The Center for Biological Diversity, based in Arizona, asked the federal government Thursday to consider putting the orange clownfish and seven other species of damselfish that need coral reefs to thrive on the endangered list.
The center blames the coral reef-dwelling species' woes on the growing acidity of ocean waters, which is harming the coral reefs and shellfish.
"As we continue to emit greenhouse gas pollution, we are seeing more and more animals and plants in the U.S. and around the world that are in danger from climate change," Shaye Wolf, climate science director for the center, told McClatchy Newspapers. "This case is important because not a lot of people understand how much the ocean is being harmed by carbon pollution."
Orange clownfish is found in the Pacific Ocean near Australia, while some of the others live in U.S. waters.