Chef, restaurant, charged with serving whale meat
March 12, 2010
The U.S. Department of Justice is filing charges against a Santa Monica restaurant and a sushi chef for allegedly serving meat from an endangered whale. [Reuters]
The owners of The Hump Restaurant at the Santa Monica airport, along with sushi chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, are being charged with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which makes it illegal to sell any kind of whale meat.
The charges spring from an undercover operation last October when officials were tipped off about the restaurant. A later sting operation by U.S. wildlife and customs officials observed whale meat being served in the restaurant, after Yamamoto allegedly brought in a special package of meat from his car.
if convicted, the sushi chef and the restaurant owners face a possible penalty of up to one year in prison and fines varying between $100,000 and $200,000.