Fishermen based in Morro Bay, California, who normally use block ice, now have the benefits of flake ice for their salmon fishing season. A North Star Model 60 flake ice maker provides ice for use at the dock and for top-icing fish on board.
The Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen's Organization (MBCFO) had been pushing for the installation as part of the ongoing revitalization of Morro Bay's fishing port.
Pam Daniels, Business Manager of the MBCFO, says: "We were trying to get away from using block ice and provide a better service to the local fishing industry by providing clean, dry, flake ice."
"The North Star ice has more consistent quality and texture, and better handling characteristics than the other types of ice."
The new icing system allows fish to be shipped further and help Morro Bay's fishermen develop a broader customer base. It will also be used to pack larger finfish prior to shipping to local restaurants.
The plant comprises of a North Star Model 60 stainless steel flake ice maker, an SMR-2000 modular ice rake and storage bin and an ice delivery system. The North Star plant can make 18 tons of ice a day and store up to 32 tons at a constant 20 deg F. Ice can be delivered to totes or directly to fishing boats at the rate of a quarter ton an hour.
TRJ Refrigeration, of Oxnard, California, installed the system. The company has been constructing ice plants throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico for 30 years. Mike Reutter of TRJ Refrigeration says the North Star plant is totally automatted and PLC controlled.
He says: "It is essentially a push-button system. As the ice is made, it drops into a storage bin fitted with an ice rake which automatically levels the ice in the bin. When ice is needed, you just push the start button and ice is delivered to the specified location."
During the process of icing on board and unloading fish at the end of a trip, the consistency of North Star flake ice is said to be more manageable since it is easier to break up when necessary.
Mark Tognazzini, a fisherman and Vice President of the MBCFO, who uses the ice to belly ice and layer ice troll-caught salmon, says: "North Star ice is easy to work with even after days in my hold."
Source Credit: http://www.intrafish.com/fisheries/581509/flake-ice-ready-for-salmon-season
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