Glenn Blackwood of the Marine Institute in St. John's speaks Friday at the launch of a Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator. Developed with the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters, the computer program will provide fish harvesters with the means to learn the concepts of fishing vessel stability,apply them to virtual vessels and to subsequently save lives. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
A fishing vessel stability simulator, the first simulator of its kind to demonstrate the fundamental principles of vessel stability using a desktop computer, was unveiled today at Memorial University’s Marine Institute in St. John’s.
A news release says the goal of the simulator is to provide fish harvesters with the means to learn the concepts of fishing vessel stability, apply them to virtual vessels and to subsequently save lives.
“This is a very innovative learning tool that uses cutting edge technology,” said John Sutcliffe, executive director of the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters, which partnered in the simulator.
“The collaboration between fish harvesters and the Marine Institute has produced a program that will make a major contribution to addressing the most critical safety issue for vessel operators in our coastal and inland waters.”
Available in English and French, the simulation software features 3-D interactive simulations, gaming scenarios, video, vessel diagrams, animations, narration and a user’s guide. This unique approach to training provides a rich learning resource for fish harvesters to interact with the material, testing what they learn in simulated fishing operations.
”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 the 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.”
The development, production and distribution of the Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator was funded by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat – New Initiatives Fund (SAR-NIF) (recommended by Transport Canada), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, the Research & Development Corporation (RDC), the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation and the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board in Newfoundland and Labrador.