The now five-year saga of Santa Monica restaurant The Hump's rather poor decision to serve illegal, endangered Sei whale is almost coming to a close. The restaurant was caught back in 2010 when the crew of The Cove, a documentary about dolphin hunting in Japan, caught the restaurant serving the whale meat on camera in a rather stealthy operation.
In the following years, the restaurant shuttered and everyone involved had their day in court. Back in April, the owner of The Hump, Brian Vidor and Typhoon Restaurant Inc., was essentially let off the hook with a mere $27,500 fine and a year of probation. Just a few weeks ago, one of the two chefs responsible, Susumu Ueda, got off with a $5,000 fine, two years' probation, and 200 hours of community service.
On Monday the LA Times reported that the other whale-serving chef and owner of uber exclusive omakase restaurant Yamakase, Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, was finally sentenced to... a $5,000 fine, two years' probation, and 200 hours of community service, the same meager penalty given to Ueda.
Ginichi Ohira, the supplier of the order that included three kilograms of whale red meat, two kilograms of whale bacon, and two kilograms of whale tail, is scheduled to be sentenced in June. Both Ueda and Yamamoto faced up to three years in prison, but given their paltry slap on the wrists, Ohira is likely to fare just fine.