The huge e-commerce website Amazon reportedly has removed all whale products from the Japanese portion of their site. Humane Society International said some of the products previously listed were from protected and endangered whales. Additionally those whale products were said to be high in mercury. The total number of whale products that were sold on the site was believed to 147, including Baird’s beaked whale jerky, and Icelandic fin whale bacon.
Some people have criticized online petitions as being a waste of time but the Humane Society’s petition did result in gathering tens of thousands of signatures, and Care2′s petition helped spread the word too. Also many emails were sent directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“In just 24 hours, more than 35,000 HSI supporters have appealed to Amazon for a total ban on the sale of whale, dolphin and porpoise products. The public wants these animals protected rather than killed and sold for profit,” said Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International. (Source: Humane Society International)
Whale meat popularity in Japan has been waning, according to some surveys. It is most popular with males aged 40-59, said one study. Young women aged 15 -29 are the least interested in consuming whale products and the younger generations in general are also looking upon it less favorably.Whaling has been conducted in Japan for hundreds of years, and whale meat was common during the lean postwar years, but today it appears to be fading gradually.
The government, today, supports whale ‘research’ which is mainly killing them for food. Most of the whales Japan takes are minkes. It isn’t necessary to kill whales for food though, because there are so many alternatives today.
Having large healthy whale populations helps reduce climate change because of all the carbon stored in their bodies. When they die they sink and carry much of it with them to the ocean bottoms.
Image Credit: Mila Zinkova