many fish tanks in the Maldives too, and also being exported. Sadly, the clownfish, like other ornamental fish, are not caught in an environmentally-friendly manner. Extraction techniques of these fish from their underwater coral homes are harming the fish and their natural habitats.

A healthy marine ecosystem is critical to everyday life for these idyllic communities, and the major industries dependent on it: tourism and fisheries. The recent decline in fish catch shows how it can have lasting consequences for these small islands where everything is connected to the sea.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://medium.com/@UNDP/learning-from-the-clownfish-and-the-sea-anemone-bd505fe20509

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Shoko Noda
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Marine ecosystems