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Amazon.com sells shark fin soup


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#101 echeng

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 10:12 PM

Wags - that's not really the case (rating by traffic). It rates by building a map of the web, only some of which is traffic related. If you are linked by an important entity, then you must be important as well. That's a vast simplification, and most of their heuristics are, I'm sure, proprietary and closely guarded, but thinking of a graph of the web is more accurate than saying that they rank by traffic alone.

Anyway, lets get back to what this topic is about -- shark fins, and where they are sold.
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#102 Marjo

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:20 AM

This morning the shark fin cartilage powder is gone from the Amazon site.

There are plenty of "shark cartilage powder" but I can no longer find any edible products with "shark fin" or sharkfin" in their name.

This might meant that our campaign has had some success - or this might be a temporary withdrawal. It would be good to hear an official response from Amazon.

It is unclear to me what the contents of the "shark cartilage powders" are. Are they made from responsibly harvested sharks? Are any of the sharks used in these products endangered? IS Amazon still dealin with vendors who have shark fin products in their sortiment ( "off site") or is Amazon going to make a clean break and no longer be associated with /have relations to the shark finnig industry?

Edited by Marjo, 11 January 2007 - 07:26 AM.


#103 Marjo

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 07:01 AM

A discussion regarding shark finning started on Amazon after my intial posted here:

http://www.amazon.co...Tx356LMCJDKBW2K

However, today when I tried to post a reply to the discussion I was blocked out! I got this message:

** Your message will not be posted. Please see our Guidelines regarding objectionable content.

I was not even able to edit my original post!

This is what I tried to post:


I am very happy to see this discussion!

Sharks are very different from animals such as cows and chickens. The methods for harvesting the "meat" is also wastly different. In the case of sharkfins soup and powders, it isn't "meat" that is used but rather the cartilage of the sharks fins.

Shark finning is an inhumane, wasteful and an unsustainable fishing practice. It is also banned in the fisheries of many countries, including in the US is illegal. Rasing cows and pigs on the other hand is both regulated and legal.

There is no way of "raising" sharks for meat.To harvest the cartilage, the sharks fin is cut off and the rest of the shark is dumpped into the ocean to die. The practise is responsible for the deaths of up to 70 million sharks per year.

As it has previously been pointed out, sharks have an incredibly important role in the ecosystem, and unfortunately the populations are declining which has a direct impact on the health of the oceans and in extension all of us.

For those of you who worry about "shark attacks"... dont! Shark attacks are extremely rare. As an underwater photographer who has spent years of trying to get close to sharks I can attest to these magificient creatures being completely uninterested in making me their meal - they do prefer eating fish! In fact, they are mostly very skittish and hard to approach. The movie "Jaws" from the 70's is largely responsible for the false idea of sharks being agressive creatures. However, today, with more understanding of sharks, better science, education and easier accessibiliy to information people are more lnligtened and have changed their perception of these magnificiant creatures.

I am happy to see that shark fin soup and shark fin cartilage powder in not available on the Amazon site this morning (12/11/06). Hopefully this is not a temporary withdrawal but Amazon doing the "right thing" and not associating themselves with this heinous trade!

Edited by Marjo, 11 January 2007 - 07:27 AM.


#104 shawnh

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:29 AM

Folks,
I am feeling success in the air. Running a number of searches on Amazon.com, i was unable to locate these products. I refined the searches to see if they had been sneakily moved...but this does not seem to be the case.

I think it is time to shift gears and communicate encouragement and support to Amazon for doing the right thing. Positive reinforcement is always appreciated when someone rights a wrong. Next push is to get them to take an official public stance on this. Everyone who put work into this project, lets take a momement to send an email to Amazon stating your support for the action they have taken and pressing them to take an official stance.

One other thing to note: Wetpixel blew the whistle on this issue in a post dated Jan 1. Within hours, the story spread like wild fire around the world to many major media sources. Ten days later and a major corporation has pulled an objectionable product line from their offering. This is an impressive feat. What a testament to the power of the internet to inform and drive action. In the uphill battle to save shark populations from extinction, there are some wins. Way to go folks!

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#105 Marjo

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 02:14 PM

Hope this is permanent... I agree - let's send them positive reinforcement! I sent them this today:

"I notice that today 1/11/07 there is no shark fin soup, nor any product labeled “shark fin cartilage powder” to be found on your site. I thank you for pulling these products off your site and congratulate for doing the right thing. I encourage you to use this experience to both create good publicity for Amazon.com and draw attention to the plight of endangered species, sharks in particular, by making in publicly known that Amazon.com does not support shark finning nor the trade of products possibly containing endangered species. Once again, thank you for pulling these objectionable products off your site."

Edited by Marjo, 11 January 2007 - 02:14 PM.


#106 shawnh

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:38 AM

If you would like to voice your support for Amazon’s decision to remove shark fin products and press them to take a public stand on this issue, please feel free to use the following text:

To Amazon Customer Service/Investor Relations,

I would first like to voice my support for Amazon’s decision to remove shark based products from your website. You have listened to the overwhelming feedback in opposition to shark products from your customers, and have taken appropriate action to address them. It is my hope and expectation that shark based products will not return to your website in the future. Furthermore, I expect that Amazon will take a public stand against trade in shark products.

It is important that you understand the basis for my concern regarding shark fin and related shark products. Shark finning trade has exploded in the last 15 years and is continuing to grow at a rate of over 5% per year. Most recent studies indicate that sharks are being harvested at a rate of 23 to 73 million sharks per year. As a consequence, worldwide shark populations have plummeted with many species declining more than 90%. Since sharks are very slow to mature and reproduce, the present rate of over-fishing is pushing many shark species to the brink of extinction.

The value of the sharks fin far exceeds the value of the rest of the shark. In restaurants, shark fin soup can fetch as much as USD150 per bowl. A shark’s fin represents about 2-5% of the total body weight and takes up relatively little storage space. As such, it is far more profitable for fishermen to sever the fins and dump of the finless sharks into the water to drown. This has lead to a worldwide ecological disaster. Finning is a cruel, wasteful and destructive practice. Sadly it is the primary means by which shark fins are harvested.

Many nations have outlawed the practice of shark finning. In particular, shark finning is banned in the Eastern Pacific, North Atlantic and waters of Australia. Having decimated shark populations in other regions of the oceans, the commercial shark fishing fleets are illegally operating in protected waters and harvesting shark fins by the millions. In the open ocean, there is little that can be done to stop them.

By ceasing to sell shark based products, Amazon has taken an important step in the right direction. Amazon now has an opportunity, and responsibility, to join other world class organizations in taking a public stand against trade and consumption of shark products and other endangered species. As an example, Disney took public action in response to significant outcry against their initial plan to serve shark fin soup. In a press release they 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,''

I urge Amazon to issue a similar statement to the public stating why they will no longer carry shark fin and related products. This would further position Amazon as an environmentally responsible and conscientious organization. Furthermore, this would cause me to resume my purchases with Amazon and resume referring others to your website.

I look forward to Amazon taking this next step.

Sincerely,
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#107 wagsy

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:50 AM

Hey thats cool....power to the people.....

Just sent a thankyou email.
Whats next???
http://www.alibaba.c.../Shark_Fin.html
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#108 shawnh

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 08:56 PM

Wags...exactly. We need Amazon to do something public so we can leverage that against Alibaba.
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#109 mt110121

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:08 PM

congratulations!!! We won. Thanks to all of u that helped

#110 segal3

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 03:44 PM

For additional effort, Amazon currently lists over 400 results for 'shark' under 'Nutrition and Fitness' (the majority of which is 'shark cartilage').
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#111 shawnh

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 04:41 PM

That is true. Shark cartilage in suppliments is on most pharmacy shelves around the world. Now, if they are from whole sharks, that wouldn't be so bad. Banning shark suppliment sales would be a whole different ball of wax. I can imagine though, that suppliment manufacturers would want as much of the shark as possible. The goal here was shark fin based products. I wonder how one could tackle the the entire suppliment industry?
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#112 Rocha

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 09:03 PM

Now, if they are from whole sharks, that wouldn't be so bad.


I am sure they are, if they were from fins only they would be a lot more expensive. Shark cartilage is usually 1/10 of the price of shark fin cartilage.

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#113 pacrim

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 04:22 PM

As the owner of Pacific Rim Gourmet, I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the various negative posts regarding our selling Shark Fin Soup.

First of all, this was never out of "greed or profit". We had a request from a customer to sell "Shark's Fin Soup" about 4-5 years ago. We bought ONE CASE (12 cans)...and still have 5 cans left ($3.99 a can...do the math). Obviously, no huge market purchasing from us! When we purchased the case, we were not aware of any of the practices your members have described and it was a legal product in the United States and still is.

Based on our newfound knowledge of the product, I believe your efforts should be directed to the manufacturers and importers of this product and the U.S. government, not to a mom-and-pop, trying to make it from week to week kind of small company.

We have been hoping to sell the remaining cans and be able to remove the product from our site as it was in no way worth the aggravation of receiving hate mail nor did we want to continue promoting the practice. However, we thought it was better to sell the cans than to throw them in the garbage and have it been for a total waste of an animal...but I guess not! It has been removed from our inventory and it will not be re-added at a future date.

Thank you for your time.

#114 echeng

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 04:50 PM

Thank you for coming onto Wetpixel to voice your company's message. We will definitely be directing our efforts at manufacturers and importers of the product, but having your product yanked from Amazon was also effective because you were one of only two or three vendors who were represented there. Now that Amazon is aware of the problems that hosting shark fin products can cause, we hope that they will block all such products in the future.

I apologize that your small "mom and pop" was target by so much hate mail (we had hoped that only productive mail would be sent, but it's hard to control the public!), but at the same time, I am glad that you have pulled the product from your inventory.

Regards,
Eric Cheng
Wetpixel.com
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#115 aboshoff

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:37 AM

http://www.amazon.co...;s=gourmet-food

#116 shawnh

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 10:38 PM

This is true...and discussed earlier in the thread. Basically, there is nothing illegal about taking a whole shark and eating it. Though personally i believe we should be laying off sharks completely to allow their numbers to increase, this is a hard proposition to sell. This is far less wastefull than finning where 98% of the shark is wasted.
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