I know I said earlier today that I would try breast-milk cheese and that I’ve eaten grasshoppers (in a taco), but I draw the line at endangered species (I also have the Seafood Watch iPhone app). I guess I’ll be staying away from Santa Monica Japanese restaurant The Hump, which was charged early this week with selling meat from the Sei whale, which is endangered.

The meat was discovered during a visit by undercover agents and activists, who discreetly took some of the meat to be sampled. Investigations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the federal Customs and Border Protection agency all concluded that the restaurant was serving endangered Sei whale as sushi.

Typhoon Restaurant Inc.—The Hump’s parent company—and chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto have been charged with the illegal sale of a marine mammal product for an unauthorized purpose. This misdemeanor offense carries a maximum statutory penalty of one year in federal prison and a maximum fine of $100,000 for an individual and $200,000 for an organization.

You can read more here.

What really blows my mind is that there could even be a market for this stuff—or that a person can go into a restaurant and order a plate of something in danger of extinction. I know exotic sushi is kind of hip and all, but whale meat?