An amusement park in Japan faced vehement criticism from people for featuring dead fish as decoration for their ice skating rink. The park was forced to shut down its aquarium-themed rink on Nov. 17.
People raised an uproar after Space World, an amusement park in Japan, featured 5,000 dead fish in their ice skating rink. The park located in the southwestern city of Kitakyushu had dead mackerel and other fish embedded in ice.
The 820-foot-long ice circuit showed at least 25 different types of fish, making it “an attraction never heard about”. The park froze the fish on a blue floor to make it look like they were swimming below the ice.
The park’s official website advertised the rink as the first attraction of its kind in the world.
The ice skating rink was opened on Nov. 12. An online campaign launched against the park called the attraction “immoral,” “cruel” and “disrespectful of life.”
As reported by TIME, some fish were positioned to spell out “Hello”. Others helped skaters with the correct direction around the rink, positioned in the form of arrows.
What does Space World have to say?
According to Space World’s GM, Toshimi Takeda, they embedded fish in the ice “to give the feel of the ocean to the ice skating rink.” He further added that the amusement park is “extremely remorseful to have invoked such unpleasant feelings.”
Another Space World spokesperson confirmed that the fish were purchased from a fish market. The source also added that the fish were dead before they were embedded in the ice, as reported by The Denver Post.
“Misunderstanding spread on the Internet that the fish were frozen alive, but that was not the case. We should have explained more.”
Space World said in a statement that it plans to hold a memorial service for the dead fish next year.