Anna & Seth Stewart
Processors, Owners & Operators of Yakobi Fisheries
“This business is 100% built on the ideology that the way we fish today means we will have fish tomorrow.”
How did you get started in the fishing and seafood industry?
I’ve been working in seafood in Alaska since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Today, my wife and I own and operate a small, family-owned processing plant in remote southeast Alaska where we fillet and freeze high quality seafood directly from local fishermen. This town has less than 100 year-round residents, no road, and we’re on the outer coasts of the North Pacific, where the fishing is great. Our team’s efforts to fillet, freeze, and distribute these amazing fish makes it so we can have not only sustainable fisheries but a sustainable economy in our little town as well.
How has responsible fisheries management had a positive impact on what you do?
As processors, we play a key role in ensuring the traceability and sustainability of the harvest. We are tasked with documenting every pound of fish we purchase from our local fishermen and tracking it through to our final consumers. When we buy fish from the boats, we give the information directly to the fisheries managers through electronic fish tickets so they have real time data about the fishery and can make decisions necessary to sustain fish populations. Yes, we get to do a lot of paperwork, but by doing our part we can help the fishermen, the managers, the scientists and our community thrive with healthy fisheries. It’s also fun to see how these systems are always evolving and improving: In our time we have seen fish tickets and other reporting go from paper fish tickets submitted once a week on the mail plane to real-time online reporting.
Is there anything else you would like Alaskans or anyone who enjoys Alaska Seafood to know about what you do?
Everything we do is based on sustainability, from eating every part of the fish we take, to the hydroelectric dam that powers our freezers, we are always looking to the future and what we will be handing down to our kids. This business is 100% built on the ideology that the way we fish today means we will have fish tomorrow. The community and our customers depend on us being able to keep harvesting fish for years to come. We are all in on it.