The company has not yet confirmed this move, but whale meat products cannot be found on the website any more. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which accused the company of making profits from the trade of endangered cetaceans in a report released on Tuesday, welcomed the news but expressed reservations.
An EIA spokesperson told GlobalMeatNews: “We are waiting for formal confirmation, as the only thing we have seen so far is a rather disingenuous response to the Australian media, saying that ‘the items are not available for sale’, which implies that they never were.
“We are pleased to see that Amazon removed these products, but we want the company to commit to taking them off the shelves permanently.”
In December 2011, EIA found 147 whale products, including Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)-protected species, such as fin, sei, minke and Bryde’s whales, on Amazon’s wholly-owned Japanese website. Several companies were also selling endangered fin whale imported from Iceland.
Investigators purchased eight whale products, including canned whale meat, whale jerky, whale bacon and whale stew, and found that six of them had mercury levels exceeding the Japanese national limit for mercury in seafood.
EIA senior campaigner Clare Perry said: “Amazon is selling threatened and endangered cetacean species that are protected by two international treaties. By allowing vendors to sell whale products on its sites, it is effectively helping to prop up an unsustainable trade that should have been consigned to the history books long ago.”