Every day, many thousands of tons of whitefish are caught and processed at factories on board large fishing trawlers. The fish undergo a handling process where only a few hours go by from the fish are caught and until they are washed, sorted, filleted, trimmed, packed in boxes and subsequently frozen for increased shelf life. Naturally, this is to ensure that the quality of every single fish is as high as possible when it finally ends up on the consumers’ dinner tables.
Within industrial fishing for whitefish, the processing of the fish begins shortly after they are caught in the net and brought on board. Many trawlers are equipped with a complete fish process line consisting of a factory plant where the whitefish can be processed on board so that the vessels can stay longer at sea before they must enter port to unload their catches.
On some vessels, the fish are frozen as whole fish before further processing, while others are almost sailing factories and can carry out many of the processes that otherwise take place at fish factories onshore. When processing takes place at sea, the first steps in the process are tempering, stunning and sticking. Next, the fish are passed on to soaking and washing, and for this purpose, our Fish Washer or Rotating Fish Washer are perfect equipment. The machines ensure that any kind of slime, fish scale, blood, sea foam is efficiently but still carefully washed off each fish. Subsequently, the fish’s heads are cut off after which they are sorted, cleaned and filleted. In this part of the process, the use of Filet Washer is recommended for thorough washing of the filleted fish and Fish Grinder, which quickly and easily grinds all heads and other remains from the fish. Some vessels have installed trimming lines where the fish are further processed. Then, the fish are sent for weighing, freezing and packing, and in this connection, we recommend the use of our One-in-All Machine, where you get a unique combination of a block knockout, box folder and block-in-box in one and the same machine. When the fish are frozen, taste, texture and freshness are maintained at a maximum level. During the freezing process, our Automatic Discharge System should be used in conjunction with a horizontal freezer. This gives both quick and safe freezing of the fish, and the crew avoids having to touch or lift the heavy blocks of fish, and there is no risk of dropping the block. Finally, the catch is palletized and is ready for pilotage when the fish trawler enters port.
Fishing for cod, halibut and other types of whitefish is a large industry with stringent demands for the process equipment on board the large fishing vessels. First, the stainless steel equipment must be able to withstand the hard wear that takes place in everyday life on board and sometimes over 300 days a year. In addition, there is a great demand for whitefish, which means that a process line for the fishing industry must be extremely efficient and reliable.
At Intech, we know everything about life on board fishing vessels, and we never compromise on the quality of our stainless steel equipment. Contact us and get valuable advice for your next complete fish factory or stand-alone machine or equipment for a fish process line.