Tag Archives: environmental investigation agency

Amazon.com is Selling Whale and Dolphin Meat, EIA Calls for Embargo

Update:  at about 7 pm PST 2/21/12 I checked my email and found the following:

“Hello,
I apologize for all the inconvenience you experienced in this case.
I have forwarded your feedback to our concern department.
The items you referenced are not available for sale. Thank you for contacting us.
Thank you for your inquiry. Did I solve your problem?
If yes, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/survey?p=A36WAQIF1FLSEC&k=hy

If no, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/survey?p=A36WAQIF1FLSEC&k=hn

This was in response to an email I had sent to Amazon, requesting both the removal of those goods for sale and an official policy change.  I clicked “no” because I’m waiting for the policy statement from management…but it seems as though Amazon has reacted quickly and stopped the sales, kudos to them if so.

Seattle based Amazon allows its subsidiary in Japan to traffic in whale and dolphin products – whether Amazon is just clueless or whether they are indifferent to cetacean slaughter, this company that sees itself as environmentally conscientious seems to have boxed its morals and shipped them overseas.


With a market value of almost 83 billion dollars and shares trading at $182.50 their outlook is considered ‘bullish’ – but stockholders and consumers alike may soon change their minds on this company.  Most of the world is fed up with seeing images of the bloodbath involved with cetacean slaughter, we are sick of seeing red, and disgusted with waiting for our paralyzed governments to do something.
But we can ‘vote’ with our pocketbooks and take our business elsewhere – maybe the sight of red ink on their ledgers will persuade Amazon to take action. Let it be their turn to see red.

To see for yourself, please do the following: first try clicking on Amazon Japan whale meat.  If that link doesn’t work, go to Amazon.co.jp (this link is for the English version) then carefully copy and paste this: クジラ  into the search bar (it is kanji for ‘whale’, typing in the English word didn’t seem to work.)



STRICT EMBARGO OF AMAZON Called by The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the International Humane Society.
10.00 (GMT) on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2012
From The International Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA):
AMAZON.COM PROFITS FROM SLAUGHTER OF WHALES
Internet giant urged to clean house and ban all cetacean products
LONDON: Internet marketplace giant Amazon.com is today called on to stop supporting commercial whaling by immediately and permanently banning the sale of all products from whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as ’cetaceans’).
Amazon.com’s Unpalatable Profits, a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), launched in co-operation with Humane Society International, reveals that Amazon Japan, the wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon Inc, sells hundreds of cetacean food products.




“Minke whales to be eaten raw”, for sale on Amazon Japan





In December 2011, 147 whale products were found for sale on Amazon Japan. The listed products included fin, sei, minke and Bryde’s whales, all protected by the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which forbids international trade. Despite this, several companies were selling endangered fin whale imported from Iceland.
Amazon Japan was also selling pilot whale and other whale or dolphin species from the infamous Taiji drive hunts, highlighted in the Oscar-winning film The Cove.
EIA has released a hard-hitting 50-second campaign film – http://vimeo.com/31427376 – urging consumers to tell Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to stop selling whales.
“Amazon is selling threatened and endangered cetacean species that are protected by two international treaties,” said EIA Senior Campaigner Clare Perry. “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.”
EIA investigators purchased eight whale products from Amazon Japan in 2011, including canned whale meat, whale jerky, whale bacon and whale stew. Analysis revealed six of them to have mercury levels exceeding the Japanese national limit for mercury in seafood of 0.4 parts per million (ppm) and one had a staggering mercury level of 20ppm, about 50 times the safe limit.
“Amazon says ‘we’re constantly looking for ways to further reduce our environmental impact’ – banning these harmful products is an easy way for Amazon to show genuine commitment to this principle, while protecting its customers,” added Perry.
One-third of the 147 products were not listed with a species name, contrary to the requirements of Japan’s labelling laws. Since many of these products originate from Taiji, where 10 times more dolphins are killed than whales, it is likely Amazon Japan is selling dolphin products mislabelled as ‘whale’.
Mark Jones, veterinarian and Executive Director of Humane Society International UK, said: “There is no humane way to kill whales, so the creatures slaughtered to produce the food products being sold by Amazon will have endured a bloody and painful death. Killing these remarkable giants of the sea for commercial gain is condemned by the majority of the world’s nations. As a global brand, Amazon must now act to protect both consumers from environmentally polluted products and cetaceans from the cruel exploitation of commercial whaling.”
Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
UK
www.eia-international.org

Tel: +44 207 354 7960
Fax: +44 207 354 7961

Whale Wars on the Internet: Iceland, Japan and Yahoo! Marketing Meat from Endangered Species

Today’s press release from The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) (a UK-based Non Governmental Organization that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental issues) calls for the online community provider Yahoo! to get out of the illegal trade business and develop a social consciousness.
These days, with Facebook and Google competing for network dominance, Yahoo! can’t afford to lose it’s users, a fact that will leave them open to a boycott.  For those of you who feel frustrated by the slow progress of international politics to end whaling, here is something you can do:  stop using Yahoo! until they decide to stop trading products from endangered species.

NEW FIN WHALE EXPORT BY UNREPENTANT ICELAND, Yahoo! urged to stop selling the meat of endangered whales.



Canned Icelandic fin whale on sale in Japan (c) Environmental Investigation Agency

LONDON: The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today confirmed that a further 131 tonnes of Icelandic fin whale has been shipped to Japan and renewed its call for global retailer Yahoo! to immediately prohibit the sale of the endangered species via Yahoo! Japan.
The latest shipment brings the total of fin whale exported to Japan since Iceland resumed commercial whaling to more than 1,500 tonnes, despite the CITES Appendix 1 listing of fin whales clearly prohibiting international trade
In July, the EIA report Renegade Whaling identified Icelandic company Hvalur and its multi-millionaire boss Kristján Loftsson as hunting fin whales for export to Japan via a company he helped to set up.
But despite Iceland being certified under the US Pelly Amendment later that same month, it has now been confirmed that in August a new export to Japan took place of 131 tonnes of fin whale product with an estimated value of 209 million Icelandic króna ($1.7 million).

“On September 15, US President Barack Obama stated that Iceland’s whaling and trade in the meat threatens the conservation status of an endangered species and undermines multilateral efforts to ensure greater worldwide protection for whales. Stopping short of targeted trade sanctions, he nevertheless announced diplomatic measures aiming to push Iceland to halt the trade.

Fin whale meat packed for transport - Iceland (c) EIA

Yahoo Japan! sells numerous Icelandic fin whale products, including large (1.5kg) blocks of meat, bacon (blubber) and canned products. As of September 2011, these products and many more were still available on the internet from Yahoo! Japan shopping sites; a survey by EIA found 10 different retailers offering Icelandic fin whale meat products for sale via Yahoo! Japan.
“At a time when the US Government is applying international pressure to force an end to Iceland’s whaling and international trade, Yahoo! Japan is effectively encouraging further hunting of the species by selling endangered fin whale meat products on its website,” said EIA Senior Campaigner Clare Perry.
“It’s long past due that Yahoo! put its house in order and stopped profiting from, and stimulating, this bloody and wholly unnecessary slaughter.”
EIA first called on Yahoo! Japan in April 2010 to ban all sales of whale, dolphin and porpoise products on its store and auction websites after discovering that many products contained high levels of the neurotoxin mercury.”
Read EIA’s Renegade Whaling report at http://www.eia-international.org/renegade-whaling
Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
UK
www.eia-international.org

Whales Are Featured in the “Crimes Against Nature” Series on the National Geographic Channel

Last week’s announcement by Iceland that it would not hunt endangered Fin whales this year was good news, appreciated the world over.  Iceland thawed its frozen heart on this issue due to economic realities, brought into public scrutiny by the undercover work of eco-detectives from London’s Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).  The resulting documentary promises to a fascinating look into the underworld of commercial whaling.
“With powerful and haunting images, criminals caught in the act by hidden filming and courageous investigators operating on the dangerous front lines of environmental crime, these films will dramatically show viewers just how much a small but tightly focused and endlessly dedicated organisation can achieve,” said EIA Executive Director Mary Rice.
Tune in 9pm Tuesday, September 6th for the show on Icelandic whaling – or better yet, watch the whole series starting at 8 pm:

NEW FILMS ON ECO-DETECTIVES PREMIERE IN USA
Get on the front line with the Environmental Investigation Agency
LONDON: Three gripping new documentaries following the work of undercover investigators from the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) will premiere in the USA on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.
Launched as a three-part special under Nat Geo Wild’s Crimes Against Nature strand, the programmes have been a year in the making and will take viewers into the murky and high-stakes underbelly of global environmental crime, from Scandinavia and Africa to Southeast Asia and China.
The full line-up for US viewers on September 6 is:
Crimes Against Nature: Blood Ivory
8pm ET/PT (Eastern Time/Pacific Time)
The EIA team heads to Kenya, Hong Kong and China to investigate the world of elephant poaching and the international ivory trade. Following claims of an upsurge in poaching and ivory smuggling, EIA wants to establish firsthand what’s really going on. Visiting Kenya’s national parks, it documents the horrific reality of elephant poaching, and in China its undercover investigations discover startling revelations about how the ivory smuggling underworld works.
Read about the investigation behind the programme at http://www.eia-international.org/files/news654-1.pdf
Crimes Against Nature: Making a Killing
9pm ET/PT
Only a handful of countries continue to practice industrial whaling; Iceland is one of them, pursuing endangered fin whales in order to turn a profit. But rumours have persisted that there is a lack of demand for this whale meat in both Iceland and Japan, its main export market. With this in mind, EIA investigators pack their undercover cameras and attempt to locate and understand the driving force behind this trade.
Read about the investigation behind the programme at http://www.eia-international.org/cgi/news/news.cgi?t=template&a=649&source=
Crimes Against Nature: Chainsaw Massacre
10pm ET/PT
EIA’s undercover agents head to Laos and Vietnam for a new investigation into the notoriously dangerous timber trade. Vietnam is fast becoming a major global player in the timber industry, but with little forest left of its own it is largely dependent on importing timber from other countries. EIA suspects a lot of this timber is being taken illegally from Southeast Asia’s rapidly declining tropical rainforests and will stop at nothing to expose this devastating environmental crime which has the potential to affect us all.
Read about the investigation behind the programme at http://www.eia-international.org/cgi/news/news.cgi?t=template&a=651&source=
“With powerful and haunting images, criminals caught in the act by hidden filming and courageous investigators operating on the dangerous front lines of environmental crime, these films will dramatically show viewers just how much a small but tightly focused and endlessly dedicated organisation can achieve,” said EIA Executive Director Mary Rice.
The three Crimes Against Nature programmes are due to be broadcast on Nat Geo Wild in other territories, including the UK, later this year – watch http://www.eia-international.org/cgi/news/news.cgi?t=template&a=658&source=
for details!
Internet users in the US can see previews of two of the films on YouTube at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/NatGeoWiLd?blend=4&ob=5#p/u/8/1WvAE4AJgic
http://www.youtube.com/user/NatGeoWiLd?blend=4&ob=5#p/u/9/WpzuPNywtfE
http://www.youtube.com/user/NatGeoWiLd?blend=4&ob=5#p/u/10/-vaCBpAZE44
http://www.youtube.com/user/NatGeoWiLd?blend=4&ob=5#p/u/11/_myiYrepTQ8
Interviews are available on request: please contact EIA Press Officer Paul Newman at paulnewman@eia-international.org or telephone 020 7354 7960.
EDITORS’ NOTES
1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK-based Non Governmental Organisation and charitable trust (registered charity number 1040615) that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.
Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
UK
www.eia-international.org
Tel: +44 207 354 7960
Fax: +44 207 354 7961

Iceland’s Pirate Whaling Policies – Update 9/17/11 U.S. Imposes Sanctions

Update 9/17/11 President Obama begins sanctions:

I direct the Secretaries of State and Commerce to continue to keep the situation under review and to continue to urge Iceland to cease its commercial whaling activities. It is my expectation that departments and agencies make substantive progress towards their implementation. To this end, within 6 months, or immediately upon the resumption of fin whaling by Icelandic nationals, I direct departments and agencies to report to me on their actions through the Departments of State and Commerce.

I believe that these actions hold the most promise of effecting a reduction in Iceland’s commercial whaling activities, and support our broader conservation efforts. BARACK OBAMA
Iceland thumbs its collective nose at the rules, agreements, and standards of conduct that most of the rest of the world believes is necessary to ensure the survival of whales and dolphins.
They slaughter endangered fin whales and send the meat to Japan.
They slaughter the little Minke whales, and in what is just twisted and grotesque, serve the meat to unsuspecting tourists in their ‘look and cook‘ program – in which they combine whale watching trips followed by samples of “traditional” Icelandic food – However, prior to 1914 Icelanders did not hunt Minke whales. Superstition held that Minke whales were sent by God as protectors.” (Wikipedia)

Icelandic whaling takes this…


and puts it here:

Canned Icelandic fin whale on sale in Japan (c) EIA

It exchanges this experience…
Minke Whale (Scuba Centre Photo)

for this one:
Harpooned Minke Whale

“In the long and bloody history of commercial whale hunting, Iceland is one of the most notorious and persistent protagonists, killing more than 35,000 whales since the late 19th century and opposing or circumventing efforts by the international community to regulate whaling and prevent the decimation of whale populations.”  (EIA Iceland Whaling Report)

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling for economic sanctions against Iceland until that country complies with the rest of the world.  More information can be found here.

REQUIRED ACTIONS BY THE US AND EUROPEAN UNION (EU)
By taking strong action against Iceland, not only will the Obama Administration live up to its promises to strengthen the commercial whaling moratorium, but it will also help to ensure a real future for the IWC.
In 2009, following the collapse of its economy, Iceland applied to join the EU. Iceland’s EU accession negotiations provide a unique opportunity to end Iceland’s whaling and trade in whale products for good.
Although EU Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive) prohibits “all forms of deliberate capture or killing” of whales, as well as sales of whale products in the EU, it provides an opportunity for member states to ‘derogate’, under defined conditions, from the Directive’s prohibitions.
It is therefore crucial that EU Member States take a zero-tolerance position to Iceland’s whaling and trade in the negotiation of its accession, to ensure that Iceland does not take a derogation. WDCS and EIA commend the Dutch and German Parliaments for passing Resolutions in 2010 stating that Icelandic whaling would be unacceptable under EU law, and urge all other EU countries that are members of the IWC to take similar action.

Please support all economic boycotts of Iceland.

"By 2010, two minke whaling companies were operating in Iceland, and sales of whale meat continued to improve with more than 100 shops and restaurants throughout the country offering minke whale meat." (EIA Icelandic Whaling Report)