Having to separate freshwater crabs for commercial fisherman while on the boat, we dump the crabs in ice water, as crabs aren't as aggressive and bite less when cold. There's only so much room on the boat for carrying ice, and the ice melts too quickly in the wooden box filled with water and ice in order to "slush" the crabs. We've been unable to work full days, running all of our crab traps, as we run out of ice before a full-day's work. Any ideas of how to slow the melting process of the ice while in the water used for slushing the crabs? Thanks for your time and knowledge. "

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    $\begingroup$ Why do you need ice in the box? Is it the ice melting in and of itself that is the problem, or is the loss of a heat sink that is the problem? That is, if you were able to keep the ice water at the same temperature without any ice, would that work just as well? $\endgroup$ – Acccumulation Mar 27 '18 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ It's a wooden box on a workboat that the captain built to throw crates of crabs in in order to slush the crabs. The box cannot have a top on it, as you need to be able to dump the crabs in it either from the traps or from the crates; so, therefore, we are unable to lesson the size of the box-top opening. Thanks again for your help. $\endgroup$ – Michele Celina Mar 28 '18 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ Insulating the container is a start. You might look into using "dry ice" (solid CO2) to keep your water-ice cold or generate more. It is possible a sample of dry ice could provide more "cooling power" than a sample of water ice of the same size and weight. $\endgroup$ – electronpusher Mar 28 '18 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ @MicheleCelina I am baffled as to what your comment is in response to. $\endgroup$ – Acccumulation Mar 28 '18 at 2:57

Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to slow down the melting of the ice-water slush besides insulating your container. If possible, you can enclose the wooden box in styrofoam to prevent heat from entering the system.

Another note you should keep in mind is that the water in the slush speeds up the melting of the ice. A better scenario would be to keep a large (minimized surface area) block of ice in one container, and the slush in another. Use an ice pick to break up the block and add pieces to the slush as needed.


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