Photo by cfdls.
If you fancied some whale bacon, whale jerky or canned whale meat you could have bought it from Amazon’s Japanese website, amazon.jp, until the 21st of February last month. Following investigations by the Environmental Investigation Authority (EIA), Amazon was forced to take down all whale and dolphin products from their website and empty their warehouses of all cetacean-meat stock.
Shockingly, the EIA found 147 whale products on the online giant’s website. Several of these products were found to breach the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which forbids the international trade of threatened species. There were certain whale species for sale which are strictly protected by International Whaling Commission policy; it is prohibited by law to even hunt them. Amazon.jp also had various dolphin products for sale, which doubtless originated in Taiji, the centre of Japan’s dolphin industry.
The 2009 Oscar-winning docu-film, The Cove brought this shadowy industry to a global audience. The film graphically showed the horrific dolphin-killing practices and calls into question the culture of hunting dolphins and whales in Japan.
The EIA analysed the composition of the products sold - many had levels of mercury way above the accepted safe limits for human consumption. Dolphin meat is known to contain extremely high levels of mercury; this fact suggests Amazon was selling allegedly whale-based products that were actually dolphin meat in disguise.
More than 2000 whales are still killed every year. It is a sobering thought that a company like Amazon with a net worth $78.09 billion has been flouting conservation laws to this degree.
Read this article for more information.
Check out the trailer to The Cove here: