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Albacore Tuna Facts For Kids

Albacore tuna are a species of tuna fish that migrate around the world in semi-shallow waters of oceans and seas. They are not bottom-dwellers like cod and haddock. However, they are a warm-blooded species and they are able to regulate their internal body temperature in order to survive in very cold waters. Albacore tuna is one of the most commonly fished species in the world. It is most commonly processed by manufacturers into canned tuna. The fish can also be grilled, baked, pan-fried or otherwise cooked to a much rarer degree (than canned tuna) for a higher price than canned varieties. This taste is preferred by high-income and middle-income consumers. Tuna is also very commonly used in Japanese sushi dishes. Sushi restaurants have become extremely popular in the last decade, and are proliferating into large and small cities worldwide.

What is the scientific Classification of an Albacore Tuna?

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Scombridae
Genus: Thunnus
Species: T. alalunga

Quick Fun Facts About Albacore Tuna

A group of Albacore Tuna is called: A group of tuna is called a “school” This is the same name given to any large number of fish swimming together in a pack.

Latin Name: Thunnus alalunga

Conservation Status of Albacore Tuna

“Data Deficient”; which means that there is not enough data or information about the Albacore fish to garner whether the specious is at low risk or whether it is threatened.

Albacore Tuna Breeding

In particular, North Pacific albacore tuna begin to spawn when they reach five or six years of age. The spawning normally happens in subtropical waters located fairly close to the equator. The female lays about 100,000 eggs for each kilogram of body weight. This usually equates to around one to three million eggs per spawning. The number of times that spawning occurs annually is not known, but it may happen multiple times within a span of 12 months. After the female lays her eggs, the male fertilizes the patch of buoyant baby fish. These hatch very quickly, in about one or two days. After the eggs hatch, the fish begin to grow quickly, remaining fairly close to the place where they were born for the first year of their life. They begin to migrate after their first year of life.

Albacore Tuna Color

Albacore tuna are dark blue along the ridge of their back, on which lies a long spiny fin. The fish have a pair of pectoral fins that are located directly behind their gills. They also have a dorsal fin that is the same blue color as the fishes’ back, as well as a ventral fin that is located along the underbelly of the tuna. Both of these fins have around 15 spines, which function as protection from predators. The anal fin of the fish has an addition 15 spines or rays, providing further protection.

Life Expectancy of Albacore Tuna

Tuna can live anywhere from 15 to 30 years in coastal and medium-depth waters. Most, however, are fished at a very young age, not living to see adulthood. Often, they are caught by fishermen when they have reached only 20-50% of their potential size.

Predators of the Albacore Tuna

North Atlantic Albacore tuna predators include sharks, rays, larger tunas and billfishes (swordfish are one species within the billfish category). These large fish prey upon tuna and other pelagic fish that live in the coastal waters of oceans and seas, such as mackerel and salmon. Tuna, however, is almost at the top of the seafood chain, as the species is only consumed by very large fish that rest comfortably at the top of the food chain.

Albacore Tuna nicknames/other names

Albacore fish, albicore, longfin, tombi ahi, binnaga, Pacific albacore, longfin tunny, longfin tuna, or tuna. Other tuna species that are also called albacore in other parts of the world include Blackfin tuna, Yellowfin tuna, Yellowtail amberjack, Kawakawa and Little tunny.

What does and Albacore Tuna Look like?

Albacore tuna has a dark blue back with silvery sides and a silvery belly. Adults have pectoral fins that extend along the sides of their body. The first can grow to be 100 pounds in some cases, but more often, tuna that is caught weighs around 20 pounds. The meat of the fish is pink or dark pink/red when it is raw, and off-whitish or tan when cooked.

How long is an Albacore Tuna?

Albacore tuna can grow to reach 48” or more in length. However, most often, the fish are around 24 inches

How much does an Albacore Tuna weigh?

Albacore tuna can weigh up to 100 pounds, but most that are commercially fished are caught by fishermen when they weigh around 20 pounds. This smaller size is due to constant fishing, which does not allow the tuna to reach its full size before death.

Where is an Albacore Tuna Found?

Albacore tuna is found in all tropical and temperate oceans and bodies of water. They are classified as a pelagic fish, which means that they reside in the coastal waters of large oceans and lakes rather than on the bottom of these bodies of water (bottom dwellers include catfish, cod, flounder, halibut, sole and haddock). Other pelagic fish include salmon, mackerel, shark and swordfish.

What do Albacore Tuna Eat?

Little is actually known about what albacore tuna eat because they cannot be kept in captivity the same way that bluefin tuna can be kept. It is believed, however, that albacore tuna feed on small baitfish. The fish can grow quite large themselves, so they do not feed on ocean parasites or other extremely small or microscopic animals.

What does it mean when tuna is labeled as sustainably fished?

Tuna can be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which means that it has met specific criteria to be labeled sustainably fished.

These principles include:

1. Sustainable fish stocks – The fishing activity must be at a level that is sustainable for the fish population. Any certified fishery must operate so that fishing can continue indefinitely as is not overexploiting the resources.

2. Minimizing environmental impact – Fishing operations should be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends.

3. Effective management – The fishery must meet all local, national and international laws and must have a management system in place to respond to changing circumstances and maintain sustainability.