As much as I’ve written about “Blackfish,” there are far worse things that can happen to whales than being captive entertainers, things that are outright illegal, not just unethical. KPBS reports on one of them in California Sushi Chefs Plead Guilty To Using Endangered Whale Meat.
Two chefs who worked at a now-closed Santa Monica sushi restaurant pleaded guilty Tuesday to serving meat from federally protected sei whales.I doubt they’ll get the full prison sentences, but I’m not worried that they’ll pay for their crimes. They will and they’ll serve as examples for anyone else in the U.S. that thinks they can get away with doing this.
Kiyoshiro Yamamoto and Susumu Ueda, who worked at the The Hump at Santa Monica Airport, each admitted three misdemeanor charges -- conspiracy and offering to, and selling, a marine mammal product for an unauthorized purpose.
The chefs and Typhoon Restaurant Inc., parent company of The Hump, were initially charged in 2010, but the charges were dropped, later refiled and revised last month.
Yamamoto, 49, of Culver City, and 40-year-old Ueda of Lawndale each face up to three years in federal prison, plus fines and community service.