COMMON NAME: Albacore.
SPECIES: Thunnus Alalunga.
CONSERVATION STATUS:As of recent (2011) the stock is not considered to be overfished in the North Pacific Ocean. The stock appears to be being fished in a sustainable manner.
AGE: Max. 11 to 12 years. Eggs hatch within 24 to 48 hrs. Juveniles grow 1.23 in. per month. Growth slows with age.
SIZE: Up to 88 lbs. 30 to 45 lb. class considered large. Normal range 15 to 25 lbs. Our fishery is predominantly on juveniles (2-5 year olds)
WATER TEMP: 62 to 68 degrees local. As cold as 58 in northern waters. At water temps of 66 an albacore can keep its swimming muscle, gut and eye and brain region as much as 15 degrees above the water temperature.
SPAWNING AGE: 5 to 6 years old, and about 33.3 in. About 50 lbs.
SPAWNING FREQUENCY: Limited information. Like all tunas, Albacore only spawn in warm waters (around 75°F). Currently albacore spawning periodicity is not known. It is believed that they spawn multiple times per year and release 0.8 to 2.6 million eggs per spawn (roughly 1,000,000 eggs per 2.2 lbs body weight). Like all tunas, albacore broadcast Spawn near the surface. In the North Pacific it is believed that young albacore remain close to spawning grounds south and east of Japan before beginning their first migration.
OCEANIC RANGE: Some juveniles (2 to 5 years old) leave Japan spring or early summer. This pattern continues through late summer swimming across the Pacific into waters off of North America. Ends in late fall and winter in waters off western North Pacific. Water temperature is likely a trigger for the migration. Recent tagging data has shown albacore to migrate from Japan, over to Baja, up the west coast to Canada and back over to the western North Pacific. Recent tagging data has shown that some of the albacore can hold over the entire year, feeding along the northern Baja coast.
DEPTH RANGE: Juveniles found on ocean water fronts. Adults from the surface to about 1250 feet and will swim to deeper depths in search of prey. Albacore have warm muscles, stomachs and brains, which is believed to aid in hunting and digestion when subject to cool waters that they encounter at depth and at the northern extent of their range.
DIET: Anchovies, Sardines, Mackerel, squid, Saures, they have also been shown to eat a lot of midwater fish that migrate up from depth at night (lanternfishes).
HOW MUCH EAT:Like all of the tunas, the albacore has a high metabolic rate which requires a constant food source. During the day they feed throughout the water column from the deep to the surface on their routine dives. High metabolism as much as 10% body weight per day. Reports up to 25% probably high. Big eyes deep water.
PREDIDATION: Toothed Whales, Sharks, commercial fishing. Albacore support the west coast’s largest open ocean fishery, with bait and jig boats landing up to 12 to 15,000 tons a year. Japan catches about 70% of the NPO albacore and we follow at around 15% of the total catch
SPEED: Up to 50 mph. Radar Gun?
MOVEMENT NECESSARY: Body length per second. Keep body temperature above surrounding water. Also, like all tunas, albacore must swim in order to breath.
SCHOOLING: Always a schooling fish. But sparse compared to Yellowfin tuna. As large as 18 miles.