The SA Southern Zone fishing season opened on 1 October at full noise, with fishers keen to access the high beach prices prevailing during China National Day holidays, knowing they can’t last for long.
The redeveloped Mt Gambier facility was in the thick of it. Technical Manager Richard Hendry reports:
Since the end of last season, we have been working hard to improve the cold chain infrastructure in this region, to address last year’s early season quality issues. The factory at Mount Gambier has been fully insulated, and we have added an insulated loading bay, to avoid hot dry air ingress into the factory when lobsters are received. So far the conditions within the factory have sat at a constant 10-12 degrees with a high humidity, despite some warm dry ambient conditions outside. We have also, in collaboration with Thermoking NZ, modified the chiller units in all the trucks, to allow a high humidity environment and cool temperature during lobster transfers. All of this work has contributed to a much less stressful environment for air exposed fish.
Grant Walker (NZ Operations Manager) and Kimio Nagayama (Christchurch Factory Manager) spent the first week of the season at the Mount Gambier factory, to reinforce the procedures followed in New Zealand, and to introduce our database system which allows a more robust method of tracking quality by boat/consignment/flight etc.
Initial results from this region to date have shown improvement compared with the same period last year, over higher volumes.