by Elizah Leigh
Categories: Animals, Eats, Film/TV
Tags: , .

Who wouldn’t want to commemorate a highly coveted Academy award win for Best Documentary by crowning a glorious evening with a tasty bit of sushi in a luxe restaurant? For the victorious filmmakers of this year’s winning expose on the Japanese dolphin industry, they’d be easily deserving of such a culinary indulgence, but instead of basking in the glow of their win for “The Cove”, they instead chose to engage in a sushi sting operation that dated as far back as October 2009. Clearly, a documentarian’s work is never done.

Launched in cooperation with federal law enforcement officials, associate producer Charles Hambleton first heard suspicious rumblings that whale was being served up at a swanky eatery called The Hump and decided to appoint himself as an undercover fact finder. Outfitting two of his fellow colleagues (and equally ardent animal activists) with a tiny camera to capture the blow-by-blow of their chef-selected omakase meal on two separate occasions, the squeamish diners covertly tucked what was described as “whale” into Ziplock bags for later DNA tissue analysis by the associate director of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, Scott Baker.

As it turns out, the meat was indeed from the IUCN Red Listed Sei Whale which, by last count, had worldwide numbers of roughly 54,000 in 2006. The subject of massive global commercial whaling efforts during the latter end of the 19th and 20th centuries, the endangered acquatic mammal — which can reach 66 feet in length and weigh a hefty 45 tons — is now for the most part internationally protected despite limited allowances for Japan and Iceland. In spite of this fact, it is somewhat of an unspoken rule that whale flesh is served in high-end Japanese sushi restaurants. The protein source is considered to be among the most reliable and stable food sources in that country (despite containing very high levels of toxic methyl mercury) but in America? Even Baker admitted to being shocked.

In the meantime, the Hump restaurant has no comment other than what their attorney said in a recent telephone interview: “We’re going to look into the allegations and try to determine what is true.” The result of these covert operations is still playing out, but just last week, federal officials took the information gathered thus far so seriously that they arrived at the Hump in person to locate marine mammal parts and any other documentation they could secure. If the restaurant is found officially guilty of possessing or selling any creature named under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the guilty party will be subject to a $20,000 fine or one year in the slammer. Interestingly, they were charging their clientele $60 a pop for thick pink slices of something clearly identified as whale, so it will be interesting to see how they squirm out of this one.

Via The New York Times

  • Kimitake Hiraoka

    Commendations to the restaurant for serving such ecologically friendly meat. When compared to more mainstream meats such as beef, lamb and chicken, whale meat is far less destructive to the environment. Whale meat is considerably less carbon, land and water intensive. It is therefore the “green” meat.

    Furthermore, whales do not experience the severe cruelty associated with high intensity farming that produced beef, lamb and chicken. Whale is the free range meat.

    One can only hope that more restaurants around the world will courageously switch to this ethical meat source.

    • Gavin MacQueen

      …This has been a message from the cold hearted and ignorant.

    • orcalove

      I agree that factory farming is horrid. But, what about mercury content in cetaceans? Is that healthy now too?
      Your lies are pathetic and shameful.

    • agent orange

      First on the scene with your ICR propaganda arentyou Kimitake. Nice Japanese name you fraudster (Glenn Inwood?)

    • billy jean is my lover

      From SFO Chronicle:

      Most damning, however, was that the sushi was harvested from a sei whale, which puts the truth — again — to the lie that the Japanese whaling fleets are only killing minke, a more plentiful species {which still does not excuse the slaughter} in the name of research. Researchers have proof that baby blue whales have been killed by the fleet and found their way into sushi bars in the Tokyo ginza. It takes skilled researchers, not some minimum-wage Joe manning the explosive harpoon, to distinguish a whale on the move in the open ocean. And it’s clear the Japanese are concerned more with killing whales and asking questions on species identification later. How many more whales, endangered or not, will be killed by the Japanese hunter/killer ships before the world puts a stop to their seaside butchery? When are countries such as the U.S. going to use their muscle to put an end to this obsolete and obscene practice? Isn’t the proof that they are hunting endangered whales enough to get the international community to put a stop to the slaughter?

    • imforthewhales

      Why does Japan always push the boundaries?

      The serving of whale meat is illegal in the USA.

      Why cant the Japanese people learn to respect laws?

      Maybe they just think that they are better than everyone elese.

      But strangely the japanese are still serving whale meat up despite the laws of the country in which they live forbidding the serving of whale.

      Perhaps this is not so strange.

      Japanese people didn’t think much of USA laws back when the bombed the heck out of Pearl Harbour, starting a war which cost may millions of lives.

      Just as they are costing the lives of whales in the Southern Ocean, a place which was not designed for the Japanese.

      I see nothing has changed with Japanese attitudes concerning law and order and boundaries.

      • Abe

        The serving of whale meat in the USA is not illegal. The importing of endangered whale meat and then serving it is illegal. The chef should have gone with minke. Soon the Japanese will be able to hunt whales near their homeland. Thanks Paul Watson!

    • http://www.dorothybaez.com Dorothy Kernaghan-Baez

      Wow. Just wow.

      This guy should heed the old adage: “It’s better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

    • jim

      its good the closed the hump but why not go after the fisherman that killed the whale

  • Chastity

    Kimitake, you make me laugh hysterically with these inane pro-whaling rants. I often wonder if you’re even Japanese or if you are mocking them with irony.

  • Chastity

    PS My post above does not encourage the racism that the Japanese may be experiencing from engaging such practices.

  • Kimitake Hiraoka

    Oh we’re to blame for the racism are we?

    How very fascinating.

    I’d love to hear your views on the causes of the Holocaust.

    After all, I believe one of the Nazi’s criticisms of the Jews was the “barbaric” practices of Kosher butchery.

    Pray, enlighten us all about why 6,000,000 Jews went to the gas chambers.

    • From MN, with hope…

      Get the hell out of here, and learn to read! He said that he wasnt promoting the racism Japan may be getting regarding whaler practices. The holocaust is nothing to demean. Many millions died b/c Hitler was a heavy believer in racial superiority. No single race is better or worse than another.

      • imforthewhales

        Kimitake Hiraoka believes in racial superiority I think.He believes that 16 year old kids still living with their mother and sitting behind a computer are all superior beings lol.

    • Chastity

      Since you decided to pull out Godwin’s Law, did you know that there is a such a thing as the term “holocaust” without referencing the Nazis and the Jewish people?

      Holocaust: Great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life, especially by fire.

      And yes, I find both holocaust and the Holocaust to be completely abhorrent.

      Thank you From MN.

      • From MN, with hope…

        Of course. I am one who really is interested in WWII, causes, effects, events, and the mass killings of the Jews/disabled/old/others, and when I see someone mock the killing it just is unforgivable.

      • Chastity

        The first part wasn’t directed at you, From MN. ;) It was directed to our fine spokesperson for the whaling (and overall nonhuman enslavement) industry.

      • From MN, with hope…

        I know, I was just expressing the reasoning of my discontent with, as you say, ‘our fine spokesperson for whaling’

  • Chelsea

    What does her view of the holocaust have to do with your ridiculous and antiquated views on whaling? You’re just changing the subject to divert attention from your clearly unintelligent and completely inane belief that whaling is neither cruel nor wrong. People like you that have these half cocked, half cooked, ridiculous and pitiful little ideas are just infuriating.
    Furthermore you’re confusing correlation with causation here, “After all, I believe one of the Nazi’s criticisms of the Jews was the “barbaric” practices of Kosher butchery.”
    Let me break this down for you, since clearly you were foolish enough to do this you may not understand what I mean:
    You are taking one aspect of the Nazi’s hatred of the Jews, their kosher butchery issue, and instead of it correlating with Holocaust you’re acting like it’s the ENTIRE cause of the Holocaust to make your absurd point about whaling.
    Very well thought out and informed, bravo. What online university did you get you go to?

  • georgina0912

    Does anyone remember pro-whaler Hideyoshi Toyotomi? And now we have pro-whaler Kimitake Hiraoka; and both sound very similar. I wonder if they are the same person. Maybe they work out of the same cubicle with ddpalmer.

    Oh, and Kimitake, the point you were trying to make was….?????

    Bottom line is that in this country it is against the law to serve whale meat. Do you understand that Kimitake? Go back to Japan to serve your “commendations to the restaurant” for serving their “research” whales.

    • ddpalmer

      You mean the SSCS makes you work out of cubicles and they put more than one of you per cubicle. You should ask Paul for better working conditions.

      • From MN, withHope…

        Uh, what? Does any bit of what you just said coincide with what Georgina said? Get some reading glasses dude, because obviously you can read, but you cant see what is there. That may be the reason for veering off topic always. Sea Shepherd doesnt need a PR crew, nor do they have a PR crew. It is a known fact that the whalers have a PR crew, run by Glenn Inwood. Sea Shepherd isnt a government run organization, so they dont have much money to spare for PR people. Besides, I am pretty sure Paul doesnt give a hoot for what the world is saying about him, the whales, his crew, his boats, or his beliefs. I do this to spread the truth, bot the ‘I am right, and you are always wrong’ ‘truth’ you spread.

        And my research hit a few snags. Supporters had doubts, overall it wasnt needed because I have already found it that it applies maybe under half of the people I have previously encountered.

      • Chastity

        ddpalmer is totally astroturfing.

      • ddpalmer

        So all those press releases from the SSCS are imaginary?

      • From MN, with hope…

        PR people referring to people who troll the forums posting pro whaling propaganda. Paul actually used to write them himself, but looks like now they have a volunteer to manage the press releases… Sorry, I just remembered that you nitpick at anything you can, and you keep nitpicking until the thread gets old, then you move on…

      • ddpalmer

        So you are redefining common terms again.

        And how is that research going?

      • From MN, with hope…

        I am saying what I meant to say. I’m not superhuman, I am just human, so I restated with what was meant by the comment, not redefining. And as I said, my research was done before I started. It works with usually half of all people, but since I am just one person who would be ignoring you, I cant get an accurate result on you unless all ignore you.

    • sidewinder

      Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) – Pseudonym for Hiraoka Kimitake

      Hideyoshi Toyotomi (February 2, 1536 – September 18, 1598)

      Pretty obvious that these puppets are impersonating Japanese people (with great disrespect I might Add).

      Best to ignore them and that ddpalmer troll who pops up everywhere with pretty much the “same old trash”.

      • ddpalmer

        Yeah be sure and ignore facts they get in the way of delusions.

      • imforthewhales

        DD Palmer is everywhere it is true, how much is Glen Inwood paying these days?

  • kristin

    not to defend Kimitake, because s/he is obviously insane, but i do see the point that factory farmed meat IS awful… but 1) that is something people on this site know and 2) we are not saying you should eat that either! JUST STOP EATING ANIMALS EVERYONE. anyway, i think Kimitake is making the point South Park did with the “Whale Whores” episode, that we criticize the Japanese for whale/dolphin when we have factory farms, but doing it really badly. also, Kimitake obviously does not care about animals. anyway – i really wonder when “sushi lovers” will WAKE UP AND STOP IT! our oceans are dying so rapidly, and when they go, so will we :-(

    • Chastity

      Kristin, I agree but it is not just factory farming that is the problem. It is nonhuman slavery that is the problem. “Humane” products are just as cruel as factory farmed ones. It is not only flesh, it is their secretions, skins, feathers, fur, “performances,” presence as pawns in our games and chemicals that we must reject from our lives.

      My friend calls herself vegetarian but she continually eats fish. It drives me crazy. ;)

      • http://blog.babyganics.com Evan

        Why should we stop eating animals when our genetic frame was made to do so?

        The real problem here is us not learning to know when we fish too much. That’s all.

      • Chastity

        Evan, I’ve gone through this a gazillion times elsewhere but our bodies are not meant to eat flesh and fermented bodily fluids nor are they meant to ingest secretions coming from another species, especially as adults. A professor of anthropology confirmed that we are meant to be herbivores and our canines are measly little things that cannot tear through raw flesh. We are not physically capable of killing anyone unless we have human made tools. Another thing, the University of Calgary discovered that humans have been eating grain for the 100 000 years.

        Let’s say I’m completely wrong about this. A carnivorous nonhuman animal like the lion is supposed to eat flesh, right? There was a lioness who refused portions of flesh. She was vegetarian. No, she wasn’t vegan but that is evidence that if a carnivorous nonhuman can be a vegetarian then humans can survive on plant-based diets.

        In history, humans should have mastered the art of doing nothing be we are now living the results of disastrous experiments that have begun from the beginning of time.

      • Abe

        Chastity’s teeth may suck, but mine do a hell of a job on a rib-eye. No digestion problems either. Meat is murder, tasty tasty murder.

      • http://vegan--japan.blogspot.com/ herwin

        ooooo, how provocative you are !! (not)

      • Abe

        A “not” joke, really?

  • emancipator

    All the anti whalers on ecorazzi i have a anouncement to make.Kimitake hiraoka, ddpalmer, and Hideyoshi toyotomi are all the same person. I have done my reasearch and this person is Ginza Glenn Inwood.

    • ddpalmer

      Then your “research” leaves a lot to be desired.

      Care to give some proof?

      • enola gay

        The Proof is in the pudding. Your blatant, baseless pro-whaling rants ’round the clock’.

    • Chastity

      Totally not surprised. He’s obsessed with the articles involving animals and he spews his misinformation ad nauseam in hopes of us saying “oh I totally agree”. Talk about delusional. This stuff would’ve worked 60 years ago. Not now. What a waste of time.

      • ddpalmer

        So facts are misinformation and delusional?

        Just like a good fanatic. Don’t let facts get in the way of your unfounded beliefs.

      • http://vegan--japan.blogspot.com/ herwin

        well DDP. i am still waiting for your facts concerning valid scientific research done by the japanese er, “scientists” with lethal methods. oh, btw, “facts” is something else from mindlessly copying and pasting tons of bs articles from pro whal;ing websites and let us do the work of reading and sorting it out.

      • ddpalmer

        How many times do I have to answer the same question herwin? Do you have a serious mental condition? Alzheimers maybe?

    • ddpalmer

      So because a number of posters have similar opinions they must be the same person. That is some pretty weird logic. Of course that would also mean all the anti-whalers must be the same person also.

      So really there are only two people posting on the whole forum each of them with multiple identities.

      • Chastity

        So where are you getting these “facts”? You seem to know alot about this issue. Hmm. ddpalmer/kimitake/other impersonator, I repeat: who has you on their payroll?

        It’s an environmental gossip site. So why are you here? Why are you trying to negate the issues involving animals? You are doing this in a strategic manner. Sure, I don’t agree with some of the issues presented here but I’m consistent and actually provide valid, sound logic. You on the other hand try to challenge us with your nonsense.

        You are either:
        a) profiting off nonhuman animal exploitation
        b) find pleasure in their exploitation

        Anyone who starts trying to justify such falls into either or both categories. I don’t make a cent off of my words but for you to devote paragraphs, time and energy on a site that you can’t even respect speaks volumes about who you are. To quickly dismiss that as you’re being bored doesn’t add up. Oh and nonhuman animal exploitation is an issue of ethics. No amount of information twisted in your favor will trump ethics.

      • ddpalmer

        Which specific “facts” are you asking about?

        All of the “facts” I post can be found in this magic place called the “internet”. But if you tell me the specific one you mean I can narrow it down for you.

        Oh come on Chastity we all know you get paid by the SSCS or PETA. Now which one is it?

        Here another “fact” for you Chastity. Different people have different ethics. And unless you are the creator of the universe, your ethics are no better than anyone elses.

  • billy jean is my lover

    The sad thing is, this happens a lot around the world.

    That huge fish market in Japan where you can get whale meat is full of the endangered mammals. A huge study was done a while back on various tissue samples and they found every kind of whale you can think of – blue, sperm, humpback etc. In other words, critically endangered whales are being slaughtered by the Japanese and they dont give a damn.

    All about profits to them. Look what they have done to blue fin tuna? 128 million people eating sea food not willing to slow down or stop.

    It is seriously out of control. I hope from this they do more investigations and put a stop to the illegal importation of endangered whale meat. Obama? Step up! Flex some damn muscle. You guys did that back in the 80’s over Japanese access to Alaskan fisheries. Threaten sanctions again.

  • imforthewhales

    One should take a look at how Russians treat their poachers. DD Palmer and his blood brothers should take a look. seems like the Japanese are trying to take over the world again.

    Russia – A Russian border patrol helicopter had to shoot with illuminating shells close to two Japanese seining schooners illegally fishing in Russia’s territorial waters, reports RIA News agency.

    On January 29, the Japanese vessels Taka Maru 58 and Kiyomi Maru 63 were scared off, just a nautical mile and a half from Russia’s Kunashir Island in Southern Kuril Islands.

    Due to remoteness of the island, it became the helicopter’s task to deal with the poachers.

    Despite being ordered to stop for inspection, the vessels tried to flee. After being warned, they were shot at, and only then did they retreat. Nobody was hurt.

    Patrol ships were called to the scene but because of difficult weather conditions they could not arrive in time and Japanese poachers disappeared.

    After leaving Russian territorial waters, both vessels went to the Japanese fishing port of Rausu on Hokkaido Island.

    The whole incident, including the Japanese vessels refusal to stop for examination, has been video recorded.

    Despite this, a representative of the Japanese vessels’ owner insists that ships did not enter Russian territorial waters and therefore broke no laws.

    An investigation has been launched together with the Japanese side into the incident.

    Originally published in Russia Today

    • ddpalmer

      Oh you mean the disputed islands where Russia has given Japanese fishermen permission to fish?

      ” PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, July 8 (Itar-Tass) – Tokyo’s law declaring the South Kuril Islands as “an integral part” of Japan has no legal force, the president’s envoy in the Far Eastern federal district, Viktor Ishayev, told reporters on Wednesday.

      He recalled that the Soviet Union had never recognized the existence of a territorial dispute with Japan. However, seeking to establish constructive and mutually advantageous cooperation with the neighboring country the then Russian President, Boris Yelstin, recognized that such a dispute exists and offered to consider discrepancies in a wider context of business, political and humanitarian cooperation.

      “First, a big step towards Japan was made. Second, the former President, Vladimir Putin, took a decision to introduce visa-free trips for Japanese citizens to the Kuril Islands. And, third, Japan’s fishermen enjoy the right to catch sea bioresources in Russia’s exclusive economic zone,” Ishayev said.”


      So they have permission to fish there meaning they weren’t poaching, just like the whalers aren’t poaching.

      Thanks for showing another case where the Japanese follow the regulations and agreements even when the other side violates them.

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