WHAT IS DAY BOAT TUNA?
Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga) is a prolific species. Monterey Aquarium’s Seafood Watch recognizes pole and line-caught Pacific Northwest albacore as a ‘Best Choice,’ meaning the stock can replenish at the rate that it is being fished, and the fishing method (pole and line) is a responsible method of harvesting the fish. The small amount of by-catch resulting from the hook and line method can nearly always be released unharmed, unlike net and longline fisheries, where the fish caught—target species or not—are killed.
Pole and line-caught Pacific albacore appear on the Seafood Watch select ‘Super Green’ list. Not only do the fish and fisheries on this list meet the criteria for Best Choice, they are an extremely healthy and abundant food source. We select juvenile albacore for their low mercury levels, and high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Tre-Fin was built from the ground up with the goal of providing a one-of-a-kind product: Day Boat Tuna. We catch our fish and bring them back to port for processing the same day. This is the key to providing the freshest, highest quality fish imaginable. But this level of stewardship is difficult on any sort of scale given the nature of the fishery and the distance required to reach it. For us, it all starts with a boat.
The F/V Opportunaty was custom built to make the long run offshore (typically between 25 and 45 miles) to the fishing grounds and back every day. The 230-pound capacity bait tank was designed to hold as much bait as we need to catch as much as 4000 pounds of albacore every day possible. Our insulated fish holds carry two tons of ice, allowing us to preserve the quality and freshness of the fish until we get them back to the port for processing.
Triple 300-HP outboard engines give the boat the necessary speed to safely and reliably return the catch back to port each day. With the ability to cruise at 30+ mph and haul over 4000 pounds of fresh albacore, the Opportunaty is one of the only boats in the Pacific Northwest with the capability to provide same day tuna to a larger market. Other companies may advertise same-day tuna, but none can match our commitment to quality.
WHAT DOES TRE-FIN'S COMMITMENT TO QUALITY MEAN?
It means a lot of hard work! Tre-Fin is most proud of the fact that every fish is handled individually, immediately and with intention. These steps lead to the unmatched quality of Tre-Fin tuna. (The deck of the boat has even ben fitted with rubber mats, to cushion the fish during the few minutes it takes to remove the hook.) No matter how fast the fish are biting, a strict protocol is followed, from the moment the fish is netted (yes, netted). Each fish is bled and chilled in a slurry of ice and saltwater within a minute of being landed. After they come down to temperature, the fish are packed in specially-designed insulated boxes and covered with saltwater ice for the trip back to port, where they land within 24 hours of being caught.
Back at the port in Ilwaco, the fish go to the Tre-Fin Foods certified processing facility, just footsteps from where the boat is moored. There, Tre-Fin team members hand-cut the fresh fish into beautiful loins that are vacuum-sealed and quick frozen. This incredibly efficient journey from water to hand-cut frozen loin in 48 hours or less is why the flavor and texture of our tuna is unparalleled. You won't find a higher quality albacore loin. Because they are involved and oversee every step of the process, from catching to cutting, Tre-Fin can guarantee the freshness and authenticity of their Day Boat Tuna.