The Hump, a Santa Monica, Calif. sushi restaurant accused of illegally selling whale meat, closed yesterday. The reason given on the restaurant’s Web site? By closing, they hope to bring attention to the damage done by illegal whaling. Riiiight.
Here’s the announcement on their site:
After twelve years doing business in Santa Monica, The Hump will be closing its doors effective March 20th, 2010.
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. Closing the restaurant is a self-imposed punishment on top of the fine that will be meted out by the court. The Owner of The Hump also will be taking additional action to save endangered species.
One such action will be to make a substantial contribution to one or more responsible organizations dedicated to the preservation of whales and other endangered species.
The Hump apologizes to our loyal customers, the community of Santa Monica, and the public at large for our illegal actions. While the current difficulties faced by The Hump overshadow the many friendships formed over the years, we want our customers and friends to know how much we thank you for your support.
Hump’s parent restaurant, Typhoon, remains in business.Typhoon and one of its sushi chefs are under federal charges of illegal sale of a marine mammal product for an unauthorized purpose, and could receive one year in federal prison and a $200,000 fine. Harpooning is not a sentencing option.