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The Hump Closes in Response to Whale Meat Scandal  

By Lookout Staff

March 20, 2010 --Calling it a “self-imposed punishment,” The Hump is closing its doors at the Santa Monica Airport after 12 years, effective today. This comes 10 days after federal officials filed charges against restaurant owner Typhoon Restaurant Inc. and chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto for serving endangered whale meat.

“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,” a statement reads on the restaurant’s web site.” Read statement, at

The restaurant owner still plans to pay a fine “that will be meted out by the court,” according to the statement. The owner “also will be taking additional action to save endangered species.”

The Hump received international media attention this month after an undercover operation revealed the restaurant had endangered sei whale on the unofficial menu.


The sting was conducted by the makers of the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove,” which exposed dolphin slaughter off the Japanese coast.

Read story: Restaurant Serving Wale Could Be Shuttered.(The Lookout News, March, 10, 2010.)

The restaurant ownership admitted to selling the whale meat shortly after federal charges were filed.

Because the restaurant is located on City-owned property, Santa Monica officials possibly had the ability to shut down The Hump. The City Attorney’s office investigated the restaurant’s lease.

Council member Richard Bloom had asked at the March 9 council meeting for a quick investigation to allow for a possible item on the March 23 agenda. No item regarding The Hump is listed on the agenda, which was released on Friday.


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