The Importance of Tank Chillers for the Seafood Industry

Energy star commercial fishing boat tank chiller.

Tank chillers are extremely important in the fishing and seafood industry. They can be found on boats, on docks, and in restaurants or local fish markets. Seafood needs to be stored properly to ensure freshness. Cold water is key when harvesting oysters in particular, and proper storage after harvesting can spell the difference between mollusks that are safe for consumption and those that could pose a danger. 

A tank chiller is vital for controlling the water temperature for anything from oyster farming to lobster tanks, both on and off land. These chillers need to be properly maintained, inspected and repaired as needed, but not every company offers this specialty service. You need a refrigeration company that specializes in oyster and lobster tank chillers for the marine and food/beverage industries to ensure quality and freshness all year round. This specialty should include knowledge of water filtration for tanks, proper design and build of tank chillers, ice dispensers, and more.

Ice and Water Temperature for Tank Chillers

It’s simple: the cooler the water where your oysters are being farmed, the better your harvest will be. Even a few degrees too warm can harm the oyster population. Oysters happen to be filter feeders, extracting nutrients from the water around them. Cold water is rich in nutrients and oxygen, which creates the optimal conditions for phytoplankton, which is mainly what oysters eat.  

Energy star commercial fishing boat tank chiller.

Lobsters, too, need cold water to thrive. Because their bodily processes are regulated by the surrounding water temperature, they prefer a thermal range between 54 and 64°F. To maintain these temperatures after harvest, you can’t just stick them in a fridge. You need the right kind of chiller that will maintain the perfect temperature. You also need ice, but not just any kind. 

Special types of ice are used to preserve fresh caught oysters, lobsters, and fish, used by commercial fishermen, distributors, and seafood processors to ensure the product is sustainable throughout all phases, from harvest and storage to sale and consumption. Different types of ice are needed for different types of seafood storage, such as flakes and chips.

To complement that, you need the right kind of ice machines that are designed to make different cube styles. For example, flake ice is typically used at every step of the seafood supply chain and is vastly preferred over traditional cubed or crushed ice, as it offers quicker cooling with more surface area to ensure uniform cooling. 

In conjunction with tank chillers and ice, you need the proper water temperature to:

  •     Cool caught fish instantly to preserve peak freshness.
  •     Maintain temperature and quality of fish in fishing vessel holds, at the dock or out at sea.
  •     Maintain temperature of fish carts for distribution and transport.
  •     Maintain temperature for displays of fish for wholesale and retail distribution.

Many professionals within the seafood industry can benefit from regular maintenance of their seafood chillers. Included in this are commercial fishermen out at sea to individual vendors at seafood markets and festivals.

Speaking of festivals, the Rhode Island Seafood Festival is coming up on September 7 and 8 in Providence, while the Charlestown Seafood Festival is coming up on August 2, 3, and 4. Make sure your chillers are in optimal working condition and that you’re stocked up on the right kind of ice!

Schedule Your Tank Chiller Install and Maintenance Today 

Schedule your customized tank chiller consultation now when you contact us at 401-487-5770 or complete our online form. We design, build, and maintain chillers that control water temperature with filtration systems for anything from oyster to lobster farming.

Specializing in marine electrical and refrigeration, we service and install tank chiller systems on boats. This includes services that include custom system design, installation, and regular maintenance. By extension, we work with food and beverage manufacturers to integrate specialized refrigeration solutions to enhance seafood product safety and quality.