You don't think that top chef Richard Corrigan, who is famed for his seafood dishes and runs an Oyster Bar hasn't experienced marinated seafood before?
That was the point. The raised eyebrow. The faux tension.
For what it's worth I had sushi last week. Smoked salmon, raw mackerel and raw tuna (no scallops though, probably too expensive). That was from a supermarket so I don't see the difference between smoked salmon and raw fish and neither do plenty of others especially these days with the influences from Japan and South America.
My Gran eats smoked salmon and I assure you she wouldn't eat a raw scallop. The dish is for a banquet where a good percentage of people will never have eaten raw scallops. To pretend that it's the same as smoked salmon is ridiculous.