Canned Tuna: The Albacore

Introduction & Physical Appearance

Albacore Tuna. What the heck is it? Well, the Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) is one of the smaller tuna species, reaching sizes between skipjack and yellowfin. They are bullet-shaped with a dark blue back and lighter blue-gray sides and belly. Albacore tuna also have very long pectoral fins and live for around 12 years. They tend to travel in single species schools, without the level of mixing as seen in other species and migrate throughout all ocean waters and the Mediterranean. The lightest-colored meat of all the tunas, the Albacore can range from light beige to almost brown when raw, but becomes off-white when cooked. When canned, it’s the only tuna meat allowed to be labeled “white meat.”

Why are they Important to Other Species?

The Albacore Tuna fish is important commercially, as they are one of the two main canned tuna species (along with skipjack), and labeled as ‘solid white’ tuna. Although tuna do provide food and livelihoods for people, they are more than just seafood. Tuna are a top predator in the marine food chain, maintaining a balance in the ocean environment.

Video on Tuna Fishing:

Threat Level

Near Threatened

According to information collected by the ISSF Scientific Advisory Committee, the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean stocks of albacore are overfished.

How to Help

Tuna are integral parts of the entire marine ecosystem and our goal is for populations to be healthy and well-managed. We partner with governments and regional fisheries management organizations to advocate for stricter plans to recover depleted tuna stocks, combat pirate fishing and reduce bycatch.

“WWF works with other organizations and the fishing industry to transform tuna fishing into a sustainable business, particularly through certification of tuna fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). WWF helps ensure that tuna are harvested responsibly and sustainably managed through work with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). We encourage retailers to source from fisheries that are MSC-certified and work to raise consumer awareness about sustainably caught tuna.” -WorldWildLife

Some Fun Facts

(Sourced from:

  • The torpedo-shaped body of Albacore Tuna is built for speed.

  • It’s scientific name is Thunnus alalunga.

  • Albacore Tuna’s pectoral fins are longer than any other tuna.

  • This tuna species can live up to 12 years.

  • They are found in almost every ocean waters.

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