Finding Dory on Thailand coral reefs
Back in 2003 when Pixar’s Finding Nemo hit the big screen we were often asked by our snorkeling guests where they could find Nemo on Thailand’s reefs. Well this summer Finding Nemo 2 will be released. The new film called Finding Dory will elevate Nemo’s friendly but forgetful co-star to the lead role.
Dory in the film is based on a Regal Blue Tang or Pacific Tang (genus Paracanthurus), a species of surgeonfish common in the Indo-Pacific. There are over 70 species of surgeonfish. The most often seen variety of Tang on Thailand’s reefs is the Powder Blue Tang, sometimes called a Powder Blue surgeonfish. They can be found on shallow reefs, either alone or in small groups. They eat plankton and graze on reef algae.
Blue Tang will often try to hide in the branches of corals, particularly cauliflower coral (Pocillopora eydouxi) or Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis). Still, tangs are quite easy to photograph.
You can find Blue Tang’s on many hard coral reefs in Thailand including the Surin Islands, the Similan Islands and Koh Tachai. We recommend the Surin Islands if you want to find Dory and Nemo on the same reef.
Blue Tang’s are popular in aquariums although they are notoriously fragile. We hope that their new popularity will not see them all poached from our reefs.