Can you believe it’s been 10 years since our first innocent clownfish massacre!? We were young and we were clueless. We thought returning clownfish back to the ocean was a piece of cake. There were plenty of sea anemones for clownfish to live in Koh Haa area. We did not realize that we were wrong until we dived back to check our little Nemos merely one hour after 1,000 were released.
To our surprise (and major shock), we found no clownfish! Instead we found other fish with huge bellies resting on the seabed after their Nemo Fest! A year after, we went back to the same spot, trying to release clownfish again. This time we went there with some protections for the clownfish. We were armed with pans, spatulas, sticks and whatever that we could find to help chasing the big fish away. We stayed under 20 meters for as long as we could to guard our little Nemos, and it looked like there was a little war there, but it was a war that we lost.
We never gave up. We went back every year with new tools and techniques. Today we are honored to be the very first group of volunteers who succeeded in returning the farmed clownfish back into the ocean. People frequently ask why we still release clownfish every year because if we want a thousand clownfish, we can release them all at once and finish our project right there and then. Our mission is not to have a thousand or two thousands clownfish. Our mission is to demonstrate to our friends, families, staff, people who live on the island and people who may have read this article that when you break a circle of life and when you do something wrong to the nature, it is not easy to bring it back. Money, manpower and a lot of heartfelt efforts have to be injected into this mission to make it feasible. And hopefully, people will think of the consequences of their actions before they act.
This year, we will release the clownfish on Saturday 22 March 2014. And we have scheduled an annual release on every 3rd Saturday of March. For inquiries, please contact Charintip@pimalai.com