The internet forms a strong platform for people to attempt change, bombarding the user with campaigns and petitions. Some are articulate, informed pleas for support for globally massive issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, others could be considered of less widespread impact; one of the biggest recent campaigns was a petition to reinstate Mr Clarkson to the BBC that received over a million signatories to date... Apparently, more people on Change.org are motivated to protest about their television schedule than about food waste, protecting the high seas or the Yazidi women kidnapped by ISIS, for example .
An issue that continues to pop up is the Faroese whale hunt, the Grindadráp. I am honestly unsure where I stand on this. It is not something that I would want to be in any way involved with, I am uncomfortable with the killing of animals - but I eat meat sometimes. I disagree with whaling. But then, I don’t think anyone should be able to kill anything in the sea, other than perhaps the odd fish caught off the rocks with a rod and line.
The roughly 800 long-finned pilot whales killed each year by the Faroese can be considered sustainable, like many British fisheries, or for another wild mammal killed for food, deer. When the meat is used for food, at least there is some purpose to killing, if a debatable one. The animals have lived a natural life until the point of death, which is more than can be said for the concentrated ‘farming’ practiced today. On the other hand, there is arguably enough food available now to render this old subsistence hunting practice obsolete. Data can be biased, twisted to different purposes and the label of ‘sustainable’ is subjective, in this instance bestowed by the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission which is composed of Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and, er, the Faroe Islands... The meat is of debatable value as a food source due to high level contamination with mercury and other pollutants .
The arguments for and against this practice are complex, and it should not be ignored or dismissed.
HOWEVER. It is incomprehensible that these figures receive almost unanimous attention in amongst the estimated 650,000 marine mammals that are killed or injured annually through by-catch* in the global fishing industry . These figures are inconvenient, their cause harder to isolate. To take action would require more than sharing a link. It would require you to forego tuna sandwiches and smoked salmon, fish fingers and cod and chips. You would also need to avoid carnivorous farmed fish, as they are frequently fed wild caught fish, and pigs and poultry which may also be fed this . This is just marine mammals killed by by-catch. Shrimp trawlers, for example, have been recorded taking a regular ratio of 7:1, kg by-catch to kg target species , and can catch between 3:1 and a criminal 15:1 .
Keep going, those pollutants concentrated within the tissues of pilot whales and the majority of other organisms on this planet, including humans, result from our activities. They are emitted from factory processes and pesticides and might succeed in wiping out many marine ecosystems before overfishing does. So cross off your list inorganic food, paper and clothing, electrical products and, in fact, most of the things that surround us .
There are further threats, that Hoare  so aptly describes as ‘insidious’, such as climate change, ecosystem collapse, pollution, wildlife tours and shipping collisions  which are even harder to attribute clear blame to - other than that most people globally bear some level of responsibility. All sea animals can be killed by plastic, but what would we ban? The millions of shops that give out plastic bags? The cosmetic products that include plastic micro-beads? Food packaging? Cigarettes? Nice idea, but unlikely.
Campaigns online can be good, they raise awareness, and may even bring about positive change. However, they can also be inaccurate, ill-informed and over-sensationalised, and they can birth vitriolic, hypocritical responses. Most seriously they can take the focus away from the bigger picture with emotive drives at easily targeted, smaller groups of people rather than the large industries and corporations that benefit from both the exploitation of the species of our world, and from our ignorance, whether naive or willful.
* BY-CATCH ‘that part of the capture that is discarded at sea, dead (or injured to an extent that death is the result)’. Also known, perhaps more accurately, as by-kill.
An example of the destructive nature of by-catch within a common industry that many of us support. Source: Greenpeace, 2011.
 Change.org, 2015. Available at:https://www.change.org/petitions#all-time/3. Cited 22nd August 2015.
 North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission, 1998. Report of the Management Committee. In Namco Annual Report 1997, Namco. Tromsø, Norway, 63-82.
 Hoydal, K. S., 2015. Legacy and Emerging Organic Pollutants in Liver and Plasma of Long-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas) from Waters Surrounding the Faroe Islands. Science of the Total Environment 520, 270-285.
 Smith et al., 2014. Net Loss: the Killing of Marine Mammals in Foreign Fisheries. NRDC [online]. Available at: http://www.harpseals.org/help/boycott_seafood/killing_of_marine_mammals_in_foreign_fisheries_nrdc_report-2014.pdf. Cited 12th August 2015.
 FAO, 2001. Fisheries and Aquaculture topics: Utilization and trade. Topics Fact Sheets. In FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Available at: http://www.fao.org/fishery/topic/2888/en. Cited 12th August 2015.
 Paighambari, S. & Daliri, M., 2012. The By-catch Composition of Shrimp Trawl Fisheries. In Bushehr Coastal Waters, the Northern Persian Gulf, 3 (7), 27-36.
 Alverson, D. L. et al., 1994. A Global Assessment of Fisheries Bycatch and Discards. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 339, 235pp.
 Crump, J., 2000. Persistent Organic Pollutants: are we Closer to a Solution? Canadian Arctic Resources Committee 26 (3), 1-19.
 Hoare, P., 2011. Are we in the West being Hypocritical about Japan’s Whaling? Guardian, Friday 8 July 2011.
 Reeves et al., 2003. Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises: 2002–2010 Conservation Action Plan for the World’s Cetaceans. IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. ix + 139pp.
 Hall, M. A., 1996. On Bycatches. Review of Fish Biology and Fisheries. 6, 319-352.