Loan and Investor Programs

Loan and Investor Programs

Loan and investor programs may be a source of funding for seafood alternative marketing efforts. These programs are run by groups such as government agencies, banks and non-profit organizations. The amount of funding and the type of fishing-related expenses they support vary, as do specific eligibility and payment requirements. 


Examples of loan and investor programs available to commercial fishermen include:

  • Access Financing: An online search tool through BusinessUSA to help identify government financing programs (grants and loans) that fishermen may qualify for and use to establish or expand alternative marketing.
  • AmericanWest Bank:  A member of the Northwest Fisheries Association that provides term loans and lines of credit to help finance West Coast commercial fishing operations' vessels, permits and some other expenses.
  • California Fisheries Fund: A nonprofit loan fund that invests in the fishing industry on the West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) to support business growth and improvements.
  • Fish 2.0: A business competition run by Manta Consulting that connects sustainable fisheries and aquaculture businesses with potential investors. 
  • Fisheries Finance Program: Federal program administered by NMFS (NOAA Fisheries) that provides federal loans and financing for fishing vessels, fisheries facilities, permit costs and other items. 
  • Small Business Administration Loan Programs: A website that provides information on federal loan programs for small businesses.
  • Slow Money Alliance: A national network that facilitates citizen and community investment in local food enterprises.


Additional permits and other documentation usually are needed to establish an alternative market. Be sure to consult with resource management, public health and business authorities before selling your seafood.

Information provided on this page was synthesized from interviews with fishermen and buyers, and from the Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual, the Small Farm and Direct Marketing Handbook, ATTRA publications, and other resources (see About this Website and Resources).