The makers of The Cove are not sitting around at home, shining their Oscar. Instead, they’re exposing The Hump, a popular sushi restaurant near the Santa Monica Airport, for serving whale meat. According to the New York Times the filmmakers began a sting operation in October after hearing rumors from friends that whale was served at The Hump, then joined with federal agents in the week leading up to the Academy Awards to catch the restaurant breaking the law. What did they discover?
Initially, Cove associate producer Charles Hambleton sent two animal activists to pose as diners for an omakase meal. The two vegans were served a dish of pink broad slices that the waitress called “whale,” a sample of which was later determined to be Sei whale by a shocked marine mammal professor at Oregon State University who had never seen the dish in the States before. The discovery helped grab the attention of federal agents, who returned with the filmmakers last week and were again served whale meat — possibly out of a Mercedes parked in the restaurant’s lot.
The government will take action against the restaurant, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. Possible penalties include a $20,000 fine and a year in prison for the guilty parties. The Hump, which is now lawyered up, explains its name as a reference to The Himalayas, but has taken on a sinister new meaning.
Oscar Winners Try to Keep Whale Off Sushi Plates [The New York Times]