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Additional Funding Will Support Fishing Vessel Stability E-Simulator

Technology & equipment Economics Politics +4 more

CANADA - A new e-simulator that will provide harvesters a greater understanding of vessel stability, and ultimately save lives at sea, has been unveiled. Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, announced an additional C$72,600 in support of phase four of the project, part of an overall contribution of C$618,500 from the Provincial Government and C$136,220 from the Research & Development Corporation.

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Given the current number of fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador, and across Canada, this new programme will provide significant benefit by enhancing knowledge and expertise on vessel stability and will ultimately reduce the number of vessel losses in our waters each year, said Minister Dalley. Our province is now leading the way in regard to vessel stability training. It is made possible through the cooperation of the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters. Our government is pleased to celebrate the simulators launch and to provide additional funding toward its online delivery to users across the province.

The Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator is online software for use at home on a personal computer. It uses multi-media materials and electronic simulations of vessel operations and fishing activities to educate users on the concepts of stability. The total cost of the project is approximately C$3.3 million. Phase four funding will allow for further project management, and the hiring of a software engineer and a subject matter expert. These positions will provide users with technical support to troubleshoot issues with the software and to ask questions related to the individual modules within the program.

The Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator launched today has real-world applications that support a largely rural-based industry, said Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. There are global opportunities for this software as businesses operating in ocean-related industries are seeking innovative technologies and services that allow them to better operate fishing vessels in harsh environments. This simulator will enhance safety in many respects and is a proud investment for our government.

The final version of the simulator will be distributed free to all Canadian fish harvesters through the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters website. With greater knowledge of stability, vessel owners will be able to load their boat correctly, increasing the vessels stability in the water and reduce the motion-induced impacts on the crew. This will ultimately increase crew productivity and save lives. In addition, proper stability management should increase the performance of the vessel in varying sea conditions, reducing fuel consumption.

The development of the Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator is a great achievement in distance learning and simulation technology that addresses the critical safety issue in our fisheries, said John Sutcliffe, Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters. Through our partnership with the Fisheries and Marine Institute, fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada will have access to this innovative learning tool on their home computers. The final phase of this project is the most important - namely to ensure accessibility for the intended users.

While the software will be distributed free to Canadian fish harvesters, there are plans for the commercialization of the software for national and international markets in the future.

Vessel stability in our fishing fleet in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout Canada has been a major issue for the industry and has resulted in loss of many vessels and lives, said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). The Marine Institute leveraged our partners capabilities with our own innovative curriculum development and marine simulation expertise to create one of the most valuable educational tools for fish harvesters with which we can directly affect safe vessel operations.

More information on the e-simulator can be found at