Apr 11 (IPS) – An investigation has revealed that the U.S. supplier of sushi to more than 6,000 restaurants is associated with a Japanese company that sells millions of tins of whale meat.
Despite a global ban on killing whales, Japan’s Kyokuyo, a multinational seafood conglomerate, sells between 10 and 20 million cans of whale meat a year, according to an Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report released Tuesday.
“Kyokuyo is breaking international laws,” said Alan Thornton, president of EIA, an environmental group based in the United States and Britain.
“Since the 1930s, Kyokuyo has been profiting from the deaths of an estimated 130,000 great whales,” Thornton told IPS.
There has been a global ban on whaling since 1986. However, the Japanese claim the 1,000 or more whales they hunt each year in the Antarctic Ocean are for scientific research. Whale meat is found in leading Japanese supermarkets, and Kyokuyo is perhaps the leading distributor, he says.
“To be clear, whale meat is not being sold in the U.S.,” said Kitty Block, director of Treaty Law, Oceans, and Wildlife Protection at the Humane Society International (HSI).
“What we want is to make sure no U.S. company is involved in any way with killing whales,” Block said in an interview.
Kyokuyo recently partnered with True World Foods of New Jersey, a leading seafood and sushi distributor with 280 million dollars in annual sales, to market frozen sushi under the brand name “Polar Seas Frozen Sushi”. The product is slated to hit grocery stores here as early as this summer.
Block and other activists are asking grocery stores to “think twice before placing Polar Seas products on their shelves”.
For fully story see Top U.S. Sushi Company Linked to Whaling