From Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times: A statement on the Hump's website calls the decision a
'self-imposed punishment.' Federal prosecutors have charged the owner
and chef with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
A Santa Monica sushi restaurant facing federal charges for serving
endangered whale meat closed its doors for good Saturday, according to
a statement posted on the Hump's website, which called the decision a
"The Hump hopes that by closing its doors, it will help bring awareness
to the detrimental effect that illegal whaling has on the preservation
of our ocean ecosystems and species," reads the statement on the
Phone calls to the restaurant and its attorney were not answered.
Federal prosecutors last week charged the owner and chef of the
restaurant at the Santa Monica Airport with the illegal sale of whale
meat in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a misdemeanor
that carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a maximum fine
While the restaurant immediately took responsibility once it was
charged, the charges came only after an undercover sting operation that
was orchestrated by animal activists and the associate producer of the
Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove."
The activists used a tiny video camera to record their payment of $600
for the omakase, or chef's choice, which included eight pieces of
whale. The activists bagged samples of the meat and sent them to the
Marine Mammal Institute, where they were determined to be sei whale, an
In the online posting, the Hump also vowed to make a "substantial
contribution" to whale preservation or endangered species groups and
apologized to the public for "our illegal actions."