Later this week, the animated film Finding Dory will be in theaters, and I am excited to see it. But far less exciting are the threats that industrial mining poses to the real-life Dory's habitat.
The lovable Dory is a blue tang – a royal blue tropical fish that lives in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, where mining companies are dumping mine waste.
That's right: Each year, mining companies operating throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific — including Indonesia and Papua New Guinea – dump millions of tons of mine waste into oceans and rivers. The muddy sludge [link to tailings issue page] that’s created when companies extract, chemically treat and process minerals from mined rock is called “mine tailings.” Once these tailings are dumped into water bodies, they kill fish, smother marine ecosystems and threaten the livelihoods of many coastal communities. Click here for an infographic providing more information about this devastating problem.
Though this practice has rightfully been phased out in most regions, some companies, including some of the world's largest such as US miners Newmont and Freeport McMoRan, continue to dump mine wastes into water in the exact region where the blue tang lives.
This year, we ask you to help save Dory’s home. Show your support by signing this petition calling for an end to aqueous tailings dumping. And don't forget to share our GIF to let the world know what's happening to Dory’s home!