An recent article in The Sun about some “fishy” goings on in China reveals that lasers are being used to “etch images on the scales of parrot fish.”
Have I got tattoos for you!
The report implies that this is a new “craze,” claiming that this bizarre practice began recently in the Chinese city of Chengdu.
However, at least a couple of The Peking Order readers will disagree; some friends and I once saw these interesting “characters” in markets in the southern province of Yunnan, as far back as 2006.
While this report will come as no surprise to my travelling companions, The Sun goes some way towards explaining how those characters came to be on the fish, a question that has been troubling my friends and I for years. According to the article, “Fish are placed in special tattooing machines and emerge the other end with images permanently engraved on their skin.”
The report quotes a pet shop owner as saying that "The machine is quite choosy about which fish it can cope with. Most of the fish tattooed are parrot fish, since they have a high survival rate."
Sick as a parrot fish?
The article goes on to quote a marine expert who condemns the practise, saying: "It is cruel and unnatural. For every one that survives, there are dozens that die in laser accidents."