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PFA participates in Virtual Reality project to bring emergencies training to a higher level

1 December 2021

Safety on-board and high social standards is a top priority for the PFA and its members. Therefore, we are continuously looking to improve our already very high standard for working conditions and safety protocols on board.

That is why the PFA, together with some EU fishing industry partners, participates in the Virtual Reality for Maritime Emergencies project (VR-ME). The VR-ME project aims to develop a realistic environment based on a trawler fishing vessel, accessible through a Virtual Reality kit.


Emergency situations on board of fishing vessels are stressful situations in which the crew must follow specific guidelines and procedures to assure their safety. In this project, we have the objective to develop a safety procedures training that uses VR to present our crew with a series of scenarios, such as abandoning the vessel, firefighting and launching a life raft. This way, it will become easier to offer more safety training, and to do so in a way that is also more safe in itself.

Cor Blonk is involved on behalf of the PFA and emphasizes the importance of the project:


“It is of paramount importance to be familiar with the safety procedures on board in order to be able to act quickly and decisively in case of an emergency. Acting quickly and correctly can limit the consequences of an emergency and avoid or minimize injury and damage, especially at sea where help is not readily available. With virtual reality we add a tool that allows our fishers to train emergency situations in a safe environment where one can still have the feeling of being involved 'in real life'. Emergency training not only helps the fishers with knowledge and skills on how to act, but also give fishers more self-confidence to take action in a real emergency situation.

The first test results are promising. Based on the first tests, the scenarios will be developed further, after which we will test them with (prospective) fishers in France, Spain and the Netherlands. Eventually, this should lead to a training programme that will be available free of charge late 2022. The only thing needed is Oculus Quest VR-glasses.“

For more info visit the website Virtual Reality for Maritime Emergencies, where you can sign up for the newsletter, or follow the project on LinkedIn and/or Twitter (@VRME_EU).

Other project partners:




PFA represents the interests of nine European freezer-trawler companies involved in pelagic fishing activities for human consumption.

Learn more about the PFA policy of sustainable and responsible production.

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