Shockingly, it's true: Yahoo! profits from illegal whaling. Through their Yahoo! Japan subsidiary, they profit from the illegal sale of whale meat.
According to a report released by the Environmental Investigation Agency titled Killing for Commerce, Yahoo! Japan is selling whale products — including 249 whale products in March alone. Whales are protected from commercial hunting under provisions of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, and the International Whaling Commission issued a moratorium on commercial whaling that went into effect in 1986. Despite this ban on commercial whaling, Japan continues to whale under the guise of "scientific research."
Whales are a critical part of ocean ecosystems. Sadly, many species of whales have been pushed to the brink of extinction and are just now recovering from centuries of overhunting. The moratorium on commercial whaling is thus extremely important to ensuring the survival of these imperiled species. It's appalling that Yahoo! Japan is providing a commercial outlet for Japan's whaling. Some of the whale products sold through Yahoo! Japan originate from endangered species, while others have been shown to contain dangerously high levels of mercury and are harmful to human health.
When Amazon.com recently learned that its Japanese website was selling whale products, the company immediately banned all such sales. It's time that Yahoo! follow in Amazon's footsteps and do the right thing.