Fish Farm Aerators
Houston, TX United States | 2020
The state of Florida harvests more than 90 million pounds of seafood every year, with a dockside value of $240 million or more. Year in and year out, the leading species is shrimp, with a dockside value in excess of $52 million. As many boat captains and deck hands will tell you, shrimping isn’t easy. Most consumers rarely get the opportunity to see how these fresh and delicious crustaceans are actually harvested.
“It lasts longer and keeps the boats cleaner and free of rust. I’m all for hot-dip galvanizing and stand behind it 100%.”
Every evening, up and down the Gulf Coast of Florida, numerous shrimp boats head out in search of this elusive shellfish. The shrimp boats are equipped with trawlers on each side, along with a rake, a catch net, and a roller. When the shrimp boats get to their destinations, the trawlers are extended out perpendicular to the boat, and lowered down into the water. The rollers earned their name because their job is to simply roll along the ocean floor. The sound and vibration of the rollers on the ocean floor causes the shrimp to jump, and at that point the shrimp are filtered through the rakes, a series of vertical steel rods spaced approximately 1-1/2” apart. The rakes are designed to allow the shrimp to pass through easily and safely, where they are caught in the giant nets trailing behind. Strict laws require the design of the rakes so that the shrimp can pass through but fish cannot. Most of the shrimp boats have one roller per trawler, however the larger shrimp boats with larger trawlers are equipped with two rollers per trawler.
Kenneth Leach, owner of Kenneth Leach LLC, has been custom designing and fabricating shrimp boat rollers for the past 4 years. The rollers are fabricated using primarily 5/8” or 1/2" rebar. As simple as they may look, his style and techniques are very precise and exact, ensuring that the rollers operate and function properly. As a former shrimp boat captain himself for 15 years, he understands how critical the rollers are to the shrimping business, but more importantly, he understands how destructive the corrosive environment is in which they serve their purpose. The shrimp rollers are continuously pulled in and out of the highly corrosive salt water for 10-12 hours per day. Not only is the salt water environment highly corrosive, but the constant transformation from wet to dry accelerates the corrosion process, breaking down the steel rollers, and ultimately leading to failure. When asked why he chose hot-dip galvanizing, Kenneth explained, “It lasts longer and keeps the boats cleaner and free of rust. I’m all for hot-dip galvanizing and stand behind it 100%.” The rollers themselves take a beating each time they travel along the ocean floor. Hot-dip galvanizing was specified not only for its superior corrosion protection that the coating offers, but also for the abrasion protection that the durable zinc/iron alloy layer provides. Because of the low initial cost and the maintenance free longevity, the hot-dip galvanized coating has proven to be the unanimous #1 choice over alternative coatings like paint and powder coating. This is a perfect example of a truly sustainable product that is 100% recyclable, coupled with a sustainable shrimping industry that will allow future generations to enjoy this delectable treat. Along the West Coast of Florida from Hudson to Yankeetown, there are currently 17 shrimp boats outfitted with Kenneth Leach rollers, and the list of eager, soon-to-be clients continues to grow.
Food & Agriculture
Brooksville, FL United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Prior HDG Experience, Quality of HDG, Sustainability
Rollers for nets on the shrimp boats
Kenneth Leach, LLC
Valmont Coatings - Tampa Galvanizing
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