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The aquarium favorite has historically been caught in the wild.

July 21, 2016

All of the Blue Tang fish—the forgetful star of Disney's ‘Finding Dory’—that you may have seen in aquariums were removed from their natural habitats among coral reefs.

But a breakthrough from the University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Lab and Rising Ride Conservation has paved a much brighter future for the sought-after fish. A Blue Tang was successfully bred in captivity last week for the first time ever.

Not only are these fish in high demand for aquariums, but their natural reefs are damaged when the fish are removed, according to National Geographic. To make for an easier catch, the fish are stunned with small doses of cyanide, some of which inevitably makes its way onto the reefs.

Given recent widespread coral bleaching, anything that can be done to keep these international treasures intact is a move in the right direction.

The Blue Tang is not in danger of extinction, but captive breeding will help more of the stunning species in their natural habitats.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen. 

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