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. Bacterial growth begins immediately after harvest, multiplying rapidly at temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit – affecting taste, color and odor. Chilling fish quickly at the point of harvest to 32 degrees F reduces bacterial growth to nil. Chilling during this critical initial time can add days of shelf life at processing and retail facilities, providing cold temperatures are maintained throughout the harvesting, processing, transport and retail cycle.

Changing Market

The growing understanding of the relationship between diet and health has made natural and organic products the most dynamic area of the retail food industry. Sustained double-digit annual growth has brought this sector to a total of $25 billion plus in retail sales revenue. Mainstream supermarkets are pressed by large specialists, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, who have capitalized on this trend. Natural and organic meat and seafood are the fastest growing segments of this market. The food industry is striving to apply the needed technology and logistical expertise to meet this quickly-expanding market demand.

Deliver Quality – Best Handling Practices Yield More Value

7.5-ton RSW Units in Production for Bristol Bay, Alaska Fleet

Particularly in the seafood industry, the consumer’s experience depends on maintaining quality – from the moment a fish is caught all the way through the supply chain to the meal where it is consumed. The fisherman establishes the first link in the cold chain with judicious care and handling. Quality lost in the first few hours can never be recovered and the consumer’s experience needs to be a good one in order for fishermen and the rest of the industry to succeed. Some fishermen and processors have teamed up, making a mutual commitment to onboard chilling and to use best handling practices – through the tender delivery system – through the processing plant – to the product their processor offers to the customer. These processors pay more to the fishermen and attract customers that are willing to pay more for better quality. They also understand the consumer-buying dynamic of never delivering product that the consumer finds to be disappointing. They only offer seafood of top quality in order to keep consumer loyalty.

Bristol Bay Alaska – An Example of IMS Solving the Problem

“We installed an IMS 7.5 hydraulic RSW system in 2006. Now I am able to consistently deliver top quality product and enjoy the benefits that come with owning a reliable system!” Bristol Bay / Fran Kaul, F/V Chaloupe

Bristol Bay is home to the largest run of sockeye salmon in the world. Regulations for the Bristol Bay gillnet fleet require that permitted fishing vessels not exceed 32’ in length. The season is extremely short – usually only one month total with limited openings during that time. In order to provide a way for fishermen to chill their fish onboard and earn more for their catch from the local processors, IMS developed two RSW units to fit into the limited space on these boats; a self-contained 7.5-ton and a self-contained 6-ton RSW unit. These units are available in different drive options to provide additional installation flexibility.

IMS Delivers Solutions That Mean You Deliver Quality

The people at IMS have a deep commitment to the food industry and a desire to help it improve. Additionally, we know that our company success is proportionate directly to the success of our customers. IMS constantly strives to develop new products and systems that allow for delivery of improved quality throughout the cold chain. When presented with challenges, the process of engineering solutions for our customers teaches us more about overall industry needs – resulting in the continued refinement of our products.

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