Skaters were able to glide over the frozen fish

A Japanese theme park was forced its skating rink that was criticised for displaying 5000 frozen fish, has been forced to close.

The aquarium-themed attraction opened earlier this month at Space World, in the southern city of Kitakyushu.

The attraction displayed the thousands of dead fish in the ice of its ice rink, allowing skaters to glide over the frozen fish.

The park received a backlash of criticism online and has since apologised. In a statement, 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.”

Toshimi Takeda, General Manager of the theme park said a memorial ceremony will be held for the fish.

Photos posted on the park’s Facebook page showed fish half-submerged in the ice with their mouths open, whilst others were arranged to form shapes and words under the ice. Other sea creatures such as rays and crabs were also seen.

The park insists that the fish were already dead, unfit for consumption and bought from a wholesale market.

One Facebook user wrote on Space World’s Facebook page,”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 called the rink “Japan’s shame”.

The rink has been shut since Sunday but the park will be reopened next month. “We are planning to return it to its normal state,” said a park representative. Whilst unsure of the exact date, the representative confirmed it will be sometime in December.