Prosecutors asked a judge to toss out criminal charges in the case of a Santa Monica restaurant that served whale sushi.
The Hump, which served Santa Monica for nearly 12 years, closed March 20 in the midst of a media firestorm after the whale-meat charges came to light.
Serving whale meat is against the law.
Prosecutors didn’t explain why they wanted to drop the charges, but they’re leaving open the option to file charges again. They added their investigation is still open and active.
Local news from across Southern California
The charges were the result of a covert operation that included several visits to the trendy sushi spot over a five-month period.
“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 ecosystem and species,'' said a statement posted on the restaurant's website.
The statement closed with an apology for the illegal actions.
A federal judge still must approve the request to drop the charges.