Full release here.
This release was heralded by the conservation community as an exciting development. Net the fact Yahoo! was still heavily invested in Alibaba.com and had never disavowed the rampant sale of sharks fin via a web portal they had invested billions in. In many cases sellers were producing and selling 5000-10,000 kilos of sharks fin per week-1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds.
While we are cautiously optimistic about this announcement we decided to run with the old adage "trust but verify". Unfortunately over the past 7 days of verification we have come across a 98% continuing sales rate of sharks fin at Alibaba.com.
The problem is "window dressing". While Alibaba.com has stopped all overt sales of sharks fin via web searches, they have not stopped buyers from asking the sellers of sea products directly for sharks fin. Over the past 7 days we have posed as three different buyers asking for 5000 kilos a week (11,000 pounds) of product from various sellers.
We posed this question to eleven sellers. Nine answered positively, we did not get a response from two others. The aggregate total of sharks fin we were able to source in just 7 days from Alibaba.com, was a staggering 40,000 kilo or 88,000 lbs.
Here is one example from just one inquiry:
From:Mr XXX XXX
Date:Mon, Jan 05 2009 01:14:24 (GMT)
Dear Mr. XXX XXX,
Thank you very much for your message.
As per your requirement we can supply you good quality product Shark Fin's from XXX at reasonable price.
Kindly mail us.
Message IP Address:123.xx.xx.*
Alibaba.com aims to provide you with accurate Sender Details, we are not able to fully guarantee the accuracy of every Sender's IP information.
Note: The final legal wording on this email "Alibaba.com is neither responsible nor liable for any of the above information."