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14:51, August 13, 2009

Tattooed fish -- creative or cruel?

The undated photo shows a fish tattooed with a Chinese phrase meaning "May your business boom!" These fish enjoy a striking popularity on the market, while some citizens criticize the practice as cruel and disrespectful. (newssc.org Photo)

Fish suppliers in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan province, are offering a new service of making fish tattooed by using a laser, sconline.com.cn reported on Thursday.

The type of fish that are used for such a tattoo service is the tropical "parrot fish", which are reportedly tattooed with various designs, including writing, logos and patterns. Among such tattoos the Chinese phrase "Sheng yi xing long" is popular. It means "May your business boom" in English.

A normal fish costs about 10 yuan, but a tattooed one costs over 25 yuan, while a set of four can cost up to 120 yuan.

A spokesman from a company selling fish tattoo engraving machines in Jiangsu province, said that unlike some other forms of dyed fish, their technique applies dye using a special "low intensity laser" which he claims leaves a permanent mark without causing the fish any pain.

Although many citizens appreciate tattooed fish for their creative designs, others strongly oppose the practice, saying it is cruel and devalues living creatures.

Fisheries expert Zhang Zhicheng said that the laser tattoo is detrimental to the fish because it breaks the physiological balance of the fish and damages the skin's protective surface.

Source: CRI online

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