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Thunnus alalunga

"longfin tuna"


Description: The pectoral fins of the albacore are very long, as much as 30% of the total length. The dorsal spines are 11 to 14 in number, and well forward of the rays of the dorsal fin. The anterior spines are much longer, giving a concave outline to the spiny part of the dorsal fin.

Similar Fish:Longfin, albies, pigfish, Pacific albacore, German bonito, longfin tunny, blackin tuna, yellowfin tuna, yellowtail amberjack, kawakawa and little tunny(aka false albacore).. or even just tuna.

Where Found: The distribution of albacore is cosmopolitan in subtropical and temperate waters of all oceans. Off the coast of North America, the distribution during summer and fall months may range from lower Baja California, northward to the Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada, and occasionally into the Gulf of Alaska.

Size: The largest albacore on record weighed 38.5 kg, although the average weight of individuals caught today is approximately 9-20 kg.

State Record: 80 lb. 0 oz., David Francella, Delaware, 9/15/87 (for individual state record click on the state on the right.)

World Record: 88lb. 2oz. Angler: Siegfried Dickemann Nov. 19.1977

Bait used: Feed on fishes, crustaceans and squids

Tactics to catch: Methods of fishing include pole and line, long-line fishing, trolling, and some purse seining.

Climate (water temperature range): Albacore inhabits temperate oceans worldwide, being absent only from the warmest equatorial waters of the Pacific ocean.

Spawning habits: Open water/substratum egg scatterers

Table food: Albacore is a prized food, Highly appreciated and marketed fresh, smoked, deep frozen or canned. Eaten steamed, broiled, fried and microwaved and albacore fishery is economically significant. It is also sought after by sport fishers.

Consumption Concerns:Albacore accumulates higher levels of mercury than other kinds of tuna, and some groups have urged testing and recall of canned albacore with high mercury levels. Long-line albacore are older fish and have accumulated more mercury than younger, troll-caught albacore. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises women of childbearing age and children to limit their consumption of albacore tuna (chunk white canned tuna) and tuna steaks to 6 ounces per week or less.

Feeding habits: The albacore feeds on mollusks and crustaceans such as fiddler crabs and barnacles; famed nibblers, prompting the saying that "anglers must strike just before they bite."

Remarks: Larger individuals are associated with cooler water bodies, while smaller individuals occur in warmer strata in the Atlantic. Check your current state for regulations and size limits.


Albacore by R. Michael Laurs and Ronald C. Dotson, 1992, retrieved January 19, 2006.


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