An amusement park in southwestern Japan has shut down its ice-skating rink just 3 weeks after it’s official launch following public outrage after the theme park froze 5,000 dead fish into the ice of the rink itself.
Space World, a theme park in Kitakyushu of the Fukuoka prefecture had launched its newest attraction on November 12th. The ice of the rink was packed with over 25 types of dead fishes purchased from the city’s nearby fish market, according to local media Mainichi Shimbun. Photos of whale sharks and rays were among the fished frozen into the ice, reported the daily.
Photos of the rink that were previously on the park’s Facebook page showed that some of the fish had been embedded with their mouths agape and their heads partially protruding from the ice. Others were laid out in circular and arrow patterns. One “school” of fish spelled out the word ‘hello,’ according to Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
“We had intended to give the feel of the ocean to this ice skating rink, with the image of fish swimming in the ocean,” Space World general manager Toshimi Takeda told the newspaper. “And we intended to make visitors have fun and learn more about fish.”
However, the rink’s ‘wow-factor’ and ‘uniqueness’ backfired and the park was flooded by complaints as well as negative reviews from social media users.
“It’s as if the fish are alive,” one woman told NHK news. “I feel kind of uncomfortable letting my kids skate on them.”
On Twitter, one person said the attraction had been done “in poor taste.”
“When are you going to stop this [explicit] attraction?” tweeted another.
The park operator issued an apology Sunday on social media and through media interviews and said the rink would be shut down.
“We sincerely apologize to everyone who was upset by the ‘Ice Aquarium,’ ” the theme park tweeted.
— スペースワールド【公式】 (@SpaceWorld_info) November 27, 2016
“Internally we’d had discussions over the morality of the idea” before the rink was set up, Space World spokesman Koji Shibata said, according to Agence France-Presse.
Shibata told local dailies that all the fishes were already dead when purchased, and were considered ‘unfit’ to be sold in markets, in response to rumors circulating online that the fish had been killed just for the rink’s construction.
“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 the news agency.
Space World officials released a statement announcing that the park will hold a memorial service with a Shinto priest for the fish after the ice in the rink melts, which could take about a week, AFP reported.
On Facebook, Space World also said it would remove posts about the ice rink. As of Monday, all photos and posts about the rink appeared to have been deleted or made no longer publicly visible on the park’s social media pages. However, images of the posts remained online.
The decision to delete posts about the ice rink also upset some people, a few of whom posted the offending photos back onto Space World’s page.
“This is not art,” wrote one person who did just that, a Facebook user named Eiko Moroso. “This is abuse.”
Cited from Telegraph UK