Commercial fishermen know that it is crucial to preserve their catch in order to provide a good product for consumers and realize a profit. Once the fish are brought on board, Semco helps them meet storage and cooling challenges with a range of refrigeration options, including cooling equipment and the ice form that is most appropriate for the size and type of fish caught. Cooling systems can be designed to suit the customer’s needs as well as the space available, often resulting in greater efficiency and reduced operating costs. In fact in the long run cooling systems pay for themselves aboard fishing ships. Let’s take a look at how.
Cooling Systems Maintain the Quality of a Catch
Given that fish are prone to rapid spoilage, the first consideration is always keeping a catch fresh; it is essential that fish bound for market are completely free of harmful parasites, chemicals or bacteria. They should have shiny skin, clear eyes and a fresh smell. In addition to the use of ice and refrigeration equipment, the ship’s hold must be well insulated. Several kinds of insulation are available, including the following:
- Polyurethane foam, a man-made polymer
- Polystyrene sheets, better known as Styrofoam
- Fiberglass, which is fire and heat resistant
- Cork board, once among the most popular of the insulating materials
- Organic materials such as sawdust and straw
The type of insulation used will have much to do with temperature control and energy cost reduction.
Cooling Systems Keep Holds Property Chilled
Once caught, fish must quickly be put on ice. Many fishing vessels are small with limited space for ice storage. In addition, the boats might not be headed back to port immediately, so the proper type and size of refrigeration unit is very important. Semco manufactures and installs industrial cooling systems designed to customer specification. The system chosen will provide the level of refrigeration required for the type of insulation that has been installed in the ship’s hold.
Cooling Systems Preserve Seafood in Clean Ice
The ice used to store the catch on fishing boats must be kept clean and preserved in such a way that it cannot contaminate other seafood. Human handling of fish may bring bacteria into the environment. Ready-made clean ice is available from Semco in addition to efficient, cost-saving icemaker units. Also available is a water filtration system to ensure that the ice being used to preserve the catch is kept clean and organism free.
Different Fish Require Different Cooling Units
Different kinds of methods are used to cool and store fish, depending on their size and individual qualities:
Small Fish – In many parts of the world, small fish such as sardines are considered a delicacy, but they are apt to spoil more easily than larger fish because they have fewer layers of protection. On the other hand, they cool faster and stay cool more easily when stored in a well-insulated container. A combination of ice and chilled sea water is effective for cooling down a fresh catch.
Medium-Sized Fish – Cod, salmon, mackerel and tilapia are all examples of medium-sized fish that are important to commercial fisherman because of their culinary popularity. They are not as prone to spoilage as small fish and they remain cool longer than large fish. Proper preservation requires that the surface area of the fish be completely covered by ice.
Large Fish – Due to their size, it is recommended that large fish such as tuna, halibut or mahi-mahi be gutted before cooling and flake ice, which cools faster than slush ice, be placed inside the bellies and around the outside of the fish.
Cooling Systems Preserve the Integrity of Seafood Companies
A seafood company’s good reputation depends upon the high quality of its products. Semco provides the refrigeration options that enable commercial vessels to bring fish directly from the ocean to the packing and transportation companies that will see the products delivered—still fresh and tasty—to markets and restaurants all over the world.