An amusement park in Japan has decided to close its skating rink after facing public criticism over the rink's main feature: 5,000 dead fish that were frozen into the ice.
Space World, a theme park located in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka prefecture, opened its new attraction on Nov. 12. The rink had 25 different types of fish that were bought from the fish market. Besides real fishes, the ice skating rink also featured photos of rays and sharks.
Purpose Of Freezing Fishes In The Ice Skating Rink
Images previously posted on the park's Facebook page showed that some of the fishes were laid out in arrow and circular patterns. Some of the embedded fishes had their mouths open and heads that partially protrude from the ice. A group of fishes was also used to spell out the word "hello."
Space World general manager Toshimi Takeda said that their intention was to give visitors the feel of the ocean. He also said that the amusement park wanted visitors to have fun and to learn more about fishes but things backfired.
Concept Described As Unethical
The concept for the skating rink was slammed as unethical. The park received floods of complaints from both of its patrons and people on social media prompting the park operator to issue a public apology.
Writing on its Facebook page, the Relief Pain Animals described the idea as the "worst attraction educationally." Other social media users said that the idea makes them upset and doubted that children will be happy to see frozen fishes in the skating rink.
"We sincerely apologize to everyone who was upset by the 'Ice Aquarium,'" the theme park tweeted.
Takeda said that the ice skate rink was very popular from the time it opened with the theme park seeing an unprecedented number of visitors so they were shocked to learn about the reactions. Nonetheless, the park said that the rink would be shut down following the negative reactions.
"(But) we had endless opinions about the project, we were shocked ... We are sorry for the project and decided to close the rink on that night," Takeda said.
Takeda said that the fishes that the park used were bought at a local fish market and were already dead before these were frozen. He said that the park would unfreeze the skate rink so the fishes can be removed. The park would also hold a religious service and plans to reuse the fishes as fertilizer.