A half-blind copper rockfish at the Vancouver Aquarium has been fitted with a prosthetic eye to stop underwater bullying.
Rockfish often have some health issues as they age, and this particular fish had developed cataracts, the aquarium said.
In the first surgery of its kind at the aquarium, head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena replaced the real damaged eye with a fake one, so that other fish in its tank would stop picking on it for looking weak and sick.
“Some people don’t realize how much effort we give fish,” Hualena said on a post on the aquarium's website.
According to the website, Haulena fixed the prosthetic eye to the bone above the rockfish's eye socket — while it was under anesthesia — by sewing it on with nylon sutures and attaching it with titanium clips. He was assisted by Seattle Aquarium’s head vet, Dr. Lesanna Lahner during the surgery.
Another yellowtail rockfish also underwent the same procedure and will return to an exhibit at the Vancouver International Airport.