Meet Our Latest Producer Partner: Princess Seafood
FishWise is very proud to introduce Princess Seafood – our newest Producer Partner. The all-female operation is skippered by Heather Sears, a 2nd generation fishermen based out of Ft. Bragg, CA. Originally from Morro Bay, Heather gained experience on her father’s 50 foot steel troller fishing for salmon. At the age of 21, she took a big step and purchased her first boat. The 1930 salmon troller was the first in a series of boats she has owned to strategically scale up her operation to take advantage of great fishing opportunities in Alaska and further offshore along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Heather’s newest vessel is the F/V Princess — a 42 foot Seamaster purchased in 2008 that can stow up to eight tons of fish in the holds.
Fishing seven months of the year, Heather and her crew put in long hours in rough seas to troll king and coho salmon in Alaska, troll albacore off the coasts of CA, OR, WA, and B.C., and use fish traps for black cod off of Ft. Bragg. The F/V Princess is one of a small number of salmon boats in the lower 48 that blast freezes salmon on board. Blast freezing is a technology that allows her to create the highest quality frozen fish. Once back in port, product is shipped to cold storage facilities in Washington and Oregon to remain at a nice chilly temperature of -20 ÌŠF and below until sale.
Heather is among the newer generation of fishermen that are keen on using their technological know-how to directly market their fish to both retailers and consumers that enjoy top-quality seafood. This business model will ultimately allow her to spend less time on the water, avoid burnout from long months at sea, and take ownership of the way her fish and unique story are marketed. When asked why she is pursuing this model, Heather noted, “People need to know where their fish comes from and I want to provide high-quality fish directly to my customers.”