Skat­ing rink shuts over frozen fish con­tro­versy

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

A theme park in Ja­pan has closed a skat­ing rink fea­tur­ing frozen fish af­ter re­ceiv­ing com­plaints that it was be­ing “dis­re­spect­ful” to an­i­mals. Space World, in the south­ern city of Ki­takyushu, had opened its aquar­ium-themed at­trac­tion ear­lier this month. Skaters could glide over 5,000 fish frozen in the rink’s ice. The park has since en­coun­tered a bar­rage of crit­i­cism on­line, and has apol­o­gised. It also said the fish were al­ready dead when they were frozen. A state­ment on Space World’s web­site said: “We have re­ceived a lot of opin­ions such as ‘Us­ing an­i­mals as en­ter­tain­ment and in events is bad’ and ‘Poor fish’. We sin­cerely apol­o­gise.” Gen­eral man­ager Toshimi Takeda told the AFP news agency said the theme park would now hold a me­mo­rial cer­e­mony for the fish. Pic­tures posted on the park’s Face­book page - which have since been taken down - showed some fish half-sub­merged in the ice with their mouths open, while oth­ers were ar­ranged to form ar­rows un­der the ice. The rink also ap­peared to have sea crea­tures such as rays and crabs, al­though the park said th­ese were just en­larged pic­tures of marine life, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. The park also said it used only fish that were al­ready dead and un­fit for con­sump­tion, bought from a whole­sale mar­ket. Space World’s Face­book page has been del­uged with neg­a­tive re­views. “What were you peo­ple think­ing, to use dead fish to dec­o­rate a play­ground?” said one com­menter who added the rink was “dis­re­spect­ful of life”. An­other com­menter called the rink “Ja­pan’s shame”. A park rep­re­sen­ta­tive said that the rink had been shut as of Sun­day and that they were plan­ning to take the fish out of the rink. “We are plan­ning to re­turn it to its nor­mal state,” he said, adding that they were un­sure when ex­actly the rink would re-open “but it will be in De­cem­ber”.

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