A recent incident has highlighted an issue with Crab Shell Meal in containers which caught fire due to self-combustion.
The Association was recently informed that smoke was coming from a container of crab shell flake and meal which was loaded in Halifax Canada and was destined for Japan. The smoke was detected between Los Angeles and Oakland and the container was off loaded in Oakland and taken to a secured spot in the yard. The cargo was dumped out of the container and hosed down by the fire department.
The container was stowed on deck in the direct sunlight and ambient temperatures were in the mid 90 F range which could have contributed to spontaneous combustion.
Crab shell meal is not classified as a dangerous cargo such as fish meal but both have similar characteristics in that they are susceptible to self combustion if stowed in direct sunlight or near heat sources on the ship.
In the absence of regulations governing the safe carriage of crab shell meal, the Association recommends that it is handled, stowed and shipped similar to the requirements of Fish Meal (UN2216) within in the IMSBC Code (Page 171, 2010 Edition)
Source of information:
Thomas Miller (Americas)
San Francisco, USA