Shark fins drying on the upper deck of longline pirate vessel in the South Atlantic.

Earlier this year an issue was raised over on our Ocean Defenders Blog concerning the sale of Shark Fin Soup on Greenpeace has since contacted Amazon and requested that they remove all products containing shark fins from their website.

It is with great pleasure that we can now tell you that Amazon has taken all of these products off their website! This is a great response from Amazon and we'd like to commend them on taking such a bold step.

The shark finning industry kills up to 73 million sharks per year and continues to threaten the survival of these cartilagenous critters. Additionally It has recently become evident that the disappearance of sharks has detrimental effects to broader marine ecosystems. We hope that other companies will follow Amazon's lead and stop selling Shark Fin Soup.

Shark finning as most of us are aware, is an incredibly destructive industry that remains virtually unregulated and unmonitored. The World Conservation Union says 65 out of 373 known shark species are threatened, largely because of the trade in shark fins and some experts think the number is even higher. Sharks are among the ocean's most threatened animals mainly because of overfishing. Their slow growth, late maturity and production of few young makes them particularly vulnerable.

Below is the initial response from Amazon.

From: " Customer Service"

Thank you for writing to with your comments.

We have great respect for your concerns. One of our goals as an online retailer, however, is to offer our customers the ability to purchase a wide variety of products on our site. It is unfortunate but inevitable that some of our customers may find a few of these items objectionable.

Please note that the items in our Gourmet store are offered by third-party merchants--they are not sold directly by Hence, I confirm that this item is not sold by directly.

We always value customer feedback, and I have passed along your desire that we exclude items of this sort from our site. Once our appropriate department investigates on this matter, necessary changes will be bought into effect. . Once this update has been made we would notify it on the website. Please note that these changes would take sometime to be implemented and we would greatly appreciate your patience in this regard.

After further communication with Amazon including more e.mails, phone calls and snail mail we finally recieved the following e.mail confirming that shark fin soup was no longer available on their website:

From: " Customer Service"

Greetings from

I am writing in regards to your letter dated January 17, 2007.

I am pleased to let you know that I was unable to locate any gourmet food relating to the sale of shark fin soup on our web site. As far as I can tell, we no longer carry that item to be sold at

I hope this information has been helpful.

Read other Making Waves blog posts about shark finning here and here.