Amazon.com sparked outrage when the public found out their subsidiary site in Japan, Amazon.jp, was selling whale and dolphin meat. The Humane Society International (HSI) and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reported that many of the products came from endangered and protected species.
Amazon pulled the products from their site, but did not make any public statements regarding the issue. In response Melissa Sehgal, currently in Taiji as a Cove Guardian, started a Change.org petition telling Amazon to establish a policy permanently banning sales of whale, dolphin and porpoise meat. When we wrote about the petition, over 120,000 people had signed – now it’s over 201,000.
If you think that many people would be hard for Amazon to ignore, you’re right. According to HSI, “Amazon confirmed the prohibition on its main website by adding language under the Food and Beverage section that prohibits ‘Products containing shark, whale, or dolphin’ and Amazon’s Japanese website contains a similar ban on selling whale and dolphin products.” The EIA also released a statement about the victory. “Internet sales are a major threat to endangered and threatened wildlife and we strongly urge all other internet companies selling such products to follow Amazon’s lead,” said Clare Perry, senior campaigner for EIA.
Sehgal, who woke to the good news in Taiji at 4am, said “I am so thankful for the inspiration and support of compassionate people around the world who took part in my campaign on Change.org. When the Environmental Investigation Agency and Humane Society International released their report about Amazon.com selling whale and dolphin meat, I was horrified, but not surprised. I have witnessed killers give Japan a bad name by driving these animals into a shallow cove in Taiji and slaughtering these intelligent, sensitive beings for unhealthy meat products.”
“200,000 people from around the world, including many from Japan, stood with me to speak out against this shameful massacre. I want to thank each of them for going to Change.org to help me win this campaign,” she adds. “Today is a great victory for the dolphins. My works continues here, but it is one step closer to an end to the slaughter here in Taiji.”
While the Cove Guardians celebrate this win, Sea Shepherd confirmed another victory today as the whalers leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and head back to Japan. The organization reports that their long campaign, Operation Divine Wind, is now over.