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Fishing Vessel Refrigeration Training Coming to Homer on March 27


Homer, Alaska—Most Alaska fishermen know that top-quality seafood—and top prices for their catch—begins with properly chilling their harvest aboard their vessels.

As the number of commercial fishermen who refrigerate their catch at sea continues to increase, so too has their need to keep these complicated systems in good repair.

A training workshop aimed at helping fishermen understand, troubleshoot and maintain their onboard refrigeration systems will take place in Homer on March 27, 2012, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Kachemak Gear Shed/Redden Marine, located on East End Road.

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP) and Integrated Marine Systems (IMS), Inc., are offering the workshop. This is the second time since 2009 that MAP and IMS have brought this popular training workshop to Homer.

Since 2005, MAP and IMS have trained more than 300 Alaska fishermen in the basics of marine refrigeration—training that has decreased downtime and increased fishermen's abilities to troubleshoot minor problems and communicate with technicians onshore.

The one-day workshop also will discuss refrigeration theory, system winterization, controller programming, and system sizing. Participants will use a stand-alone marine refrigeration unit for hands-on training.

The cost of the workshop is $200, and includes a refrigeration manual. Preregistration is required by March 22, and space is limited. To register online, please visit www.marineadvisory.org. For questions, contact Torie Baker at the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program in Cordova, torie.baker@alaska.edu, toll-free at 888-788-6333.

MAP started its refrigeration training program to fill the growing need for hands-on training for fishermen seeking to better maintain their equipment and do basic troubleshooting while at sea. Workshops are always full. In 2011, more than 60 skippers and crew took the eight-hour course. In post-workshop evaluations, participants gave the training high marks.

Said one Petersburg fisherman, "I've been fishing for over 35 years, and this class has finally given me the answers I need to run and troubleshoot one of the most important and mysterious pieces of equipment on my boat."

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