Totally righteous "Cove" dudes reported to have caught LA sushi joint selling illegal whale meat


Santa Monica sushi restaurant The Hump is reported to have been caught selling illegal whale meat to its customers. Who went after them with hidden cameras? The guys behind the dolphin slaughter documentary The Cove.

Image above: Ric O'Barry, right after The Cove won an oscar, during the Academy Awards. BB pal Ehrich Blackhound emailed in the image and says, "I love it when winners hijack the broadcast, and for a txting campaign!"

His speech, after the jump.

Ric O'Barry:

Winning the Oscar is an amazing honor, and it does have a real impact in Japan. But so few people have seen this film, and let's be honest, with the exception of the biggest stars, most people don't listen to the speeches. I wanted people watching to know that they can take action to help end this terrible slaughter. People who text in will immediately get our petition to the Japanese Ambassador to the US, Japan's Prime Minister, President Obama, and Vice President Biden. They can sign right there from their phone. We'll also send them videos they can share and updates on the campaign.
(via LA Eater via T.Bias)


    1. Yes, finding illegal whale meat in the US market and selling it at a sushi joint is totally a “fluke”. That would be like trying to pass off panda meat at a Chinese restaurant as a coincidence.

      1. He was just trying to be a little punny. Although it really was kinda fishy.

        While I do find it a shame that this stuff happens, I think most Americans who say they care about it are hypocrites. South Park did an episode about saving the whales, and saving the dolphins from the Japanese. We got the Japanese to slaughter cows, chickens, sheep and pigs instead, and we were happy.

  1. Anyone who’s had whale (I had it in Japan where it’s widely available) can attest to the fact that it’s really not worth eating, when you factor in the whole majesty of these creatures. The taste is not that remarkable enough.

    I’ve also been to The Hump and it’s been considered one of the better sushi-ya in LA. But you have to question a place that buys stuff out of the back of a Mercedes.

    “The possession or sale of marine mammals is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and can lead to a year in prison and a fine of $20,000.”

    Was it really worth it?

    1. Hobomike, really? Does . . . does that mean that whales aren’t caught just for scientific research? I must admit, I am shocked.

      1. Here have a snarky reply for your snarky reply. Norway which apparently registered an objection to the International Whaling Commission moratorium and is thus not bound by it, hunts whales commercially and not for science. Iceland which apparently did scientific whaling in ’03 to ’05 went back to commercial whaling in ’06 then there’s the Faroe Islands they get some protests and a animated film(narrated by Anthony Hopkins) to raise awareness of the whaling done there. Btw how does anyone feel about “military dolphins” the US training dolphins and sealions for military applications.
        Also for #17 anon you do realize where the whales got all those contaminants? Check out this list you will note the highest mercury part of the list and this “Farmed Salmon may contain PCB’s, chemicals with serious long-term health effects.”
        For more information for those concerned about there seafood go here
        they also have pocket guide(and iphone app)on safe and sustainable seafood.
        Look my worry is that everybody is so concerned and wound-up about whaling that the bigger picture is being missed. The oceans are going to hell in a handbasket ie spreading deadzones, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, pesticide and fertilizer and animal waste runoff from our lawns and corp. farms. People are probably more aware of whaling(that the japanese do) than where our food comes from at least till the next food scare.

        disclaimer: I am a 4th gen JapaneseAmerican with some ancestry from Taiji ,when I was kid in the 70’s visiting I saw a whale cut up for processing and I really liked salted partially dried whale meat.

    2. No matter how remarkable the taste, I don’t think it would be OK to eat whale. Cows, sheep, rabbits — no problem. Dogs, cats — kind of cute and very similar to animals I have known and loved, but not morally reprehensible, I guess. I wouldn’t eat a dog, I think, but that’s me. But whale? Nope. Not for eating.

  2. #9: I really hope not.

    But I’m a afraid that this whole campaign won’t actually move anything on the japanese side. They will get artificially enraged, cite cultural reasons (you westerners will NEVER understand our culture, don’t meddle in our affairs), try the “we need it for science” excuses and will eventually end up smiling their impenetrable smile.

    Damn, all for – what? Even most japanese hate whale flesh.

    Shortly after WW2, there had been several food shortages and the children and adolescents were fed whale meat at school because whales were easy to hunt a brought in a huge bunch of processable meat. These children, the children who had to eat that stuff because few other nourishments were available – you guessed it – are today’s 60-70 years old and some of them sit in the parliament.

    This whole whale meat thing is really only about nostalgia. Yes, you can buy it in some super markets, but it doesn’t taste great and a very large part of japan’s populace doesn’t even like it.

  3. I wouldn’t eat a whale, but I don’t go for the ‘its cute’ argument, I instead go for the ‘should we really be eating things that are bigger than we are?’ argument.

    1. Going for the ‘should we really be eating things that are bigger than we are?’ argument would mean that we should stop eating cows and maybe pigs, they’re about the same weight as humans.

  4. I’m kind of curious about this movie. I’m not sold on the idea that the killing is wrong because dolphins are cute and it looks gross. I mean, it’s food, for fvck’s sake! Are they supposed to eat pig or cow that they hire immigrants to slaughter? Or just eat soybeans and seaweed and conform to notions of vegan kindness? You want bad and wrong, just go to the woods in america and show the people who are into killing animals and hanging them on their wall. Oh! But they are Americans and harder to demonize than the Japanese.
    That said, I’m totally open (and would prefer) to being wrong, and I look forward to the film revealing a much deeper story than “it looks gross and dolphins are cute.”

    1. Whales and dolphins are endangered, some species are critically endangered. Deer are extrememly over-populated in many parts of the US. Can you see a difference yet? I certainly don’t think sharks are cute, but I can easily understand why wholesale slaughter of an entire order of fauna is a bad thing for the planet.

  5. Whenever this comes up, I always think: if Hindus started pressuring Americans to not eat cows, what would the reaction be? Probably the same one as the Japanese have to other countries pressuring them to stop whaling.
    Not equating the two, just no country tends to like being told what to do by another.

    1. Exactly right. Except for the fact that India is poor and has no chance of imposing their cultural norms on the West. Japan, although wealthy, is outnumbered by the other wealthy nations that think eating cetaceans is mean.

  6. i bet whale meat is delicious. you can probably taste the indignation of a million hippies in every bite.

  7. Am I the only one who originally read this headline as the “Cove” people were caught dining in a restaurant that sold whale meat? That would have made for a much more interesting story.

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m kind of with batu b on this issue – I’ve never really fully understood why I should care about dolphins and whales being slaughtered and eaten when we’re perfectly fine with doing it to pigs. And adonai totally nailed it with the India analogy.

  8. Oh yes, the Cove – which was related to Minamata-byo how? “Oh whatever, that disease and the city for which it is named is a few prefectures over but western audiences won’t know the difference.”

    Tooo teh Oscorz!

    For the record, I thought Cocoon was a way better move.

  9. Right on Ric O’Barry et al! Human killing and harming of whales should have been globally banned ages ago. If you haven’t seen the Cove yet – do it. Then join the fight for animal rights.

  10. Surely we haven’t all forgotten PETA’s “Save the pigs, eat a whale!” campaign. Unfortunately, they have since had a “fat people suck!” campaign using the word “whale” so google is failing me.

  11. Boy does this one leave me conflicted.

    On the one hand, I love meat. I love it a lot. And I want to try as many kinds of it as I can. I’d love to try coelocanth, I’d love to eat a spotted owl, and I’d be happy to try whale regardless of it’s status as an endangered species.

    On the other hand I’m not entirely sure some kinds of whale aren’t sentient. I’m pretty sure they’re not, but I’m not convinced all the evidence is in. And eating a sentient being is too close to cannibalism for me.

    What a dilemma.

    -abs doesn’t really care about species going extinct, it happens all the time we’re just the most recent mass-extinction event (and leaving the planet an irradiated wasteland is fine so long as we LEAVE THE PLANET), having said that global warming does bug him since it threatens our odds of leaving the planet but saving the whales doesn’t really impact our space-programs.

  12. Man, don’t people remember Star Trek IV! We’re doomed!

    It’s funny how hypocritical people are of animals used as a food source. Poor Dolphins! Poor whales! Dogs and Cats for food?? They are our substitute children! They’re all too cute to kill.

    ..but take away a Real American Man’s BBQ of pork, cow, chicken, etc. and someone will have hell to pay!

    Hey, I love meat like the next guy, but I’m not deluded enough to get on a high horse and talk down to people because they’re eating the “wrong” kind of meat.

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