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Canada’s West Coast has decided to alter and enhance the features of individuals who are bullied, in order to prevent furthering bullying from happening to them. Granted, these victims don’t really fall under the mandate of Prime Minister Harper’s Cyberbullying Bill, as they aren’t exactly ordinary Canadians.

They’re fish. Yes, the Vancouver Aquarium has taken to performing plastic surgery on their copper rockfish to prevent them from being bullied. Much like human beings, and politicians, fish apparently “pick on” the weak and the sick, making the aging rockfish a prime target to those big bullies as they age and develop cataracts. Dr. Martin Haulena, the Aquarium Vet, fitted a prosthetic eye to a copper rockfish at the main aquarium and a yellowtail rockfish on exhibit at the Vancouver International Airport.

 

rockfish-surgery

The rockfish post-surgery.
Vancouver Aquarium

 

This could lead to a wash of court cases amongst the elderly claiming that wrinkling reduction and plastic surgery should now be covered under the Provincial Health Plans. It could also lead to obese individuals trying to claim liposuction should be covered by the government too, even in those cases where they could go to the gym for a month with the Prime Minister’s new adult fitness tax credit (beyond a month, well…).

Most importantly, the startling similarities between fish and human bullying behaviour may not only lead to alternatives to the Cyberbullying Bill, but could also give credence to the theory of fish sentience. This could, eventually, take fish off the menu at the Parliamentary Restaurant and in Parliament itself. We will need to figure out how to keep them away from the trained seals already in place in the Commons Chamber though…