The Hump Is "Sincerely" Sorry for Serving Whale Meat

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Sei whale is no longer on the menu at the Hump.
What a difference a federal misdemeanor charge makes: three days after the U.S. Attorney's Office charged the owners of the Santa Monica, Ca., sushi restaurant the Hump and its sister restaurant, Typhoon, with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act by serving Sei whale meat, the restaurant has issued a formal apology on its website.


Right under a rotating series of photos entitled "Hand Roll Heaven," the message states:

"We write to address the misdemeanor charge recently filed by the U.S. Attorney. The charge against the restaurant is true: The Hump served whale meat to customers looking to eat what in Japan is widely served as a delicacy. In serving this meat, The Hump ignored its responsibilities to help save endangered whales from extinction and failed to support the world community in its uphill fight to protect all endangered species. While The Hump cannot undo the damage it caused, it will put into place procedures to ensure that it strictly complies with the laws and becomes a good corporate citizen. We sincerely apologize. We pledge to work hard to re-earn the trust of the public and respect of our customers.

As the Santa Monica Daily Press reports, the restaurants' owners, if convicted, could face a $200,000 fine; a sushi chef who was also charged could pay $100,000. All three parties could face a year in federal prison if convicted.

Prosecutors cracked down on the Hump after being tipped off by the filmmakers behind the documentary The Cove, who had gone undercover using tiny microphones and cameras to catch the Hump in the act of serving whale meat to customers. Given the widespread calls among famously eco-conscious Santa Monicans for the restaurant's demise, the Hump's owners may not actually get the opportunity to "put into place" those new procedures.


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