Container type
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The fish is either transported in refrigerated containers (reefers) or insulated containers as specified by the client (fishing vessel).  Reefers are powered externally while on the quayside or container vessel during transit and the internal temperature is monitored throughout the journey. Non refrigerated containers however, are solely reliant on the cooling capacity of the ice in the fish tubs to maintain the right temperature.

Studies using temperature loggers have been used to compare the temperature inside these two container types. These studies show that in general reefers and non refrigerated containers maintain an ambient temperature of between 2-4ºC.  The difference is however that non-refrigerated containers are not monitored throughout their journey and on occasion the temperature has risen unnoticed until the container is opened at the market.  There is naturally more danger of this happening in the warmer months of the year, when the container may lie in full sun for many days.  In this situation all ice has melted by the time the container is unloaded at the market and the fish is of poor quality despite good handling and packing earlier on the fishing vessel. This however only happens on rare occasions, which makes it tempting for the vessel owner to opt for the less expensive alternative.  Research though suggest that higher prices can be obtained by choosing the reefers.


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