In what could be a devastating expose for online search giant Yahoo!, a report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)(in conjunction with Humane Society International and the Natural Resources Defense Council) has declared that the company may be receiving profits from the hundreds of whale products offered for sale on its Japanese website. The report, titled Killing for Commerce, details how Yahoo! Japan sells the meat of endangered whale species on its website and as a result, the parent company based in the US receives profits from the sales of these products. The EIA also states that there is evidence to suggest that products derived from dolphins are also being sold.
The strange part is that Yahoo! bans the sale of all endangered and protected species on their other sites, yet it has made no significant effort to persuade its Japanese subsidiary to end the sale of whale and dolphin products. In a statement, EIA senior campaigner Clare Perry said: “Yahoo! continues to ignore international outrage over the sale of whale and dolphin products via its Japanese website, even as it continues to profit from the slaughter of whales and dolphins.”
The EIA report states that Yahoo! Japan offers 249 whale products — including sashimi, bacon and canned whale meat — for sale on its fee-based sales and auction sites. Interestingly, when it was revealed that Amazon Japan engaged in similar practices, they swiftly announced a complete ban – and they had 100 fewer whale products for sale.
Most shockingly, the report states that many products come from internationally protected great whale species such as the fin, sei, minke, sperm and Bryde’s whale—all of which are protected under the moratorium on commercial whaling established by the International Whaling Commission in 1986. These species also have the highest level of protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
“We appeal to Yahoo! to follow Amazon’s lead and stop the sale of all whale and dolphin products,” said Taryn Kiekow, staff attorney for NRDC. “By selling these products, Yahoo! Japan is condoning the slaughter of internationally recognized endangered and protected species. Whale meat is not only unsafe for human consumption, but is a travesty for the biological diversity of our oceans.”
If you wish to take action yourself, the EIA and its campaign allies are calling on supporters and consumers to protest directly to Yahoo! CEO Ross Levinsohn via email and social media.