When the news broke that Amazon was selling endangered whale meat on Amazon.jp in Japan, public outrage immediately ensued. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that the products were coming from endangered fin whales as well as endangered whales from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and dolphins killed in Taiji’s drive hunts.
The EIA’s report and a request from the Humane Society International for the public to contact Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos managed to spark massive public protest. Other animal and conservation groups called for action too including Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which currently has crew in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to oppose Japan’s whaling fleet.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Amazon has now stopped selling the products due to public response. The EIA stated that the website has “a stated policy of prohibiting the sale of unlicensed or illegal wildlife products including endangered species,” but 147 illegal items were found for sale. Now, the whale products have been removed, and Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osaka would say only that “The items you referenced are not available for sale,” when asked by Sydney Morning Herald.
In response to the news that Amazon has backed out of selling whale meat, Sea Shepherd had this to say on their Facebook page: “The power of social media and passionate people. Due to the immediate pressure from people on Facebook, Amazon quickly removed whale products from their website. Will you continue to shop on Amazon.com?”
Animal and environmentalist groups have asked Amazon to ban the sale of all cetacean products on their websites.