What do two academy award-winning filmmakers, a sushi restaurant and a horse have in common? Apparently dinner, or what the media has cleverly tagged the, 'sushi sting.' The news reads like a pick from a story machine writing exercise, even the establishment's name, "The Hump," resonates creative genius, but sadly this stranger than fiction tale is true.
Armed with a hidden camera, two women from the team who shot the recent award-winning film, "The Cove," ordered what Japanese consider a delicacy at a California sushi hot spot. In addition to the whale, it was recommended that the ladies also try the horse to enhance their culinary adventure. Even though whale is clearly illegal to serve in the United States because it is recognized as an endangered species, the receipt for the meal made no attempt to conceal the itemized 'whale' and 'horse' totaling $85 without tip. Deeeelicious!
DNA tests on the sushi sample confirm the restaurant was serving sei whale meat. However, the report makes no mention of what kind of horse was for dinner. Hum...?
An Apology From The Hump - Posted on their website
"We write to address the misdemeanor charge recently filed by the U.S. Attorney. The charge against the restaurant is true: The Hump served whale meat to customers looking to eat what in Japan is widely served as a delicacy. In serving this meat, The Hump ignored its responsibilities to help save endangered whales from extinction and failed to support the world community in its uphill fight to protect all endangered species. While The Hump cannot undo the damage it caused, it will put into place procedures to ensure that it strictly complies with the laws and becomes a good corporate citizen. We sincerely apologize. We pledge to work hard to re-earn the trust of the public and respect of our customers."
I don't know about you, but I'm not buying what they're selling! The company admits they knew serving whale meat in the U.S. was illegal, but did it anyways. Perhaps it is because the penalty for getting caught is only a misdemeanor, thus not being a big enough deterrent. The money the owner made serving whale far outweighs the fine.