Fish Radio
May 14, 2013

Shipping seafood

Shipping seafood

Shipping technology preserves fresh fish for more than a month

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Keeping fish fresh for over a month. More on new fuel cell technology after this –

 Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at

 Find out who’s catching all that seafood and their favorite recipes at a new micro site from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute – find it at

 Van loads of fresh salmon from Chile are being landed on both US coasts and elsewhere after a month or more at sea. How can that be?  By using fuel cell technology in a new way.

Cut: Which usually is a power generating device – it’s powered by oxygen. And we actually take that capability and we take the oxygen out of a palletized plastic wrapped container of fish and using the fuel cell, reduce the oxygen levels in the pallet to less than 200 parts per million. So we basically cause the fish to go dormant and basically stop their natural shelf life projection. 2

Mark Barnekow is CEO of California-based Global Fresh Foods. The new patented technology creates and maintains an all natural controlled shipping atmosphere in each pallet of fish.

Cut: Basically we take a ton of fish and we wrap it in plastic and apply the gases and the technology at the pallet level. So that all gets done at the processing plant before it even gets loaded on the truck. So there is no retro fitting or technology that needs to be applied at the truck level. We just need the right temperature. 15

So far Global Fresh has delivered 33 fresh fish shipments of salmon, tilapia and barramundi to the US, Japan and has gotten the ok for Europe.

Cut: Today shipping from Chile to the East and West Coasts of the US.  Throughout that shipment our fuel cell wakes up every 10 minutes and reads the atmosphere situation and if it detects the oxygen levels have risen, it actually scavenges the oxygen so it keeps the level low. 5

The company also is testing its technology on tuna and shelled species also are in the works. Barnekow says the new system fits with their green shipping philosophy.

Cut: One of the main premises behind this company and technology is that this is a green approach, it’s a sustainable approach. As everyone recognizes, a lot of the seafood that is shipped around the world comes from long distance destinations is coming in as air freight and in Styrofoam. So thei technology allows us not only to not use airfreight, which is the dirtiest form of transportation, and instead use ocean shipping and reduce the CO2 emissions. And we are also using recyclable cardboard boxes in shipping fresh product instead of using Styrofoam which ends up in landfills and is difficult and impossible to recycle. 12

Global Fresh views Alaska as a great launching point to get fish to Japan and throughout Asia, Barnekow says.  The more remote the region, the more value its shipping can provide.

Cut: What our technology does is allows you to maintain that freshness so you can maintain the value. I think that is one of the key points behind our technology. You can maintain you price and your profits at a higher level by applying a technology like this and keeping your fish fresh. 24

Barnekow says he is eager to establish working relationships with Alaskan companies.

Cut: We’re ready to work with Alaska whenever you guys are ready.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 103 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.