The U.S. Attorney’s office has apparently decided to forego prosecution of The Hump for selling endangered Sei whale sashimi to the makers of the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove.” Evidently, the owners’ self-imposed death sentence for the Santa Monica restaurant satisfied the feds.
Self-flagellation should not be a substitute for law enforcement. I don’t really care too much about the fine, although the delicious justice of penalties going to Sea Shepherd would be perfect. But I do care that this gross violation of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and CITES should result in a larger investigation.
Who sold The Hump the whale? Who caught the whale in Japan? Who sold the whale to a U.S. distributor? Where else does that distributor do business and what will the feds do to shut them down? The Hump transaction may have been the tip of the iceberg for illegal trade to sushi restaurants.
Will we get answers to these questions? Now that the U.S dropped the prosecution, the likelihood of true justice for this heinous crime is zero.