Kesennuma, Japan: CITES deal might spell trouble

An international agreement to protect sharks could spell trouble for one tsunami-wrecked port in Japan as it struggles back to its feet two years after being swept away, locals say.

Shinichi Sato said his shark processing business in Kesennuma has only just re-started, but he fears a global vote to regulate trade in several species of the predator could put paid to its recovery.

“We don’t just take fins and dump the fish in the way now criticised by the world,” Sato said on Tuesday as he laid out the boomerang-shape fins to dry in the sun.

“We make very good use of the resources.”

Kesennuma has been Japan’s sharkfin hub since the 19th century, and once dealt with 90 percent of all shark landed in the country.

Read the rest of the story: Japan tsunami town on watch for shark deal.

The Hump Closed in Santa Monica after admitting sale of Whale Meat

A high-end sushi restaurant in Santa Monica, California, said on its website Friday that it is closing its doors after criminal charges were filed alleging it served illegal whale meat.

“After twelve years doing business…The Hump will be closing its doors effective March 20th, 2010,” the restaurant said in a statement on its website which was monitored in Tokyo.

While admitting and apologizing for its “illegal actions,” the restaurant said the closure is “a self-imposed punishment on top of the fine that will be meted out by the court.”

Read the rest of the story: California sushi restaurant closes doors after serving whale meat