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Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

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General

Mackerel-like fish

Mackerel-like (Scrombodei) from a subspecies of the Perciformes, the biggest order of fish. Mackerel (Atlantic-, horse mackerel etc), tuna, swordfish and barracudas all fall among the mackerel-like fish. Globally it is a very popular fish and forms an important source of food and income for many people. Mackerel are pelagic fish that live in large schools. While swimming in large schools, mackerel-like fish confuse their predators with the silver-like brilliance from their scales. Island mackerel is the smallest with 2o cm, the largest is the bluefin tuna that can reach a size of over 5 meters.

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Albacore, or white tuna, can be found in all (sub)tropical and temperate areas. This tuna can reach a maximum length of 1.40 m and has a relatively short lifespan of 9 years. Albacore tuna regularly swims in schools with skipjack, yellowfin, and bluefin tuna.

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Pacific Ocean (FAO 67|71|77|81|87)

Farming- / Catch method

Hooks and lines

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Explanation assessment

miscellaneous albacore fisheries in the Pacific Ocean are [MSC certified]. The American, Canadian, Japanese, and New Zealander  tuna fisheries use handlines and pole lines, hand operated and mechanised. The MSC certified albacore tuna fisheries on the Fiji and the Cook islands use longlinesLonglines (drifting):
A fishing method whereby a long main line (40-100 km long) with transverse lines with hooks with bait is expanded. The line floats on buoys in the water column. 

 

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Pacific Ocean, southern stock (FAO 71|77|81|87)

Farming- / Catch method

Hooks and lines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The southern albacore tuna stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
is healthy and not overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
. The fishing effort however is increasing a lot.

The [troll line fishery] or [ handline and pole line (mechanised) fishery] is a selective fishery and has little bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
. Any bycatch can immediately be unhooked and released with high survivability.

The WCPFCWCPFC:
Western Central Pacific Fishery Commission, an international organisation dedicated to the conservation and management of fish stocks in the Pacific Ocean.  
is responsible for the management of southern albacore tuna. This commission sets management measures and does stock assessments. There are no [catch limits] or quotaQuota:
The maximum amount of fish of a species that may be landed per country and per year; an instrument for regulating fisheries. 
. There is however an upper limit to the number of boats per country that can take part in the fishery. More effective measures are needed to regulate the [fishing pressure] and handle the problem of bycatch.

 

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Pacific Ocean, northern stock (FAO 61|67|71|77)

Farming- / Catch method

Hooks and lines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

It is difficult to make statements on the state of the albacore tuna stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
in the northern Pacific Ocean, because of missing biological reference points. However, it appears to be healthy and not overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
: The increment of young albacore is good and the stock balances around the [long term average].

The [troll line fishery] or [ handline and pole line (mechanised) fishery] is a selective fishery and has little bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
. Any bycatch can immediately be unhooked and released with high survivability.

The management of the tuna stock in the Pacific Ocean is partially effective. There are two [MSC certified] trolling fisheries.

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Pacific Ocean, northern stock (FAO 61|67|71|77)

Farming- / Catch method

Handlines and pole-lines (hand operated)

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

It is difficult to make statements on the state of the albacore tuna stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
in the northern Pacific Ocean, because of missing biological reference points. However, it appears to be healthy and not overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
: The increment of young albacore is good and the stock balances around the [long term average].

Pole and line fishery on albacore tuna is selective, has little bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
,and does not impact the seafloor. Any bycatch can be unhooked and released with high survivability.

The management of the tuna stock in the Pacific Ocean is in hands of [Regional Fishery Management Organisations] (RFMO’s). There are no [catch limits] and quotaQuota:
The maximum amount of fish of a species that may be landed per country and per year; an instrument for regulating fisheries. 
for this fishery. National governments can also take measures.

 

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north and central (FAO 21|27|31|34)

Farming- / Catch method

Handlines and pole-lines (hand operated)

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The latest assessment of north Atlantic Albacore tuna shows that the stock has been overfished for half a century. There are nowadays [catch limits] to give the stock a chance to recover.

Pole and line fishery on albacore tuna is selective, has little bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
,and does not impact the seafloor. Any bycatch can be unhooked and released with high survivability.

The ICCATICCAT:
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, an international fisheries organization responsible for the conservation of tuna and tuna species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.
is responsible for the management of Atlantic tuna. This commission determines [catch limits] and other measures, and has a control and enforcement programm. Management measures are partly effective.

 

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Pacific Ocean, southern stock (FAO 71|77|81|87)

Farming- / Catch method

Drifting longlines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The southern albacore tuna stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
is healthy and not overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
. The fishing effort however is increasing a lot.

LonglineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
fishery has much bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
, which include vulnerable and endangered species like sharks, rays, marlins, seaturtles. However data on bycatch are missing.  Tuna are an important link in the marine [food chain]. The large scale catch of tuna may have a negative impact on species composition and ecosystem structure.

The WCPFCWCPFC:
Western Central Pacific Fishery Commission, an international organisation dedicated to the conservation and management of fish stocks in the Pacific Ocean.  
is responsible for the management of southern albacore tuna. This commission sets management measures and does stock assessments. There are no [catch limits] or quotaQuota:
The maximum amount of fish of a species that may be landed per country and per year; an instrument for regulating fisheries. 
. There is however an upper limit to the number of boats per country that can take part in the fishery. More effective measures are needed to regulate the [fishing pressure] and handle the problem of bycatch.

 

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Pacific Ocean, northern stock (FAO 61|67|71|77)

Farming- / Catch method

Drifting longlines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

It is difficult to make statements on the state of the albacore tuna stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
in the northern Pacific Ocean, because of missing biological reference points. However, it appears to be healthy and not overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
: The increment of young albacore is good and the stock balances around the [long term average].

LonglineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
fishery has much bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
, which include vulnerable and endangered species like sharks, rays, marlins, seaturtles.

The management of the tuna stock in the Pacific Ocean is in hands of [Regional Fishery Management Organisations] (RFMO’s). There are no [catch limits] and quotaQuota:
The maximum amount of fish of a species that may be landed per country and per year; an instrument for regulating fisheries. 
for this fishery.

 

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Mediterranean (FAO 37)

Farming- / Catch method

Hooks and lines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Mediterranean stock of albacore tuna was for first time assessed by the authorized ICCATICCAT:
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, an international fisheries organization responsible for the conservation of tuna and tuna species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.
. It is impossible to get a reliable [stock assessment] due to large uncertainties in the data.

The [troll line fishery] or [ handline and pole line (mechanised) fishery] is a selective fishery and has little bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
. Any bycatch can immediately be unhooked and released with high survivability. Tuna are an important link in the marine [food chain]. The large scale catch of tuna may have a negative impact on species composition and ecosystem structure.

Management measures en supervision on albacore tuna fishery in the Mediterranean are insufficient to tackle or prevent negative effects of fishery on the albacore stock and the ecosystem.

 

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Mediterranean (FAO 37)

Farming- / Catch method

Drifting longlines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Mediterranean stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
of albacore tuna was assessed for the first time in 2011, by the authorized ICCATICCAT:
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, an international fisheries organization responsible for the conservation of tuna and tuna species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.
. It was however impossible to get a reliable [stock assessment] due to large uncertainties in data. For that reason, the category fish stocks and fishing pressure receives a red score.

LonglineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
fishery has a lot of bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
, including vulnerable and endangered species like sharks, rays, marlins, sea turtles, albatrosses and petrels. Reliable data about bycatch is missing. This fishing method has no impact on the seabed. Tuna are an important link in the marine food chain.Catching tuna on a large scale may have a negative impact on species composition and ecosystem structure. The category ecosystem effects receives a red score.

Management measures and supervision on albacore tuna fishery in the Mediterranean Sea are insufficient to tackle or prevent negative effects of fishery on the albacore stock and the ecosystem. For that reason, the category management also receives a red score.

The final assessment of this fishery is a red score. We advise not to eat this species and to choose an orange or green alternative.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.

Albacore tuna (Longfin tuna)

Thunnus alalunga
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north and central (FAO 21|27|31|34)

Farming- / Catch method

Drifting longlines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The latest assessment of north Atlantic Albacore tuna shows that the stock has been overfished for half a century. There are nowadays [catch limits] to give the stock a chance to recover.

LonglineLongline:
Also known as line fishing. A fishing method in which lines and hooks are used.
fishery has much bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
, which include vulnerable and endangered species like sharks, rays, marlins, seaturtles, albatrosses and petrels. Tuna are an important link in the marine [food chain]. The large scale catch of tuna may have a negative impact on species composition and ecosystem structure.

The ICCATICCAT:
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, an international fisheries organization responsible for the conservation of tuna and tuna species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.
is responsible for the management of Atlantic tuna. This commission determines [catch limits] and other measures, and has a control and enforcement programm.. Management measures are partly effective. Supervision and enforcement are a problem

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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