Sushi Restaurant Owners Admit Serving Endangered Whale to Customers

In Depth

The owners of a now-closed restaurant in Santa Monica, CA pled guilty today to serving endangered whale meat in lieu of sushi* and holy shit this story is awful.

Brian Vidor, owner of The Hump, pled guilty along with his parent company, Typhoon Restaurant Inc., to serving Sei Whale to customers. You’d think people would’ve figured this out sooner since the second half of the restaurant’s sign (“back”) had been hastily crossed out with magic marker.**

The chefs themselves were determined to be blameless; they apparently had no idea they were serving Sei Whale to undercover agents of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Agents were investigating after individuals associated with the restaurant were caught on film by documentarians working on The Cove, an expose about the dolphin meat trade because of course that’s a thing, humans are awful.

Want to hear the worst part? Vidor and Typhoon apparently only need to pay a $27,500 fine as a result of this. There will be no jail time served and a pittance of a penalty. Fun times.***

* Presumably sushi, although as commenters have helpfully pointed out, whale meat apparently looks more like beef than anything.

** No.

*** Also no.

Image via Fanfo/Shutterstock.

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