Data Loggers Preserve the Catch of the Day

In order to preserve its herring and salmon catch, Silver Bay Seafoods, an Alaska-based fish processor, relies on data loggers to monitor the temperature in the holding tanks of its commercial fishing vessels.

The commercial fishing industry is not for the faint of heart. Every year, commercial fishing is listed as one of the deadliest jobs. In Alaska, the risks are even higher due to inclement weather conditions, frigid waters, rogue waves, and icy decks.

A successful commercial fishing season means that fishermen not only have to combat these dangerous conditions, but also have to preserve their catch. At Silver Bay Seafoods, LLC, an Alaska-based fish processor, safeguarding the catch is critical. To preserve its herring and salmon catch, Silver Bay relies on HOBO data loggers to monitor temperatures conditions within the holding tanks. 

Wayne Unger, plant manager for Silver Bay Seafoods, manages the monitoring program. “Part of the fishing process is preserving and maintaining the quality of our catch,” he explains. "To maintain quality, we need to make sure that the holding tank’s temperatures are around 34 degrees Fahrenheit.”

To verify that temperature conditions in the tanks stay within Silver Bay’s threshold, Unger chose several Onset HOBO U14 LCD data loggers with temperature probes.

The HOBO U14 features an easy-to-read backlit LCD display that enables the fishermen to make immediate visual checks of the refrigerated sea water (RSW) temperatures.

“We have data loggers in all our vessels," says Unger. “It’s our way of verifying that the fish are being kept cold. The data we collect from the loggers is also kept on file with each delivery.”

To analyze the collected data, Unger and his team use HOBOware® software. HOBOware enables Unger to quickly and easily plot, analyze, and print data files.

“Using the loggers keeps everyone honest,” concludes Unger. “If we do have a problem, we are going to know because it shows up in the data. When you verify conditions in the holding tanks, you do a better job maintaining the system -- eliminating any concerns about quality.”