Popular California sushi restaurant charged with selling endangered whale meat

Legal news for California environmental attorneys. Japanese restaurant, the Hump, charged for selling Sei whale meat at their Santa Monica restaurant.

Environmental attorneys alert- A restaurant was charged with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act by selling Sei whale meat.

Santa Monica, CA—A popular Japanese restaurant known for serving exotic forms of sushi, is facing a criminal complaint, which alleges the restaurants chef of serving whale meat, a direct violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), and the federal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, all investigated the restaurant, the Hump, as reported by the New York Times.

The investigation was initiated by the people behind the Oscar-wining documentary film, “The Cove,” which depicts the dark practices surrounding dolphin hunting. After a thorough investigation by the multiple governmental agencies, they concluded that the Hump was indeed serving the meat of an endangered whale, the Sei whale. According to Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org, the Sei whale is a baleen whale and has been under international protection since 1970.

Undercover agents and environmental activates visited the restaurant where they pocketed the suspected meat for testing. The complaint names Typhoon Restaurant Inc., who owns the Hump, which is located next to the Santa Monica Airport runway. The filing also names the chef, Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, with the illegal sale of a marine mammal product for an unauthorized purpose. The charge is a misdemeanor offense, with a maximum statutory penalty of one year in a federal prison, in addition to a maximum fine of $100,000 for an individual and $200,000 for an organization. Lawyers representing the Hump stated that the restaurant is accepting responsibility for illegal sale of whale meat, and has agreed to pay a fine and resolve the issue in court.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California environmental lawyers.

About the Author Nicole