Regenerative Capital

Fish Processing Stabilization Loan

by Tre-Fin Day Boat Seafood
Fish Processing Stabilization Loan

A refinanced bridge loan for Tre Fin's fish processing facility to allow for a ramp up period after construction.

Project Summary
  • Location: Ilwaco, WA
  • Products: Fishery Value added/CPG
  • Loan Amount: $1,525,000
  • Loan Term: 12 months
  • Net Interest Rate: 7.75% APR
  • Repayments Begin: 1 month after disbursement

Overview

Mike Domeyer and a team of experienced and passionate team members operate Tre-Fin Day Boat Seafood out of Ilwaco, Washington. Tre-Fin has now completed the construction on their fish processing facility and is now working on improving operations and efficiencies in the business. Tre-Fin delivers value-added seafood products directly to consumers through a Community Supported Fishery model and through wholesale, restaurant, and retail sales. It’s a huge undertaking and one that has involved constant adaptation and reimagining, all with the end goal of delivering quality food while caring for the health of fisheries and the livelihoods of those who steward them. 

The Tre-Fin team does this work because of their commitment to the aquatic ecosystem and their desire to create a more sustainable and equitable regional seafood economy. The new model they are creating represents fair wages and good jobs, healthy fisheries, and a sustainable industry to pass on to the next generation—as Mike describes, the antithesis of trawling. 


Use of Funds

In 2021, Mike connected with Steward to purchase the building for their new production facility that could increase the throughput two or three-fold, and also serve as direct retail space for their products and those of other local fishers. A participated loan campaign secured $260,000 to purchase the building and begin the process of building out a new processing facility. A construction loan from Steward Regenerative Capital was then issued in November of 2022 and construction was completed within a 12 month period. Since construction was completed, Tre-Fin has been putting energy into increasing efficiencies, expanding sales channels and getting operations running smoothly. This loan enables Tre Fin to focus on getting operations running smoothly by keeping interest only debt service payments. 


Regenerative & Sustainable Practices

Tre-Fin is committed to transparency and truly sustainable seafood sourcing. They embrace this core mission through the following practices:

  • Hook-and-line Harvesting—Reeling in fish on a traditional rod and line minimizes the amount of by-catch that occurs, which is a major ethical and sustainability issue of industrial “catch-all” methods.

  • Circle Hooks—Circle hooks catch on or near the mouth of the fish (rather than the gullet), which minimizes damage, increasing the survivability of released fish.

  • The 24-Hour Rule—This self-imposed limit not only ensures freshness and quality, it also means Tre-Fin won’t simply travel further and further as local fisheries are exhausted. It’s an unprecedented commitment to place in an industry desperately lacking true stewards.

  • Fair Wages for Fishermen—Seafood is still a people business, and the burnout, financial insecurity, and inconsistent wages common on the Ilwaco docks are unacceptable by Tre-Fin standards. Tre-Fin’s CSF provides year-round economic opportunity for fishermen who receive premium prices and fair wages through the Tre-Fin Co-Op.

  • Rated by Monterey Aquarium’s Seafood Watch as “Best Choice” for methods that allow stock to replenish at a sustainable rate.

Join the Steward Newsletter

Get project announcements, farmer introductions, company updates, and more by subscribing to the Steward newsletter. Join our growing community of people who are making regenerative agriculture the foundation of our future.

Meet the Farmers

Join a growing community of sustainably-minded lenders reaping the rewards from responsible farming