Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga)

Biology: Albacore tuna are found in all temperate and tropical open ocean waters. They are highly migratory, and spawn in the subtropical western areas of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Albacore are easily identified by their very long pectoral (side) fin. The fish can reach 4.5 feet and weigh as much as 99 lbs. They school with other tunas of the same size.Albacore are located near the top of the food chain. They eat squid, fish, and crustaceans. They are preyed upon by sharks, larger tunas, rays, and billfishes.

Sustainability status: At the international level, albacore are considered overfished, and in the North Atlantic, population levels are considered low. A very small percentage of worldwide albacore landings take place in the North Atlantic, so this is a problem that mainly must be solved elsewhere.

Harvest: Albacore are harvested in New England by hook and line, a method that eliminiates bycatch and has no impact on the seafloor.

Nutritional facts: Albacore are a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, selenium, and niacin. But like all fish high in the food chain, mercury contamination is a concern for vulnerable populations. The FDA cautions pregnant women and young children against eating more than 6 ounces per week of albacore. A 100-gram portion of albacore contains: 108 calories, 0.95 g fat, 0.45 mg cholesterol, 36.5 mcg selenium, 37 mg sodium, and 23.38 g protein.

Available headed and gutted or filleted, from July to December.

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