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Weekly Overview: New Web Game Highlights Damaging Illegal Fishing Trade in West Africa

Lucy Towers
30 September 2014, at 1:00am

ANALYSIS - In this week's news, Al Jazeera has launched a ground-breaking interactive web game using real footage that allows the gamer to learn how to expose the multi-million dollar illegal fishing trade affecting West Africas poorest people, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

In the interactive investigation tool, developed by Italy’s Altera Studio team, gamers can become an Al Jazeera journalist, gathering evidence and notes, and building a case to report on the environmental crime of illegal fishing in Sierra Leone, a crime stealing a precious protein source for millions.

"We’re basically gamifying current affairs,” says People & Power Correspondent Juliana Ruhfus.

“Investigative journalism can be seen as quite high-brow, whereas ‘gamification’ can open it up to a new generation of digital-savvy journalists. It’s important for us to push the boundaries and explore new ways to reach audiences.” 

A powerful Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) has caused the loss of 280,000 salmon at a Marine Harvest farm in Marsh Bay, British Columbia, Canada.

"Our mitigation systems, which include tarps and aeration, have worked very well in all other regions but just couldn't overcome this extreme and rare bloom," said James Gaskill, Production Director. 

One of the worlds top 100 worst invasive species, the Chinese mitten crab, is now threatening salmon and trout populations in Scotland, UK after it was found in Glasgow's river Clyde. This is the first recording of the mitten crab in Scotland.

Dr David Morritt, from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, said: “Our laboratory feeding trials with sub-adult Chinese mitten crabs reveal that the crabs apparently show a preference for larger eggs which are easier to handle and probably more profitable in terms of energy gained. The occurrence of these Chinese mitten crabs in a Scottish river could have a devastating impact on the famous salmon and trout fishing rivers should they manage to reach parts of the catchments where these fish spawn.” 

The Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification programme has now expanded its coverage with the completion of new BAP hatchery and nursery standards for finfish, crustaceans and mollusks.

"This now enables our partners to become four-star certified across the aquaculture sector. It’s a massive enhancement to the program while delivering true and meaningful change throughout the seafood supply chain," said Peter Redmond, BAP vice president of market development.