(May 10, 2013) Introduced just six months ago, the Marine Institute’s (MI) Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator (FVSS) is already getting national recognition. The FVSS recently received an Award of Merit at the 2013 Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Conference in Ottawa in the category of Excellence and Innovation in the Integration of Technology in a Formal or Non-Formal Educational Program.

“We are extremely honored to receive this distinguished award,” said Carey Bonnell, head, MI’s School of Fisheries.  “This was a true team effort with all of our partners and a joint recognition for the tremendous amount of effort that has gone into the development of this program.”

The project is a joint collaboration between the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (CCPFH) and MI. The multimedia content and user interface was produced by Memorial University’s Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support and MI’s Centre for Marine Simulation and Virtual Marine Technology.

The FVSS is the first of its kind to demonstrate the fundamental principles of vessel stability using a desktop computer. The interactive learning tool is receiving positive reviews from students and instructors at the Marine Institute and other educational institutions across Canada.

Fish harvesters can download the program for free from the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters website,

The 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. The ultimate goal is to provide fish harvesters throughout Canada with the means to learn the concepts of fishing vessel stability, apply them to virtual vessels and to subsequently save lives.

The CCPFH and Marine Institute continue to promote and support the FVSS and its importance as an educational program for all harvesters.

“Safety starts with knowing the fundamentals of vessel stability and understanding how a vessel can react, not just relying on experience or feel of the boat. The safety of the vessel and its crew should be first and foremost in any fishing enterprise,” said Bonnell.

The FVSS project was funded by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Research and Development Corporation of NL, Transport Canada & the National Search and Rescue Secretariat New Initiatives Fund (SAR-NIF) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board.

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