Santa Monica sushi restaurant closes after whale meat controversy

March 20, 2010

The Santa Monica restaurant  facing federal charges for illegally serving endangered whale meat appears to be closed. [Los Angeles Times]

On Friday, the management of The Hump, an upscale eatery at the Santa Monica Airport, posted an announcement on its website announcing the closure.

“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,” read the statement, in part.

Last week, federal prosecutors charged both the owner and the chef of the restaurant with violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a maximum fine of $200,000.

The charges stem from a recent undercover sting operation by animal rights activists who caught on camera the restaurant serving illegal whale meat to customers.

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