Whale Meat Available for Purchase on Amazon.com Japan

Whale meat photo
CC BY 2.0. aSIMULAtor

aSIMULAtor/CC BY 2.0

On Amazon.com, the world's largest online retailer, even shoppers with the most obscure tastes can find just about anything their heart desires -- including those with a hankering to eat beloved, ocean faring mammals. Ocean advocates are calling for the internet giant to halt the sale of illegal animal products following a report which revealed that whale meat was being openly sold on Amazon Japan's online marketplace.

According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a variety of whale, dolphin and porpoise products were found to be freely available for purchase on Amazon Inc.'s wholly owned subsidiarity site Amazon Japan. Among the 147 cetacean-based items for sale on Amazon during the agency's investigation were a variety of whale jerky, whale stews, and canned whale meat products -- some of which contained the flesh of species listed as endangered.

Given the international moratorium on the cruel practice of whaling, as well as the general decline in popularity of whale meat even in parts of the world where consuming it was considered tradition, conservationists are calling for the online megastore to those items from its digital shelves.

"Amazon.com has a clear policy of banning trade in endangered and threatened species but is turning a blind eye to commercial trade in whale products from endangered and threatened whales on its Japanese website," says Environmental Investigation Agency president Allan Thornton. "We are appealing to Jeff Bezos and Amazon to ensure that Amazon's ban includes all trade in products from whales, dolphins and porpoises across all of Amazon's websites."

In hopes of sending their message home, EAI has released a 50-second advert replete with graphic imagery which highlights the serious cruelty associated with the whale meat trade:

Read more at Market Watch

UPDATE: Amazon Japan has stopped selling whale meat.