The new Call of Duty: Vanguard game is making waves after its much-anticipated release this month.
And amid the hysteria that follows a COD launch, a UK-based company has found a novel way to turn the latest episode in the globally popular franchise into a force for good.
Stakester, the online platform that connects gamers who want to play for money and prizes on its platform, is using the launch of COD - to save cod.
The company has launched a first-of-its-kind initiative, committing to donating to marine conservation charity, Sea-Changers, for Call of Duty (COD) games played on its app from November to January 1, 2022. The campaign includes a significant four-figure minimum donation, and Stakester hopes to raise much more for the charity.
Over 70,000 gamers connect with one another on Stakester, and put their skills to the test. Stakester has seen a spike in matches off the back of the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard, and hopes to raise vital funds to tackle unsustainable cod fishing in the UK, and raise awareness for marine conservation amongst a new audience of 18-35 year-olds - the core age demographic for gamers.
Sea-Changers provide vital support to protect our seas from overfishing, pollution, and climate change. North Sea cod stocks in the UK have fallen 31% since 2015, according to a report from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). And a 2020 report revealed cod stocks in UK seas were 'in a perilous state', thanks to overfishing.
Tom Pickerell, Marine Biologist and Founder of Tomolamona consulting, said: “Since 2017, North Sea stocks have declined year-on-year with set fishing quotas above the scientific advice. Once again we find ourselves at a critical moment for cod - and other seafood species. Beyond the North Sea, in 2020 the lowest adult population of cod in the West of Scotland was recorded, and scientific advice indicates there could be no Cod caught at all.
"We have been here before though. The cod ‘Recovery plan’ in the early 2000s helped to restore stocks to sustainable levels through limits on fishing days, the decommissioning of boats, and larger holes in nets. The result was a period of growth and sustainability for the cod population.”
In just one of over 200 marine projects, Sea-Changers has directly targeted unsustainable cod fishing through its project with Black Fish, helping monitor fishing practices in ports and markets - and expose damaging fishing practices.
Stakester hopes it’s unique initiative and contribution to Sea-Changers, whilst the release of Call of Duty is in the headlines, will forge the gaming world with the people behind protecting our world - raising awareness for the brilliant work that goes into marine conservation around the UK.
Thomas Fairey, CEO at Stakester, said: "Call of Duty, or COD, is a global cultural phenomenon and we wanted to use the release of the new game to do something positive. Our high seas and unsustainable cod fishing might feel a world away when you're sitting in front of the computer screen, but we love the fact our gamers will have a direct impact on marine conservation when they play Call of Duty games on Stakester.”
Tom Pickerell added: “Unique campaigns, and unlikely alliances, like COD for Cod from Stakester can help shine a light on this major issue to new audiences - and support charities like Sea-Changers who are on the front-line fight unsustainable fishing.”