Albacore (Thunnus alalunga), one of the smaller major tuna species, is a temperate species widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters of all oceans.

In: FAO Species Catalogue, Vol. 2. Scombrids of the World (1983). Courtesy of Fisheries and Aquaculture Department/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

This tuna tends to travel in single species schools, without the level of mixing seen in other species. Association with floating objects is not common.

Albacore accounted for about 4% of the 5.3-million-tonne global tuna catch in 2019.

Species Characteristics

  Size (cm) Weight (kg) Age (yrs)
Common 40–100    
Maximum 130    
Maturity 75–90 8–15 2–5

Geographic Limits

  • Generally limited to temperate and tropical waters
  • From 45–50° N and 30–40° S in the Atlantic Ocean
  • From 5° N to 40° S in the Indian Ocean, with adults occurring from 5° N to 25° S

Species Management

The following six albacore stocks are assessed and managed by the RFMOs:

  • North Pacific Ocean
  • South Pacific Ocean
  • North Atlantic Ocean
  • South Atlantic Ocean
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Indian Ocean

Albacore Tuna Stock Status

Our Status of the Stocks report summarizes the status of albacore tuna worldwide according to the most recent scientific assessments. The report includes:

  • Catch data
  • Graphics and charts
  • Ratings on stock abundance, fishing mortality, and fishing’s environmental or bycatch impact

It also reviews the management measures for albacore that Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) have adopted.

RELATED RESOURCES

Interactive Stock Status Tool

Use our interactive data-visualization tool to create and then download or share graphics on tuna stock status.

You can visualize data on 23 commercial tuna stocks (by species and ocean area) share of total catch and trends in stock health.

Tuna Conservation

Our research and advocacy work aims to ensure, on a global level, that tuna resources are well managed and protected from overfishing.

Tuna Stock Evaluations

An ISSF report uses the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) scoring system to evaluate both the health and RFMO management of 23 tuna stocks worldwide, including bluefin. 

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