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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Santa Monica’s ubber-chic sushi restaurant The Hump will be facing some serious legal issues after two members of “The Cove” film team discovered Whale on the menu. “The Cove” a film about the annual slaughtering of dolphins in Japanese fishing village recently won an Academy Award for best documentary.

The investigation started when the two women were openly offered whale as an option and discretely snuck the pieces of meat out of the restaurant. They shipped the meat to a researcher at Oregon State University. He identified the sample’s DNA to be that of a sei whale. The sei whale has become the new target for whalers after the populations of right, humpback, fin, and blue whales have declined due to overfishing. The sei whale is now considered an endangered species.

The Hump’s parent company Typhoon Restaurant Inc. and head chef Kiyosho Yamamoto have admitted to serving whale meat. Their menu offers “a culinary adventure … unlike any that you have previously experienced.”, and they clearly delivered it. The receipts even list “whale” or “Kujira” on them at a price of $85. The restaurant has since pledged to set up procedures to ensure that it complies with laws and “becomes a good corporate citizen.”

The Restaurant posted the following message on their website.

“The charge against the restaurant is true: The Hump served whale meat to customers looking to eat what in Japan is widely served as a delicacy,” the statement continued. “In serving this meat, The Hump ignored its responsibilities to help save endangered whales from extinction and failed to support the world community in its uphill fight to protect all endangered species.”

The restaurant may face charges of up to $200,000 and a federal prison sentence of up to one year. U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. stated “Someone should not be able to walk into a restaurant and order a plate of an endangered species,” and with the help of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should not be able to go against the International Whaling Commission’s 1980 moratorium on commercial whale hunting.

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

I recently read about a very unique approach to flawless water conditions titled Two Times Five Equals Success, by Scott Fellman. The concept is exceptionally simple and demands very little from the hobbyist. Change FIVE percent of your aquarium’s water TWO times per week and you will gain stability and save money on additives.

If you really think about it, we have all been drilled by every advanced hobbyist to change 20% of our water on a bi-weekly, or monthly for the lackadaisical reefer. This seemed to work fine, yet we all would still fall victim to organic waste/protein buildups and depleted trace elements. So is this the way to avoid potential crashes and have beautifully harmonious environment? I think so. I challenge all of us to try this method of quality control for two months and record the findings on the Parameter App featured on www.reeftools.com/live I have a feeling you will be surprised by the lack of nitrates, phosphates and nuisance algae, not to mention the lack of visible detritus.

The entire process should take less then 10 minutes and save you tons on chemical additives. In addition to this little challenge, you could really take the time to go above and beyond and recommit to your mini-ocean. Change out or clean any filters, collection cups, and media and I am certain that you will find absolutely brilliant results. The environmental consistency of the water will become predictably flawless. What do you have to loose other than a few minutes of internet reefing? You’re tempted aren’t you?

The benefits of such regimented practices will become apparent rather quickly. In addition to saving some green, not loosing stock to poor water conditions, and advancing your skills; your fish will be brighter, more alert, eat more, and perhaps even take a little time to bump fins if you know what I mean. This system seems genius and huge props to Scott Fellman for inspiring us to work smarter not harder.

By Shawn Gustafson

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