Sushi Restaurant Charged With Serving Whale Meat Will Close

According to the restaurant's website, "Closing ... is a self-imposed punishment."

Santa Monica sushi restaurant The Hump, which was recently charged with illegally selling Sei whale, an endangered species product, will be closing its doors on Saturday.

The Hump posted a statement to its website, reading:

“After twelve years doing business in Santa Monica, The Hump will be closing its doors effective March 20th, 2010.

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. Closing the restaurant is a self-imposed punishment on top of the fine that will be meted out by the court. The Owner of The Hump also will be taking additional action to save endangered species.

One such action will be to make a substantial contribution to one or more responsible organizations dedicated to the preservation of whales and other endangered species.”

Criminal charges were filed last Wednesday. Typhoon Restaurant Inc., which owns The Hump restaurant, and sushi chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, 45, were charged.

A conviction for selling banned whale meat carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for individuals. The maximum fine for an organization is $200,000.

The Hump closed its open letter with an apology to their “loyal customers, the community of Santa Monica, and the public at large” for their illegal actions.


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