After a wave of pressure, it appears the online superstore Amazon has prohibited the sale of whale meat on its Japanese website.
According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, the Seattle-based business has a policy prohibiting the sale of illegal or unlicensed wildlife products, including endangered species. However, the EIA found 147 whale products for sale on the Japanese version of the site, some of which are on the list of endangered species. Others were a part of Japan’s highly controversial “research” whaling program.
Within hours of the investigation going public, there were no longer listings found on the site. Spokeswoman Mary Osako said the items in question were “not available for sale.”
The report, titled Amazon.com’s Unpalatable Profits, had investigators purchasing 8 different whale products from Amazon Japan throughout 2011 including: whale jerky, whale bacon, whale stew, and canned whale meat. Analysis revealed excess mercury levels in some products, and as many as one-third of the products lacked a species name.
The products were shipped from a third party in Amazon boxes, so Amazon workers do not necessarily see just what was going on under their name. But the environmental groups urged Amazon to enact a corporate-wide policy to prohibit the sale of all whale products. It seems they have now done so.
I guess you really can buy anything on the Internet. Hopefully this will be a good jab at the success of the whaling industry in Japan, even if it’s just a tiny poke in the right direction.