Ice is the accepted method of keeping fish fresh while a fishing vessel is at sea and the icemaker is as vital a piece of equipment as the engine or the winch. All the same, ice is bulky and cumbersome. A box of groundfish is inevitably going to be 10-15%, and for species such as redfish the proportion rises to 20%. A huge amount of energy and resources go into producing that's going to turn back into water in a few days.

The alternative that Skaginn 3X has made available, with precise chilling and subsequent storage at a set temperature, utilises each fish as the bodily fluids themselves become the refrigerating medium.

There's no ice, and since Sub-Chilling was first installed on Fisk Seafood's trawler Málmey in 2014, this approach has proved itself, according to Skaginn 3X's Bylgja Pálsdóttir.

Málmey was followed by Brim's (formerly HB Grandi) trawlers Engey, Akurey and Viðey, and by Fisk Seafood's Drangey.

Sub-Chilling ensures that all of the flavour and nutrients of the fish are locked in as quickly as possible, optimising product freshness and quality. The process also precludes the development of large ice crystals in the fillet, which can lead to reduced quality.

"The benefits of Sub-Chilling don't end when a trawler docks to land its catch," she said.

"This approach offers seafood companies opportunities to increase flexibility and cost-efficiency in onward transport, as no ice means that each shipment can comprise more fish, while Sub-Chilling also extends shelf-life, allowing many supply chains to dispense with expensive airfreight."

Sub-Chilling is one of the technologies that Skaginn 3X is energetically promoting, both for wild fisheries and also for the salmon sector, and the system is one of the variety of the Skaginn 3X technologies that will be on display at this year's IceFish Exhibition.

"Iceland is our home territory and IceFish is the only international event of this kind that takes place here," she said, adding that the three-year frequency means that there are always innovations to be seen. "It's an important event for Skaginn 3X, as IceFish not only attracts industry figures from around Iceland for three days, it also brings in a significant number of visitors form around the North Atlantic region and beyond who are exactly the people we want to show our Sub-Chilling technology."

If you are interested in exhibiting, sponsoring, attending or speaking at 2020 IceFish please call +44 01329 825 335 or email

International sales:

Diane Lillo Tel. +44 1329 825 335 or email

Icelandic sales:
Birgir Þór Jósafatsson Tel: +354 896 2277 or Bjarni Thor Jonsson GSM: +354 896 6363