Whale sushi purchased at a Santa Monica restaurant in September came from an endangered sei whale hunted in Japan under the guise of scientific purposes, a scientific paper published in the journal Biology Letters concludes.
Scientists say genetic testing prove that that sashimi served at The Hump restaurant was an exact match with a whale hunted in Japan in 2007. The restaurant closed last month after it and a sushi chef were charged with serving the endangered meat following undercover dining by a documentary film crew.
The Washington Post explains that while whale hunting is banned around the globe, Japan uses an exception for scientific-based hunts that ends up putting thousands of tons on whale meat in Japanese restaurants and markets.
Whale meat is nothing taboo in Japan, a nation that is dependent on, and resplendent with, seafood. It is illegal, however, for the product to end up outside the country.
The report also states that fin whale served in Seoul matches whale from Japan as well.