SMALL COUNTRY LIKE MALDIVES IS FAR AHEAD SRI LANKA IN FISHING INDUSTRY LESSONS TO  LEARN-Part 2
Posted on November 13th, 2017

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

SUPPLY OF  MOTHER VESSELS  TO COLLECT AND STORE THE FISH  CAUGHT BY THE MULTI DAY LONG LINE BOATS AND TRANSPORT TO SHORE IN SRI LANKA

Purpose

In the light of GSP concessions granted to Sri Lanka by European Union,Sri Lanka expects a boom in Fishing Industry .Therefore the country needs to improve fish collecting method with enhanced quality of fish to be exported .

Current practice by fishermen in Sri Lanka where multiday vessels goes out to sea for a period of over 2-3 weeks to catch fish such as tuna ,store them in Ice boxes and transport back to the harbour .Most of the owners carry large amount of ice in holds and depend on the low temperature to be maintained in the fish holds with Ice .In the event of ice being melted harvest get rotten and high percentage of catch may have to disposed. Salt stcoks maintained on board will be used to make dry fish ,using the catch reaching the state of losing the freshness suitable for human consumption .

Over 21 days are spent by the fishermen in their multi-day boats. Once they leave the shore due to slow speed  ( 7-8 knots) of the boats to reach catchment  areas .They tend to spend 7days to sail to location, seven days to catch and another seven days to reach home ,They carry large amount of water ,fuel and ice in the boat thus depriving the fishermen in storing more fish.

Notes

Sri Lankan fishermen will carry ice made out of fresh water.

This can only bring down the fish temperature to + 2 deg C at it’s best.

Fresh water ice temperature at best will be at -1deg C.

Fresh water ice will remove heat from fish faster as it melts faster, it will melt by removing heat.

At this temperature keeping fish for more than 4~5 days will not maintain fish quality.

If properly bleeding and flushing are done and remove GUT and Gill and put in proper ratio they can maintain Tuna for about 7 days. But fishermen must remove water from melted ice from fish box or fish hold and keep adding fresh ice sufficiently to maintain quality of fish and temperature constant, variation of temperature will deteriorate fish condition.

Sea water Ice can bring down fish back bone temperature to about – 1 degree.

At this temperature fish will stay in in good condition for 10 days

If proper bleeding is done and remove GUT and Gill and put in proper ratio they can maintain Tuna for about 10 days. But fishermen must remove water from melted ice from fish box or fish hold and keep adding fresh ice sufficiently to maintain quality of fish and temperature constant, variation of temperature will deteriorate fish condition

Sea water ice will remove heat from fish slower than fresh water ice as it melts slower, it also will melt by removing heat. Due to density it takes more energy and longer time to freeze too, it will take longer time than fresh water ice to melt..

Sea water ice temperature at best will be – 4 deg C.

At this temperature fish will stay in in good condition for 8~10 days.

If properly bleeding is done and flush the blood circuit of the fish with fresh clean sea water or fresh water and remove GUT and Gill they can maintain Tuna for about 10 days. But fishermen continuously must drain water from molten from fish box and keep adding fresh ice sufficiently to maintain quality of fish and temperature constant, variation of temperature will deteriorate fish condition.

For flushing boats must carry a pressure pump with nozzle fixed to a hose to inject water into the water into the blood veins of the fish.

The mother vessel which is  proposed shall have an efficient Refrigerated Sea Water system. Refrigerated sea water must be adjusted to cool to – 4 degrees C

If one try to bring temperature below – 2 deg C, water in the sea water will start freezing inside the fish forming crystal like ice drops that will spoil the tuna fish. In fresh water it will be more.

Tuna fish of Ä” grade chilled to 0 ~ 2 deg C, within first 4 day if landed on shore can be consumed as Shashimi.

If require to bring temperature lower than – 2 deg C  one must freeze fish below- 12 deg C at back bone straight, best will be to bring down the temperature to – 14~14.7 degrees. This can be achieved only by means of brine freezing or blast freezing. After that immediately this fish must be stowed in cold room or refrigerated fish hold and achieve -18 deg C or below as a stowage temperature. Best stowage temperature for this kind of product will be between -20 – 25 deg C. if lower than that fish will become too dry and loose fresh taste when thawed, or become light when weigh for sale.

Next is Super blast freezing, as fish is caught to bring temperature below – 55 degree C and stow at – 60 degrees to consume as Shashimi, or sell to Japan.

The mother vessel  proposed shall have an efficient Refrigerated Sea Water system. Refrigerated sea water must be adjusted to cool to – 4 degrees C. Fish from the catcher boats to be preserved as explained above ( instantly kill the fish by hitting the brain spot on the head with a wooden hammer of batten not to allow the fish to struggle due to suffocation, remove gut and gill and put in ice in proper ratio 1 kilo fish to 1.5 kilo ice and maintain ice properly and until deliver to the mother vessel within 4~5 days, as soon as deliver to the mother vessel, the people on immediately put the fish pre chilled refrigerated sea water tanks in proper ratio -3 ~ 4 deg C temperature sea water maintain till the fish is lands on shore for butchering and loining them and deliver to the consumers with ice, if delivery will take longer than 1 day add packs of 100 grams of gel ice to each 1 kilo of normal ice with 1 kilo chilled fish

1)         If fishermen can afford you can fix slurry ice machine or horizontal drum slice ice (flake ice) machine on the catcher boats. There are small units that can produce 3 tons of ice of sea water daily consuming only  10 KW per hour,. Buy one or two of them from Korea, bring to Colombo open up and copy and start producing same in Sri Lanka. They use very simple components in those machines. Like 8 KW hermetic refrigeration compressor (like what you have in a domestic fridge in the houses), one small condenser receiver and a shell and tube chillier and two small pumps and small electronic controls. A simple slurry ice machine for catcher boats

2          recommend to buy a 1200 GT second hand reefer vessel built with 1 hold (250 Cubic meter) super freezing to stow and carry fish in 55 ~ 60 degrees C temperature for shashimi grade of tuna fish. Other two holds to maintain at -18 ~ 25 deg C. ( to carry material for canning or domestic use to cook curry or make other eatables) this fish will fetch at present 1800 ~2000 USD per ton if you maintain quality and sell to canneries in Bangkok as frozen light meat tuna for canning.

This vessel will have capability to carry 400 tons of fuel, 150 tons of fresh water, lot of space for provisions.

Suggest to install a 50 ton Sliced Ice (Flake ice) or Tube ice fresh water/sea water on shore with a 200 ton ice storage.

Suggest to build two blast freezers on board the 1200 ton vessel. 1 for super freezing,1 for normal blast freezing. Select a ship that has enough refrigeration capacity to operate blast freezers in her, if not install one additional compressor to cater for blast freezing.

Put a good quality controller (Marine Biologist) and an experienced fish grader on the 1200 Gt ship.

Produce Sliced ice or tube ice two full load for one hold on shore in the above said ice plant onshore. Produce ice for full store capacity prepare and put ice in normal gunny bags what we use now (not hessian cloth bags) and load and stow in one of the holds other than the super freeze hold.

The vessels of this kind will have a hospital room with lot of facilities on board, employ a doctor to stay on the ship to treat the sick in the hospital room of the vessel. Most of the vessels will have lot of utensils and other requirement for sick in the hospital room and ship’s medical chest to treat the sick crew. If any crew is sick on any vessel transfer his to the big vessel for treatment. If hospitalization is require transfer him to commuter boat and send to shore for further treatment.

Send and keep the 1200 GT vessel in the fishing ground and broadcast her GPS position to let the catcher boats to track her. Keep her fully stocked all what will require by the fishermen, provisions and fresh water fuel oil and ice, medicine and all else to supply to the fishermen. .

Let the catcher boats come to the 1200 GT vessel, deliver their catch once they have enough fish to deliver. The operator of the mother vessel and 1200 GT vessel can pay cash to fishermen buy and process on board if they wish..

For fresh fish trade you may put insulated FRP boxes stow ice and send to shore. On shore you can have a small EU approved packing facility for fish, you can employ tuna butchers who are experts to cut and loin fish, you process and vacuum pack them in sallow fin bags of about 125 micron thick put them in Styrofoam or Regiform boxes with ice and gel ice and export to Europe.

Through the grader and quality controller on board select A and B grade fish either freeze them to -55 deg C and stow them in ships super freezing fish hold or put them in above said Insulated FRP box with ice and transfer to mother vessel  and send to Colombo every week to export to EU after processing. The fish will fetch a price between 15/= to 20/= USD per Kg depending on the quality. Fish catcher boat people and people on 1200 GT ship and commuting mother vessels must be trained and teach them to maintain fish as explained above.

This way Sri Lanka can benefit very well from the tuna fish resources

1) A” grade fish in ice in FRP boxes to land every week.

2) A/B” grade fish to super freeze stow in the freezer hold of 1200 GT vessel, when full bring the ship to port to ship in super freeze transport containers (FCL or TEU). Or ship them on a Reefer Carrier.

3) Normal frozen fish when the ship’s  holds are full bring the ship to port transfer into reefer containers (FCL or TEU) or transfer into a carrier and export.

4) C” grade fish lowest quality fish transfer to the commuter mother vessel’s RSW tanks and send to the fish market for sale.

All spoiled fishes sell to make fish meal producers to make fish meal, this also fetches about 800/= Per ton.

Next, introduce pole and line fishing  .We  have enormous lot of bait fish around Sri Lankan waters Anchovies (Haalu Messa)  one of the fishes use as live bait for skipjack and tuna fishing. Or can aqua culture milk fish on shore to sell to the fishermen to use as live bait.

World catch is 3,500,000 tons year. Maldives catch about 125,000 tons and export as frozen fish about 55,000 tons a year. MIfco ( Maldivian fishing Company) 75,000 ton of skipjack and tuna a year were caught. And also produced and exported 40 TEU of canned tuna to European union every month. We had about 1100 Sri Lankan beautiful ladies in our employment in the cannery.

Maldives has only 30,000 fishermen and 6000 fishing boats.

Sri Lanka has 4,000,000 fishermen and 250,000 fishing boats.

Maldives earn close to 800 million dollars from fish exports.

Ministry of Fishery and Aquatic Resources and Ceylon Fishery Corporation intends to find a long lasting solution to assist the fishermen by deploying  Fish  Collector Vessels ( Mother vessels )  to facilitate the Multi Day Long Line Boats to store their catch at large thus enabling the fishermen to save time and energy to invest on enhancing the productivity thereby boosting the profitability along with an easy life at sea.

The proposal detailed below provides the methodology to implement the program.

Proposed Fish collector ( mother ) vessel shall carry sufficient amount of fresh water fuel and Ice an ice making machine and make them available to fishermen and be equipped with first aid and medicines and also with communication system to contact the shore and the navy in case of an emergency..

Number of boats the proposed mother vessel will serve is important to know  that there are hundreds of boats out there to get the services of the facility proposed.

In the event of a seriously sick fisherman on board fishing boat ,emergency medical attention shall also be provided and transport the sick person back to shore by the mother vessel.

Current practice incurs a considerable amount of money unnecessarily on fuel, other consumables, wear & tare and also results in losing their precious time that could have invested in maximizing the productivity at sea.

A separate company   with equity allocated to each party depending on financial and other type of input shall be formed

A Maldivian Company which has extensive experience in Fish Collecting and processing has also expressed their willingness to provide expert knowledge and join the Joint Venture as the Operator.

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

One Response to “SMALL COUNTRY LIKE MALDIVES IS FAR AHEAD SRI LANKA IN FISHING INDUSTRY LESSONS TO  LEARN-Part 2”

  1. Senerath Says:

    WHy not leave the fish alone and catch Sri lankan and Maldivian politicians instead ? No neeed to immerse in ice, feed the fish.

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