From midday Friday 12th September to midnight on Sunday 14th September a group of animal right activists had organised a “twitterstorm” targeting not only the Fish & Chips industry but also supermarket chains, tourist cruise companies, and even EU Commission for supporting the grind of pilot whales on the Faroe Island.
Armed with number of volunteers, pre-typed tweets and various photographs, the storm began with all the messages floating around twitter accompanied by #SaveFaroeWhales. Despite good effort and admirable initiative, the action had no structure to it and was purely based on attacking anyone somehow involved in the fish industry.
Choosing Wrong People
Companies such as Henry Colbeck, Grimsby Fish Company, Seafish, Friars Pride, Fry Magazine and even MSC in UK have all been under fire of identical, automatically generated tweets and images. Friars Pride had received over 60 identical messages from number of various Twitter accounts:
Within our fish catalogue, we do list Cod, Haddock, Gadus, even Lemon Sole! Whales -however are not and have never been supplied by Friars Pride.
Learn Your Facts
Whilst some chose to ignore the storm, Friars Pride decided to defend its good name and responsible fishing techniques with the fact that we are fully MSC Certified. This seemed to surprise many of those poorly informed attackers and apologies were being issued.
Faroe Island Whaling is a long standing local tradition described in an authoritative and respectable publication such as The National Geographic
There are disputes whether the practice is necessary and ethical despite the locals’ arguments that it’s been their tradition for over a thousand years and it provides them with valuable food source.
There will always be groups of people willing to act as advocates for animals who can’t defend themselves and such situations will repeat, especially on social media.
Supporting responsible fishing techniques and being MSC Certified, ensuring the standard of fish supplied is certified and traceable throughout the supply chain is the best technique to avoid such accusations in the future.