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Thunnus alalunga  (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Albacore
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Thunnus alalunga
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos) > Scombrinae
Etymology: Thunnus: Greek, thynnos = tunna (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 600 m (Ref. 168).   Subtropical; 10°C - 25°C (Ref. 168); 59°N - 46°S, 180°W - 180°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 85.0, range 85 - ? cm
Max length : 140 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3669); common length : 100.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9684); max. published weight: 60.3 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 9 years (Ref. 72462)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11 - 14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-16; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 11 - 16. Anterior spines much higher than posterior spines giving the fin a strongly concave outline. Interpelvic process small and bifid. Body with very small scales. Pectoral fins remarkably long, about 30% of fork length or longer in 50 cm or longer fish. Ventral surface of liver striated and the central lobe is largest.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Cosmopolitan in tropical and temperate waters of all oceans including the Mediterranean Sea but not at the surface between 10°N and 10°S. Western Pacific: range extend in a broad band between 40°N and 40°S (Ref. 9684). Often confused with juvenile Thunnus obesus which also have very long pectorals but with rounded tips. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

An epipelagic and mesopelagic, oceanic species, abundant in surface waters of 15.6° to 19.4°C; deeper swimming, large albacore are found in waters of 13.5° to 25.2°C; temperatures as low as 9.5°C may be tolerated for short periods (Ref. 168). Known to concentrate along thermal discontinuities (Ref. 168). Form mixed schools with skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and bluefin tuna (T. maccoyii), schools may be associated with floating objects, including sargassum weeds (Ref. 168). Feed on fishes, crustaceans and squids. Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6769). Sexual maturity reached at 90 cm (Ref. 36731). Highly appreciated and marketed fresh, smoked, deep frozen or canned. Eaten steamed, broiled, fried and microwaved (Ref. 9987). Also Ref. 1762, 1798, 1804. The American Albacore Fishing Association Pacific (North and South Pacific) fishery of this species has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org/) as well-managed and sustainable (http://www.msc.org/html/content_1366.htm). Angling: Largely caught offshore, where the waters are mild and blue. Albacore favor those areas where cooler water interfaces with warmer water. They are caught with live of dead baitfish such as mullet, sauries, squid, herring, anchovies, sardines, and other small fish. Albacore strike hard and make powerful runs (Ref. 84357).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Collette, Bruce B. | Collaborators

Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen, 1983. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5039   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01202 (0.00762 - 0.01897), b=3.13 (2.99 - 3.27), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.3   ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.13-0.18; tm=4-6; tmax=10; Fec=2 million).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (71 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.