According to the NYT, Mr. Hambleton fashioned a small-camera and was able to obtain footage of two vegans in the sushi restaurant ordering and being served “thick pink slices” of what the waitress called “whale”. The two vegans then acted squeamish, which they probably were, and shoved the mystery meat into a zip-lock bag in a purse.
Scott Baker, who is the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute, identified the samples as “Sei Whale” after they were sent to him. He found the results “shocking” as “he had never heard of it being served at a US restaurant.”
After that, the investigation started in full force, with federal agencies from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to the United States border patrol becoming involved in the investigation. The penalties for for “possession or sale of marine animals” is up to a year in prison and a fine of $20,000.
The film “The Cove” won the attention of international audiences for its portrayal of the slaughter of dolphins and whales in Japan even before it was nominated for an Academy Award. Animal Planet has now decided to add “The Cove” as a television show to its line-up. The show is still in the early stages and will probably be called, “Dolphin Warriors”.