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New Report: Yahoo! Profiting From Killing of Whales, Dolphins and Elephants

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new report released today reveals that Internet giant Yahoo! is involved in extensive trade in whales, dolphins and elephant ivory products.

The report, "Yahoo! and the Sale of Whale, Dolphin and Elephant Products," is published by the non-profit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) based in Washington, DC and London, UK. It documents that Yahoo! Japan is a major hub for Internet trade in meat from whales and dolphins, and in elephant ivory products via its online shopping and auction websites.

EIA researchers discovered more than 100 companies selling whale or dolphin products on Yahoo! Japan.

More than 350 Yahoo! Japan sites were selling ivory products, with one site offering over 4,000 ivory products.

Yahoo! Inc. owns a 34% share of Yahoo! Japan and therefore profits directly from the sale of these protected species.

The Yahoo! Japan sites:
• sell products from internationally protected great whale species. Fin, sperm, sei, Brydes and minke whales are under legal protection from commercial hunting by both the 1986 commercial hunting ban enacted under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, where most of Japan's whale hunting occurs.
• sell contaminated products from small whales caught around Japan's coast that have very high levels of mercury—far in excess of Government of Japan (GoJ) limits for mercury in food for human consumption. One such whale product contained total mercury 8.5 times the GoJ limit.
• sell products from the brutal dolphin and small whale kills in the infamous Taiji hunts, documented in the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove."
• sell hundreds of different elephant ivory products despite Japan being a major importer of illegal elephant ivory.

Allan Thornton, President of EIA, said: "Internet trade in endangered wildlife is an increasingly dire threat to the survival of many species. It's outrageous that Yahoo! are profiting from the killing of dolphins, whales and elephants. We are calling on Yahoo! to urgently enact a worldwide corporate ban on selling whale, dolphin, and elephant products including all ivory through its sites.”

U.S. Internet giant eBay banned ivory trade in 2009.

EIA's Yahoo! report is available here.


Allan Thornton. Office (1) 202 483 6621; cell (1) 202 361 6941, allancthornton@gmail.com

Environmental Investigation Agency
PO Box 53343, Washington, DC 20009 www.eia-global.org
Tel: +1 202 483 6621/ Fax: +1 202 986 8626

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