The Percula Clownfish Is Not Endangered

After extensive review, the NMFS declined to list Amphiprion percula as an endangered species.

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Percula Clownfish Amphiprion percula. Photo by Aaron Norman
Percula Clownfish Amphiprion percula. Photo by Aaron Norman
John Virata

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2013, asking the service to list the Percula clownfish as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The NMFS in September 2014 announced a 90 day finding in which they sought comments on the Amphiprion percula. The data was looked over by the NMFS and it was determined that the Percula clownfish did not warrant Endangered Species protections. The service undertook a comprehensive review of the species for more than a year and found that the popular marine fish is not in danger of becoming extinct. Below is the full statement released by the NMFS on August 24, 2015.


Clownfish Information

Clown Fish Facts For Kids

Percula Clownfish Species Profile

Clownfish Breeding


“We, NMFS, announce a 12-month finding and listing determination on a petition to list the orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We have completed a comprehensive status review under the ESA for the orange clownfish and we determined that, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, the orange clownfish does not warrant listing under the ESA. We conclude that the orange clownfish is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range and is not likely to become so within the foreseeable future.”

Aquarium fish keepers can relax for now as this particular species, which is widely and fairly easily to captive breed, can continue to be responsibly kept. Had the NMFS reeled the other way, the popular fish would have probably disappeared from the trade, captive bred or not.


John B. Virata has been keeping fish since he was 10 years old.  He currently keeps an 80 gallon cichlid tank, a 20 gallon freshwater community tank and a 29 gallon BioCube with a Percula clown, a huge blue green chromis, and a firefish all in his kitchen, and a 55 gallon FOWLR tank with a pair of Ocellaris clowns, two blue green chromis, a six line wrasse, a peppermint shrimp, assorted algae and a few aiptasia anemones in his living room. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata

Article Categories:
Fish · Saltwater Fish

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