Internet giant urged to clean house and ban all cetacean products
LONDON: Internet marketplace giant Amazon.com is today called
on to stop supporting commercial whaling by immediately and permanently banning
the sale of all products from whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively
known as ’cetaceans’).
Unpalatable Profits, a new report by
the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), launched in co-operation with
Humane Society International, reveals that Amazon Japan, the wholly owned
subsidiary of Amazon Inc, sells hundreds of cetacean food products.
In December 2011,
147 whale products were found for sale on Amazon Japan. The listed products
included fin, sei, minke and Bryde’s whales, all protected by the International
Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling and the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which forbids international
trade. Despite this, several companies were selling endangered fin whale imported
Amazon Japan was
also selling pilot whale and other whale or dolphin species from the infamous
Taiji drive hunts, highlighted in the Oscar-winning film The Cove. (Image above)
EIA has released a
hard-hitting 50-second campaign film – http://vimeo.com/31427376– urging
consumers to tell Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to stop selling whales.
Amazon is selling
threatened and endangered cetacean species that are protected by two
international treaties,” said EIA Senior Campaigner Clare Perry. “By allowing
vendors to sell whale products on its sites, it is effectively helping to prop
up an unsustainable trade that should have been consigned to the history books
purchased eight whale products from Amazon Japan in 2011, including canned
whale meat, whale jerky, whale bacon and whale stew. Analysis revealed six of
them to have mercury levels exceeding the Japanese national limit for mercury
in seafood of 0.4 parts per million (ppm) and one had a staggering mercury
level of 20ppm, about 50 times the safe limit.
“Amazon says ‘we're
constantly looking for ways to further reduce our environmental impact’ –
banning these harmful products is an easy way for Amazon to show genuine
commitment to this principle, while protecting its customers,” added Perry.
One-third of the
147 products were not listed with a species name, contrary to the requirements
of Japan’s labelling laws. Since many of these products originate from Taiji,
where 10 times more dolphins are killed than whales, it is likely Amazon Japan
is selling dolphin products mislabelled as ‘whale’.
veterinarian and Executive Director of Humane Society International UK, said:
“There is no humane way to kill whales, so the creatures slaughtered to produce
the food products being sold by Amazon will have endured a bloody and painful
death. Killing these remarkable giants of the sea for commercial gain is
condemned by the majority of the world’s nations. As a global brand, Amazon must
now act to protect both consumers from environmentally polluted products and
cetaceans from the cruel exploitation of commercial whaling.”
Images from the EIA