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At Space World in Japan, a public skating rink froze 5,000 fish into the ice as an attraction for visitors.

Ice Aquarium opened on November 12. Thousands of marine wildlife were frozen under the surface of the ice where customers skate. After much criticism from various animal rights activists, the rink was forced to close.

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The concept was considered unethical, said Space World spokesman Koji Shibata said.

“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,” he told AFP on Monday.


Shibata said the fish were all 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,” he said.

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Space World is currently melting the rink, which could take nearly a week. The amusement park will hold a memorial service for the fish, the company said.

Toshimi Takeda, general manager of Space World, said the intention was for customers to have fun while also learning about fish.

“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,” he said. “We are planning to hold a memorial service for the fish inviting a Shinto priest, which we’d planned before getting criticized.”

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