A Japanese skating rink has been closed down after it was revealed that it froze 5,000 dead fishes into the ice as an attraction for visitors. The amusement park company Space World is melting the rink at present. This process could take about a week to complete. It will hold a memorial service for the fish.
The rink was opened on November 12 in southwestern Japan. 5,000 fishes were frozen under the surface of the ice as a decorative effect while customers skated above. Koji Shibata, Space World spokesman, said the rink in the city of Kitakyushu was forced to close on Sunday as the concept was slammed as unethical.
"We received critical voices saying it is not good to use creatures as a toy, and that it is bad to let food go to waste," Shibata told AFP on Monday. According to Shibata, the fishes were already dead at the time of purchase and were considered unfit to be sold in markets.
"Internally we'd had discussions over the morality of the idea" before the display was set up, he said. Toshimi Takeda, general manager of Space World, said the whole intention of creating the rink was for the customers to have fun while they can also learn about fishes.
"We wanted customers to experience the feeling of skating on the sea, but after receiving criticism, we decided that we could not operate it any more", Takeda said. He further added: "We are planning to hold a memorial service for the fish inviting a Shinto priest, which we'd planned before getting criticised."
People were also seen commenting on social media with different views. A vistor posted on the park's Facebook page saying: "An event on an ice rink with frozen fish... How sinful." While another visitor said: "This is not personal but a social issue. They made food into a toy where children go and play."