People Are Outraged Over This Japanese Ice Rink of 5,000 Frozen Fish

Published by Zachary Toliver.

After being inundated with furious comments online, Space World, a space-themed Japanese amusement park, was forced to close a bizarre attraction that featured an ice-skating rink with some 5,000 animals frozen into the ice.

The macabre exhibit, billed as the “Freezing Port,” featured thousands of fish, crab, and other shellfish corpses embedded into the ice for patrons to skate over. Some of the fish were frozen into patterns, including arrows and a message that read “hello.” The attraction was promoted as a “world first,” and hopefully after this public backlash, it will be the world’s last.

People took to social media in outrage over the attraction, especially after seeing photos of the frozen fish on Space World’s official Facebook page with what some viewed as insensitive captions, including one that read, “I am d..d..drowning…It h…h..hurts.” Some called for a boycott of Space World and urged the park to “go out of business.”

“Why is it fun to skate over the frozen?” a Japanese Facebook page called Relief Pain Animals said. “It is shocking that this kind of idea was taken up normally in Japan … This is the worst attraction educationally.”

Park officials denied that they used live fish in the exhibit and claimed that the animals were “provided wholesale from public fish markets.” Regardless of where the bodies came from, skating over frozen fish carcasses trivializes the animals’ suffering. As one commenter wrote, the park shouldn’t “make life into a toy,” while another called the exhibit an “insult to life.”

Fish are smart, interesting animals with their own unique personalities, and just like dogs, cats, and humans, they feel pain. They can recognize individuals, use tools, and maintain complex social relationships. They also communicate with each other through a range of low-frequency sounds that express emotions such as alarm or delight and help with courtship.

Keep Sea Animals in Their Homes

It’s uplifting that people forced this frozen abomination to shut its doors. But we can all save billions of fish, crabs, lobsters, and other marine animals each year by leaving them off our plates. Already fish-free? You can help animals even more by sharing this page and asking your friends to join you in this pledge.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind