A skating rink with thousands of dead fish frozen underneath the ice has been forced to close its doors after causing outrage among its customers.

About 25 different kinds of fish were inserted into the new attraction at the Space World theme park in Kitakyushu, Japan, with some arranged into words and shapes to create what the owners called an "ice aquarium".

Following the opening of the 820ft rink, people took to social media to complain with some calling it "tasteless", "sinful" and "a desecration of life".

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Space World spokesman Koji Shibata said on Monday: "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."

Mr. 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" before the display was set up, he said.

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Toshimi Takeda, general manager of Space World, said the intention was for customers to have fun while also learning about fish - but conceded that the ice would have to be replaced.

"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.

This article originally appeared on SkyNews.com.