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Skating Rink in Japan Closed Over Dead Fish Controversy

The handout picture taken in November 2016 and released on November 28, 2016 shows people skating on an ice rink with 5,000 frozen dead fish inside at the Space World amusement park in Kitakyushu, southwestern Japan.

A skating rink in Kitakyushu, Japan has been forced to close following public uproar over a decision to embed dead fish into the ice.

Space World, the amusement park where the rink is located, had placed 5,000 dead fish into the ice, with the idea that visitors could skate over the frozen creatures.

The park had opened the "Ice Aquarium" as an "attraction never heard about," but soon faced a deluge of criticism that the gimmick was "disrespectful" to the sea creatures.

Pictures of the rink posted on the park’s Facebook page have been taken down. They showed various fish partially or fully submerged in the ice, some with their mouths open. Other fish were used to form shapes under the ice. Some spelled out the word "Hello."

Park officials said the fish used were purchased from a wholesale market and were already dead and unfit for consumption.

"We have received a lot of opinions such as, 'Using animals as entertainment and in events is bad' and 'Poor fish,’” read a statement on the Space World theme park website. “We sincerely apologize."

Space World said a memorial service would be held for the fish once they are removed from the ice.

The rink, which opened November 12, closed Sunday. It is expected to reopen in December.