New KONGSBERG Simulator Meets Training Demand for Sustainable Fisheries

First contract for state-of-the-art simulator solution covering navigation, fish-finding and catching, signed with Lofoten Vocational School in Northern Norway

Asker, Norway, March 20, 2018 – Kongsberg Digital has signed a contract with Lofoten Vocational School for development and delivery of a complete new K-Sim Fishery Simulator with fish finding and fish catching applications. The simulator will be based on sophisticated KONGSBERG K-Sim simulation technology and market-leading Kongsberg Maritime (SIMRAD) professional fishery equipment, including echo sounders, sonars and trawl monitoring systems.

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Demand for a fishing vessel specific simulator, integrating all key operations on board has grown in recent years, based on implementation of new STCW requirements (STCW-F), advancement in fish finding and catching equipment, and an increased focus on sustainable fishery and improved quality of the fish. Through development of the new K-Sim Fishery Simulator, Kongsberg is meeting demands in the market with a solution that meets the STCW requirements for training and fulfil DNV GL’s certification standards. 

Lofoten Vocational School will be the first to bring this new approach to training to the fishing industry, which is especially important for this geographical area of Norway, where fishery is an important livelihood. The simulator will play a vital part in ensuring a safe and sustainable industry. Kongsberg Digital and Lofoten Vocational School’s investment is important for the fishery industry globally also, as in addition to improving training and development of skills in fishing methods for fishermen in Norway, it also brings benefits to safety and recruitment for fishing vessel owners wherever they based. 

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The contract for delivery of a K-Sim Fishery Simulator to Lofoten Vocational School was awarded to Kongsberg Digital on January 29th, 2018. The school will upgrade its existing KONGSBERG Polaris ship-handling simulator to the latest K-Sim Navigation technology platform, which integrated with the new fishery module will fulfill the STCW-F requirements. Lofoten Vocational School will move to a new location in Leknes in Lofoten and the opening of the new facility is planned in 2019.

K-Sim Fishery is designed as a fishing vessel bridge (different vessel model and sizes are available) with all necessary bridge and navigation equipment for fish catching, including winch for handling fishing equipment such as purse seine, trawl and long line. Both the vessel and equipment will behave as in real-life due to the simulator’s advanced physical engine. Students will be able to perform fishery exercises where they will learn to utilize the vessel’s equipment, optimize working hours and fuel consumption, choose the best routes and vessel position, and carry out appropriate maneuvers to control the fishing gear to ensure quantity and quality of the catch. 

Integrated with SIMRAD real fishery echo sounders, sonars and catch monitoring systems, K-Sim Fishery will form a complete system for the education and competence development of fishing vessel crew. The system allows students to familiarize with as well as operate different types of fishing gear, while building understanding that different fishing techniques require different approaches and that different fish species behave in different ways. Further, they will learn how to plan a fishing campaign, find, catch and safely and efficiently store the fish, whilst monitoring vessel stability during the loading process. 

“While helping to educate and protect commercial fishermen, who often operate in extreme conditions exposed to risk, simulator training also contributes to UN Sustainability Goals, especially number 14, which has been established to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources,” said Tone-Merete Hansen, Sr. Vice President Maritime Simulation, Kongsberg Digital. “With over 50 million people depending directly on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods and over 1 billion people in poorer countries reliant on fish to sustain a balanced, healthy diet, improving the safety and productivity of fishing through the introduction of new training methods will help the industry to introduce safer and more sustainable practices for the future.”

“The investment in the new K-Sim Fishery simulator is a very important contribution for us in the Northern part of Norway. It enables us to build on the future of fishing, which today is an important industry for the region of Norway where the school is located,” said Finn Axel Hartvigsen, Manager Maritime department, Lofoten Vocational School. “In addition to education in safe and efficient navigation and ship handling for fishing, practice on the simulator’s search and catch instrumentation will help both new and veteran fishermen perform better. The simulator will also enable increased competence and career progression for crew who wish to further develop skills in navigation and in new and different fishing methods to meet today’s higher standards of fish quality.”

“The flexibility in K-Sim Fishery enables a wide range of system deliveries from desktop to full mission bridge configuration depending on the training requirements,” said Bjarne Torkelsen, Area Sales Manager, Kongsberg Digital. “K-Sim Fishery can be delivered either as a stand-alone system or as an integrated module to existing KONGSBERG bridge simulators. Lofoten Vocational School will to be the first educational institute to install a full mission K-Sim Fishery simulator and we will expand the product scope further as we roll out the product globally.”