Federal prosecutors said they are seeking dismiss charges against a sushi restaurant in Santa Monica, California, that closed its doors after admitting whale was on the menu.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, said prosecutors are looking to drop charges against the Hump without prejudice. Filing without prejudice allows for charges to be filed at a future date.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times:
The restaurant took responsibility after it and a chef were charged by federal prosecutors. The swank sushi restaurant, which was located at the Santa Monica Airport, closed its doors last month in what it billed as "self-imposed punishment" after it was charged with violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Violations of the act are misdemeanors and carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine that can be as high as $200,000.
The federal charges were the result of a sting operation conducted at the former sushi resturant by animal activists and the associate producer of “The Cove,” an Oscar winning documentary.
Using a very small video camera, they recorded their payment of $600 for omakase, also known as “the chef’s choice.”
Their order included eight pieces of whale meat, which they bagged and sent to the Marine Mammal Institute, where the samples were found to be sei whale, which is on the endangered species list.