UAF offering marine refrigeration operator class

Mar 10, 2016

Just in time for the summer fishing season, and with a little time left before some bay processors stop buying dry fish, the Bristol Bay campus is offering a marine refrigeration system operator class.

A refrigerated seawater system is pictured in this photo.
Credit Courtesy of BBRSDA

At least one Bristol Bay processor - Icicle - has announced plans to require all of its fishermen to ice fish in two years, and an upcoming course at the Bristol Bay campus is one opportunity to get ready for that change, and the possibility that others will follow suit.

Next week, the campus is offering a marine refrigeration system operator class.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program Agent Gabe Dunham said there are several reasons for Bristol Bay fishermen to take the class.

“It makes a lot of sense to understand the mechanical aspects of the boat that you’re putting your life and your economic livelihood in the hands of. It’s great to know how to diagnose a problem with your refrigeration system, but also equally as importantly, how to discern the various components of that system if you have to make a call to somebody else to help you fix it," Dunham said. "The other thing that’s really important in terms of understanding that system is the safety standpoint. Leaking refrigerant can present a hazard to people that are on the same vessel and when you’ve got a number of crew members sharing the same space as that piece of equipment you want to make sure it’s up to snuff and not causing a potential safety hazard.”

The course includes safety, system components, information on how refrigeration systems work, and basic maintenance information and troubleshooting. Dunham said instructor Doug Cannon taught that material here previously.

“Doug has been in the refrigeration industry for a long time," he said. "He’s recently sort of branched out and created his own business, in the instruction area, and he’s done one class up here before and it’s been very successful and I’ve got some high quality feedback on the content of his course.”

The one-credit course runs Monday through Thursday next week. Travel funding is available.