News release

New Fisheries Simulator at NSCC Shelburne Campus

Advanced Education
Rendering of fisheries simulator

A rendering of the fisheries simulator with marine navigation capabilities (Contributed)

The Province is helping fund new technology at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Shelburne campus that will allow students and others to practice operating a fishing vessel on land.

A fisheries simulator with navigation capabilities for both fishing and aquaculture – the first of its kind in Canada – will be in place at the campus’s school of fisheries this fall. It will provide aspiring and working fishers and sea farmers who want to advance their careers at sea with a realistic experience.

“As Nova Scotians, we are proud of our connection to the ocean as a way of life and livelihood, and we are pleased to be the first in Canada to adopt this new fisheries technology,” said Shelburne MLA Nolan Young, on behalf of Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education. “We look forward to welcoming future entrants and industry partners to learn and train in this safe, simulated environment.”

The simulator will be a part of NSCC Shelburne’s Cube – Space for Innovation, which has a fisheries and oceans focus with students, the community and industry developing new ideas and working on challenges. It will provide a platform for research and better position Shelburne and the region as a leader in fishing and marine innovation.

This initiative will also help broaden participation in fishing vessel operations, training and careers. The sector will benefit from a more highly skilled, inclusive and experienced workforce in operations, safety, and emergency preparedness.

There are more than 3,900 registered fishing vessels and more than 6,000 commercial fishing licence holders in Nova Scotia. The marine sector will need to hire roughly 19,000 new workers over the next 10 years in Canada. The new simulator will help attract students and support their training and professional development.

The first phase of the project has begun with NSCC’s purchase of 12 laptops and hardware. The new equipment will be installed and ready to use this fall.


“We’re so pleased with the enthusiastic support from the community and invaluable funding from government. This new simulator will make the college a leader in fishery and marine innovation and will ensure we have a means to provide students with a realistic experience of operating a fishing vessel in a safe, simulated environment.”
Don Bureaux, President, Nova Scotia Community College

Quick Facts:

  • the Department of Advanced Education is contributing a one-time capital grant of $350,000 to the initiative
  • NSCC’s school of fisheries attracts about 1,500 students per year
  • currently, marine simulators are available in Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick, but they do not have navigation simulators with fishing and aquaculture capabilities

Additional Resources:

NSCC Shelburne campus:

NSCC school of fisheries:

Nautical Institute at NSCC Strait area campus: