Packing Fish for Shipping – Part 2

Bagging the fish properly is the first task in shipping fish.  I hope that it was clear in the first video that the resulting packaging is a little different than what happens at a store, or what we do if we are taking fish to an auction or a swap.  When we bag fish for short, controlled transport the bags are usually larger and tighter.  For shipping through the mail the bags need to be a small as possible and have some flexibility.  The package will undergo some rough treatment in transit, and a bag with a lot of water and/or does not have flex in the sides of the bag is more likely to pop.  The fish should also be triple bagged, with two bags around each set of fish and then all the bags inside a liner bag.  Absorbent material (I use newspaper) should be inside the liner bag.

The second and equally important part of the shipping package equation is the shipping carton.  It needs to be strong and as water resistant.  An insulated styrofoam liner inside a cardboard box is the way to go.  Solid styrofoam liners are absolutely the best choice, but they are expensive.  Free boxes can be found with the right contacts in a drug store, hospital or university science lab, but when you are shipping a lot of fish the endless search for boxes gets old.  Many of us resort to cutting foam panels to fit boxes, which is a good option, but also time consuming.  This video will introduce you to a new technology in foam panels:  tongue and groove routed foam that snap together to make a more solid panel-sided foam liner.

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Packing Fish for Shipping – Part 2

  1. Markus

    Excellent job! Taking air out of the bags slightly is excellent advise! Thank you for the education.

  2. Another great video, thanks! One thing that I have been told (and from fish I have received) is that heat packs need access to atmospheric oxygen to work. Some shippers poke a small hole in the box so that the heat pack gets access to the air. In some boxes I’ve received. the heat pack is placed in a separate compartment next to the fish. Can’t wait to hear where you get the tongue and groove styro from . . .

    • tjudy

      Hi Rick… the amount of air that a heat pack needs to operate is actually very small, and there is no need to poke a hole in the box. I have tested this several times in various ways. The biggest threat to a heat pack in a box is having the perforated side of the pack against the styrofoam or plastic bag, which will cut of the air. Simply wrapping the pack in paper, or ensuring that the perforated side faces paper, is enough to keep it functioning.

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