Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Amazon.com sells shark fin soup


  • Please log in to reply
115 replies to this topic

#81 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 469 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:10 PM

At least this is still listed as "in stock"

http://www.amazon.co...-...=UTF8&s=hpc

#82 anthp

anthp

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1334 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Photography in Le Grand Bleu.

Posted 08 January 2007 - 03:29 PM

Hi guys,

This is the response from the ACF compaigner:

Dear Anthony,

Can we assume that the products are made from illegaly harvested fins. Presumably there are some sustainably harvested shark fisheries (although the ones in australia, except gummy, are overfished) that supply fins after they have used the rest of the carcass (eg for flake supplies to fish and chips shops).

I'm now thinking that before we put out the media release we will contact amazon.com and seek an official response (I'll do this today paraphrasing the text of the media release). This will hopefully also clarify the 'unavailable' tag. They might be doing this as a way of saving face although it is still unacceptable.

Is the cartilage powder also from the fin or is it sourced from another part of the shark carcass? Is the powder used for the treatment of arthritis?

Cheers

Chris Smyth
Marine Campaign Coordinator
Australian Conservation Foundation
Floor 1, 60 Leicester St, CARLTON VIC 3053, Australia
Ph +61 3 9345 1129 Fax +61 3 9345 1166
Mob +61 438 123 536
c.smyth@acfonline.org.au
http://www.acfonline.org.au/



I responded with this:

Hi Chris,

Disney had plans to sell shark fin soup at wedding banquets in Hong Kong, but reversed their decision after being embarrassed by media attention:
http://wetpixel.com/...shark-fin-soup/

The Disney release said "“After careful consideration and a thorough review process, we were not able to identify an environmental sustainable fishing source, leaving us no alternative except to remove shark’s fin soup from our wedding banquet menu."

The cartilage advertised on Amazon is specifically advertised as being sourced from fins:
http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B00028NFBG/
http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B000637IIS/

Although we know that some shark fisheries are sustainable, the likelihood that they are linked in a supply chain to these shark fin products is vanishingly minuscule.

You are correct that shark cartilage generally (as opposed to just shark fins) is used by some arthritis sufferers.

I agree that this is likely a face saving exercise, but would hope they might be more proactive and remove the products altogether.

Cheers,

Anthony Plummer


I could really use some help with this question:
Can we assume that the products are made from illegaly harvested fins.

Now I think we can assume, but I'd really like to have some evidence to support this assertion.

Anybody got some data?
Anthony Plummer
anthonyplummer.com
"It's much better down there... It's a better place..." Enzo, Le Grand Bleu.

#83 anthp

anthp

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1334 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Photography in Le Grand Bleu.

Posted 08 January 2007 - 03:50 PM

Chris just sent me a copy of the email he sent to Amazon - let's see how they respond:

To the Chief Executive Officer
Amazon.com

Dear Sir/Madam
The Australia Conservation Foundation (ACF) is Australia's leading environment group, a successful, well-respected and credible national organization that has campaigned strongly for oceans protection and sustainable oceans use in its forty–year history.

It has been brought to our attention by our members, and a check of your website has confirned this, that you are selling shark fin products.

By selling shark fin products on its website, Amazon.com is supporting the worldwide illegal slaughter of sharks and failing its corporate responsibilities.

Shark finning is an inhumane, wasteful and unsustainable fishing practice that is banned in the fisheries of many countries. It involves the removal of a shark’s fin and the discarding of its often live carcass, and is responsible for the deaths of up to 70 million sharks per year.

An increasing demand for shark fin due to China’s booming economy is ensuring that shark finning continues illegally and is expanding in many countries where enforcement agencies are unable to stop the trade.

Actions like that of Amazon.com encourage the continuation of an abhorrent practice that threatens many shark stocks, marine ecosystems and sustainable traditional fisheries around the world.

We would urge Amazon.com to display a greater sense of corporate responsibility in its choice of products for sale on its website, beginning with the removal of the shark fin products.

When the Disney Corporation considered selling shark fin soup in its restaurants, the public outcry forced it to realise its corporate responsibilities. At the time it stated:

"After careful consideration and a thorough review process, we were not able to identify an environmental sustainable fishing source, leaving us no alternative except to remove shark’s fin soup from our wedding banquet menu."

This is the course that Amazon.com should now follow by removing the shark fin products on its website.

I await your earliest response on this matter. Should you have any queries please contact me at the address below.

Yours sincerely
Chris Smyth
Marine Campaign Coordinator
Australian Conservation Foundation
1/60 Leicester Street Carlton VIC 3053
Ph: (03) 9345 1129 Mob: 0438 123 536
c.smyth@acfonline.org.au
www.acfonline.org.au


Anthony Plummer
anthonyplummer.com
"It's much better down there... It's a better place..." Enzo, Le Grand Bleu.

#84 shawnh

shawnh

    Shawk Man

  • Senior Moderator
  • 1398 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boulder, CO
  • Interests:UW Video, UW Photography Diving, Telemark Skiing, Cycling, Travel

Posted 08 January 2007 - 05:00 PM

Anthony,
Excellent work! Also, i think Chris wrote an excellent letter to Amazon...keep it rolling.
shawn
Canon 5D MII - Aquatica Housing - Sola 4000 Lights - Wahoo HD Monitor & Sony EX1 - Gates EX1 Housing - Fathoms UWA Lens
www.bluespheremedia.com

#85 anthp

anthp

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1334 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Photography in Le Grand Bleu.

Posted 08 January 2007 - 05:39 PM

Thanks Shawn - your video helped pique his interest in the first place.

I'm looking at organising some press coverage of the Shark Fin resturaunts in Melbourne.

Does anyone have some good references to support these assertions:
  • Shark fin soup contains mercury.
  • Sharks concentrate mercury in their fins.
  • Singapore and HK residents have high levels of mercury.
  • Shark fins are derived from illegal/unsustainable sources.
Any assistance would be gretefully appreciated.

Thanks.
Anthony Plummer
anthonyplummer.com
"It's much better down there... It's a better place..." Enzo, Le Grand Bleu.

#86 photovan

photovan

    Great White

  • Moderator
  • 979 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia

Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:19 PM

I'm looking at organising some press coverage of the Shark Fin resturaunts in Melbourne.


I wrote to the Age suggesting the story was inappropriate, and had a reply today from the Journo. Apparantley Shark Fin House suggest that their fins are sourced from the legal gummy and school shark fisheries from which the" flake" for the "fish and chips" and other uses comes from. Even if they are, this assessment by the Austrlain Federal Govt suggests the southern Australia School Shark fishery is not sustainable.

Important to note the journo has also said they will be following up with a column about shark fin, so we'll see what that has to say.


add this to the mix, it was posted in the finning on the front line thread in response to tony wu's post re melbourne restraunt.

Maybe shark finning threads could get sorted into: issue, amazon, melbourne restraunts, etc, otherwise we will miss things. I have the email address of the journo from the age if ACF want it. PM me for it.

Darren Jew  |  Australia  |  darrenjew.com  |  fotofrenzy.com.au

Canon EOS1Dx   |   EOSM   |   Nauticam  |   Inon Z240


#87 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 469 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:10 PM

WOuld it be an idea to post those horrigfic finning pictures as the "customer images" for all of Amazons top selling products? Amazon is apparently not giving a crap about the science or our pleas, only thing they appear to care about is $$$. Well those pictures displayed to a large part of their potential customers should put a dent in the $$$ ;) Maybe they will wake up

#88 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:45 PM

Marjo - unfortunately, I think that would cross the line between protest and vandalism...
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#89 3@5

3@5

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Location:south of france

Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:49 PM

well i received the following mail from amazon, a little step forward even if we are not there yet, far from it

Greetings from Amazon.com.

First, I would like to thank you for your comments about the shark fin products sold by third party merchants on our website.

Please know that we do value comments from our customers, especially those as loyal and steadfast as yourself.

I've also reviewed your previous correspondence with us and see that my previous colleague has already passed your message to our appropriate department.

Your previous message has been copied to the concerned officials who are currently working on this matter. We are receiving a lot of feedback about this and our special team will soon advise us on the same.

I'm sorry that they being our internal department, we are not able to share their email address and neither at this point of time I'm able to give an insight into the investigation.

Please know that your voice has been heard and we value the trust you place in Amazon.com above all else--it's the foundation on which our company was built.

We thank you for your kind patience and continued support. We look forward to a very warm and fruitful association with you.

Thank you for choosing Amazon.com.


Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:
http://www.amazon.co...3414755587&q=sn
If not, click here:
http://www.amazon.co...3414755587&q=sn

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.


Best regards,

Sheela Solomon
Amazon.com Customer Service
http://www.amazon.com
==============================


to which i responded

> Date: Mon Jan 08 22:40:33 UTC 2007
> Subject: Feedback to Amazon.com
> To: "int-snowball__2020hs@amazon.com" int-
snowball__2020hs@amazon.com
> From: paps@libello.com
>
> CUSTOMER: Paul Papadopoulos
> COMM ID:ccxhtyty3414755587
> EMAIL: paps@libello.com
> COMMENTS: Thanks for your reply.
> I also noticed that you have started taking some action against
the sale of shark fin based products through your site.
> However, though the status of 2 products has been changed to out
of stock, the fact still remains that there are many more left. for
example products sold by vitaminlife or seagate (Shark Fin Cartilage-
600mg - 100 - VegCap). ANother fact remains and that is really hard
to swallow is the censoring of negative reviews that you performed.
I am afraid that any trust I may have had in your company has taken
a beating.
> I hope you are actually removing these products and other shark
related products from your being sold on your site and that this is
not just a temporary action to be reversed later.
> You will see that your customer base is fundamentally against this
practice and that we are doing all we can to make sure our voices
our heard.
>
> Regards,
>
> Paul Papadopoulos


let's see how this continues
/paul
Paul Papadopoulos
canon 1dmkII + seacam silver + inon z220
My Webpage

#90 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 469 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:10 PM

Eric, I suppose you are right about the pictures...

I just wonder what we could do to bring this to the attention of the general public. It seems like there is a lot of discussion on Scubaboards and different environmental sites, but surprisingly little in the general media. This is a bit strange considering the uproar about the Disney Shark Fin incident that got so much attention.

I do think that it would be important to let customers/potential customers of Amazon know that they are spending their money with a company that supports Shark Finning and to give them a fair chase to opt to take their business elsewhere. Personally I feel horrible thinking that I spent hundreds of dollars over the holidays with Amazon. I wish I would have known! I would never have spent a penny if I knew of their involvement in this heinous trade.

Meanwhile, I will bring this issue to the attention of all the members in our local diveclub tonight and urge everyone to spread the word and voice their opinion to Amazon...

Edited by Marjo, 09 January 2007 - 02:25 PM.


#91 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:16 PM

Marjo - it will take some time for this news to trickle to more traditional media. There is a story that will hopefully go live here in San Francisco on TV about finning and Amazon.com, and hopefully other members here are working with their local TV and radio stations as well.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#92 Rocha

Rocha

    Salty Dog

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3073 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

Posted 09 January 2007 - 04:17 PM

Yep, I am in contact with a journalist at the Honolulu Advertiser and he seems to be interested in publishing something about it here (also mainly because one of the companies was based here in Hawaii). I think that if a few of these show up in different places they will attract national attention.

Luiz Rocha - www.luizrocha.com
Nikon D800, Aquatica AD800, Ikelite strobes.


#93 shawnh

shawnh

    Shawk Man

  • Senior Moderator
  • 1398 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boulder, CO
  • Interests:UW Video, UW Photography Diving, Telemark Skiing, Cycling, Travel

Posted 09 January 2007 - 06:35 PM

The Ausi's are stirring it up with some news too...amazon does good business there.
Canon 5D MII - Aquatica Housing - Sola 4000 Lights - Wahoo HD Monitor & Sony EX1 - Gates EX1 Housing - Fathoms UWA Lens
www.bluespheremedia.com

#94 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 469 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 10 January 2007 - 04:47 AM

Maybe we could have a "roundup list" of articles/ stories/information etc that has showed up in media regarding this matter? That might make it easier for media reps to pick up on this.

Another part of this story that should be of interest , besides the shark finning, is that our experience has proven that Amazon censors negative reviews, thereby slanting the information on their products. As a former customer I feel I was made to believe that the reviews on different products at Amazon.com was a true representation - for good or bad - of previous customers opinions. Now it appears that Amazon is purposefully misleading their customers thur this "pick and choose" publishing of reviews. Hopefully this makes the media as well!

Edited by Marjo, 10 January 2007 - 04:49 AM.


#95 giftie

giftie

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 125 posts
  • Location:Brussels, Belgium
  • Interests:Photography

Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:19 AM

Gave my small contribution, sort of missed most of the action [although I am sure there will be plenty to come] but I have to say that you guys did an outstanding job, really it does give me hope and a good kick in the butt for me to become more actively involved in things that do matter, instead of just reaching for my checkbook each time I get some campaign request.
Anyone from Finland, Belgium here? Chinese restos in Helsinki do openly carry Shark fin soup in their menu, know some people there and go there myself quite often so...
Jorge Santos
Aquatica D200/Twin DS-125/Hart 250HS/SB-800/10.5DX/12-24DX/17-55DX/105/60/ULCS
Web Gallery

#96 shawnh

shawnh

    Shawk Man

  • Senior Moderator
  • 1398 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boulder, CO
  • Interests:UW Video, UW Photography Diving, Telemark Skiing, Cycling, Travel

Posted 10 January 2007 - 11:30 AM

Wetpixel has a global reach with participants who are serious advocates of our oceans. Moreover, for many folks on the forum, their livelihoods depend on having marine life left to film.

I am going to look into driving a concerted effort to harness the power of this group. In a nutshell, we could have Conservation Topic of the Months (CTOM ...much like POTW) as major marine conservation issue that we drive to some level of conclusion. Our members from around the world submit info (text, data, images, names) on examples in their region or regions they frequent, that relate to this topic. We then identify companies/organizations that are primarly responsible for causing this impact. With this infomation, we kick-off our action.

Much like the Amazon campaign, we reach out to many other forums, news groups and other media outlets. Our goal is not to secure world piece (would be nice though), but rather to focus on actionable objectives that can be measured in weeks and months...vs years. An expample of this is getting amazon to drop a product and thereby raising social awareness of the larger issue. Getting CITES to list a species as endangered would not meet this criteria. (sure we address these but supporting conservation organiziations focused on this long term is more effective).

Each month, we move to a new topic or renew an existing one. Older topics remain on the forum but move into maintenance mode.

Regarding the topic of shark finning, i would like to see us not stop with Amazon. In each member country, who is distributing shark fin products? let's get their names and contacts. Members from those countries, take it upon yourself to drive folks to barrage those companies with feedback and complaints. Use this forum and others to rally the support.

Finally, though this may sound very structured, that is not the objective. The freedom of a forum enables us to expand and reach in directions that tigtly structured campaigns cannot. My goal would be to harness this power and just provide a little more foundation and direction. Ultimately, we can become far more effective.
Canon 5D MII - Aquatica Housing - Sola 4000 Lights - Wahoo HD Monitor & Sony EX1 - Gates EX1 Housing - Fathoms UWA Lens
www.bluespheremedia.com

#97 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 469 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:02 PM

Anyone from Finland, Belgium here? Chinese restos in Helsinki do openly carry Shark fin soup in their menu, know some people there and go there myself quite often so...


Though I don't live there anymore, I'm from Finland and I go there still about once a year. This sounds very strange... I have never seen shark fin soup server anywhere in Finland and Finns are in general super-concious of environmental issues, so I cannot fathom that there would be a market for shark fins in Finland. Also, being possibly the "squarest" ppl on earth - Finns typically don't believe in anything unless it is firmly based on accepted science - I just don't see Finns buying sharkfin soup to "enhance their manhood" or anything like that... That sounds crazy!!! But if there really is shark fin for sale in Helsinki... send me some more info on your sources. I used to work in media and still have good contacts, I'd be happy to help.

#98 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:03 PM

This is interesting. Look at what happens if you do a google search for "Amazon shark fin" or "Amazon shark".

Even a search for shark fin soup shows the Divester article on page 1 and Wetpixel on page 2.

This is the power of online communities.

Making it easy for folks to post similar messages on other forums and ocean-related websites out there is a fantastic way to get the message out, and each site that writes about an issue like this contributes to a huge search engine presence.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#99 Rocha

Rocha

    Salty Dog

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3073 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:28 PM

Yes, it is great to see that it is spreading steadly. Here is another link:

http://marinebio.org/blog/?cat=3

Luiz Rocha - www.luizrocha.com
Nikon D800, Aquatica AD800, Ikelite strobes.


#100 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:39 PM

Google rates a site by how much traffic it gets thinking that it must be an important site for those key words hence if you make a post about a topic and then google it, you will find most of the time a forums post will turn up first.

So as more and more forums are posted on, soon that's all will end up in Googles high ranking list about Shark Finning. ;)
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au