Refrigeration Solutions from IMS for Alaska, West Coast, Gulf, and Northeast Markets

Markets Served

Alaska

Due to the principals’ early experience as commercial fishermen in Alaska, the first products to be developed keyed in filling the needs of that market. For instance, IMS provides physically small self-contained refrigeration units designed to fit into the smaller vessels that fish Bristol Bay – allowing those fishermen to avoid the hassle, time and cost of handling ice, yet still earn higher prices by delivering fish chilled with RSW systems. Statewide, boats of all sizes carry IMS RSW systems. Alaska processors were among the first to benefit from the FastFreeze portable tunnel production freezer, with its ability to streamline production, reduce costs and provide superior product by freezing it quickly.

West Coast

For West Coast tuna, there is a special need to chill or freeze immediately upon harvest due to their warm body temperatures. IMS developed multiple solutions, one being the Hatch Mount Blast Freezer that drops in for seasonal conversions – allowing tuna fishermen to work multiple fisheries. Hand-caught troll salmon, with special care in handling and onboard brine and blast freezing products from IMS have allowed these fishermen to develop a loyal market directly to high-end consumers. West Coast processors use IMS RSW for chilling seafood – from holding oysters to cooling cooked crab. The FastFreeze tunnel production freezers are used for a variety of fish, including tuna, black cod and salmon that are sold to buyers in the US and Japan.

Gulf of Mexico

In the warm climate and waters found in the Gulf of Mexico, shrimp fishermen are presented with the challenge of delivering top quality to distinguish their product from inexpensive farmed imports. Systems developed by IMS allow shrimpers to catch, process, package and freeze their shrimp onboard – avoiding the deterioration caused when the shrimp warm up after they are harvested. Shrimp processed and flash frozen onboard aren’t subjected to the unstable temperatures or bruising that can be caused by using most types of ice. No time is lost delivering to onshore processors and the shrimp aren’t bruised by rough handling during product transfer. The shrimpers can sell their flash frozen-at-sea shrimp directly to consumers and specialty retailers across the US, getting better prices than the local market will pay.

Northeast

The Northeast markets for fish, crab, scallops and lobster are served by IMS in a variety of ways. Onboard live aquatic systems for lobster and crab are proven successful at achieving zero dead loss. Fishermen often travel great distances to harvest their catch and these live holding systems allow them to stay on the fishing grounds longer. In processing plants, product can be held alive and healthy for scheduled shipments to distant markets. The scallop industry utilizes chilling systems for holding product until it can be processed and frozen – both onboard boats and at onshore processing plants with IMS equipment.

Our Story

  • The Company

    Integrated Marine Systems (IMS) design and manufacturing facility was originally located in the Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven in Washington State but relocated to Seattle in 2013. With a background in commercial fishing in Alaska, the principals at IMS at first focused on designing and manufacturing marine refrigeration equipment tailored for that market. The company introduced its first product, the Port Townsend HydroChiller, in 1989.

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  • Design, Manufacturing & Parts

    IMS’s penchant for integration and innovation was apparent from the start. Their RSW (refrigerated seawater) systems are one-third the size of competitor’s systems, yet drive temperatures down faster. The RSW systems from IMS come as a self-contained unit that normally installs in a fraction of the usual time. They are easier to operate and to service than competing products, providing a long service life due to their durable components.

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  • Cold Chain Solutions

    The term “cold chain” is used to describe the importance of maintaining an unbroken cold environment from the point of harvest to the consumer. Looking at studies conducted by seafood scientists, they confirm that early chilling is essential to maintaining the quality and shelf life of seafood.

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  • Contractor / Employment Opportunities

    IMS always seeks to increase support for our customers. There are opportunities for contractors who have skills and familiarity with working on and around boats. A Freon® certification card is required. Training/experience with marine refrigeration installation and repair is necessary. We sometimes have opportunities to participate in an apprenticeship program at our factory in Seattle Washington.

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From Happy Customers

The 15-ton diesel-drive RSW that I bought from IMS paid for itself in the first year. The unit chills down fast. I have a 30,000 lbs. fish hold and the system brought it down 6 degrees an hour. I'm really satisfied with the both the unit and the service from IMS. But I've never had much of a problem - the unit pretty much runs itself!”

"Eddie" Pestrikoff, Owner, F/V Melina

After looking at the albacore in the hold, I was amazed at how good the color was - bright blue. The IMS Hatch Mount Blast Freezer is a slick piece of equipment. It works great. The buyer's inspector stated that the blast frozen fish in my hold were the finest fish he had seen all year.”

Tony Jones, F/V Dreamboat Annie

The 18-ton electric RSW from IMS has performed flawlessly for the past three years. There's been no maintenance; I've just changed out the zincs and it has a good screening system. The unit brings temperatures down fast, with more than enough refrigeration for the 55,000 lb. hold. I am very pleased!”

Mark Edens, Owner, F/V Lady Kay

IMS's chiller is such a quality system. I congratulate myself every summer for making the investment. You should be justifiably proud of the system you have designed and the company you have built. It is a pleasure doing business with you!”

Ross Kendall, Set Net Site

When we ordered the IMS 50-ton deck mount unit, we were under the gun ... It was amazing ... we had plenty of time to learn it, run it and test it. Without IMS, we would not have made our charter.”

Cathy Hansen, manager, F/V McKinley

With a premium paid for refrigerated fish, I recouped my investment within the first year. Ever since then, it's just been money in my pocket.”

Joe Hinton, F/V Menusa

'Never bought fish this cold,' stated the Japanese broker when purchasing -40 degree F blast frozen albacore from the F/V Evolution. John equipped his tanked vessel with an IMS Hatch Mount Blast Freezer for easy seasonal conversion to the albacore fishery. When buying John's albacore, the Japanese broker said he was not used to buying fish that cold from this coast. He ordered a special trailer to hold them since they were so cold. Referring to his new blast freezer, John said, 'IMS is great. When you get good equipment, then you have what it takes to meet market demand.'"

Jon McMillan, Owner & Skipper, F/V Evolution

I like the IMS unit because it's so compact and I installed it myself. I do not believe anybody chills water down as fast as I can...”

Jerry Hatton, F/V Primo Lai

I've only got good things to say about the IMS RSW system I use for brine-freezing albacore. It's compact enough to fit on my boat and I remove it at the end of the season. I turn it on and turn it off ... that's all I do. It's easy to operate, does all that IMS said it would and more! There's enough to worry about with catching fish... don't need to worry about freezin' 'em!”

Kris Samuelson, F/V Dos Ninas

Switching to all-RSW allowed us to produce higher quality fish and access new markets not available to fish that haven't been chilled at point of harvest. The single-most important thing the fisherman can do to maintain quality of the fish is to chill at the point of harvest.”

John Lowrance, Owner, Leader Creek Fisheries

IMS equipment has allowed me to deliver top product at a premium price. I have a re-newed outlook on the Louisiana Gulf fishing industry.”

Lance Nacio, Owner, F/V Anna Marie

Joe Wabey chose a 60-ton IMS RSW system. "The system worked like a dream, it's been flawless. Made our summer great. High praise for IMS and their equipment.”

Joe Wabey, Owner, F/V Arctic Eagle

I am lovin' my IMS unit. It's going on eight years now and there's been nothing to do but change belts and impellers. I fish when and where I want and am not tied to a tender. My friends have bought IMS units and they're happy too. It has only taken a few fishing season's to pay for itself and now I'm enjoying the extra money it generates for me.”

Mark Hofstad, F/V Norsemen

The core temperatures on the filets were consistent. From a production standpoint, the FastFreeze did everything I needed. Met our freezing needs and produced a high-quality product.”

Mike Briski, Production Manager, Peter Pan Seafoods Port Moller Plant

IMS refer systems have a proven history. I've used them before - they're 'Plug and Play'. They've all worked good. Nothing I've had to worry about.”

Ray Wadsworth, F/V Liahona

My titanium chiller system from IMS works great! We are able to fish offshore, stay on the grounds longer and deliver outstanding quality lobster. Our self-contained refrigeration system was easy to install - and is a breeze to operate - saving us time and money. I originally bought from another vendor in New England, thinking it might be better to buy local for better service. But I was wrong. When I later bought a system from IMS, the customer service was much better: heads above the service you generally find today anywhere. The product was also better: built as a compact and easy-to-use unit. My first product had not been well-integrated into the boat.”

Robert Colbert, F/V Miss Julie

IMS is local and well-known. Their systems are reliable and maintenance-free - which is a big issue for me. I know that if I do need parts, I'll get fast delivery. Other vendors have problems with that!”

Ron Harper, F/V Pacific Gem

It's easy to install. The system can be retrofitted in an existing boat in about four days. It's really compact and it makes refrigeration simple.”

Paolo Jurkovich, F/V Branko J

The 7.5-ton RSW system has allowed us to maximize value of our fish since 2004 when it was installed. The IMS refrigeration system allows us to earn more and be proud to deliver a high quality product.”

Ray Honea, Crewman, F/V Balrog

After looking at the albacore in the hold, I was amazed at how good the color was - bright blue. The IMS Hatch Mount Blast Freezer is a slick piece of equipment. It works great. The buyer's inspector stated that the blast frozen fish in my hold were the finest fish he had seen all year.”

Dave Fee, F/V Star Polaris