Albacore Fishery

Sustainable Opportunities By Transitioning From Longlining To Pole And Line Fishing

Albacore are pelagic fish that range in Pacific waters from New Zealand to as far north as Canada. Most albacore are caught via a long line; which is typically 30 miles long with thousands of baited hooks. The albacore caught via long-line average 45 pounds in size. These mature fish are called "Tombo" and live in sub tropical waters. Tombo have very little fat content and a significantly higher mercury level than albacore caught in cooler waters. Additionally, long-line fishing results in substantial "bycatch", which is when mammals, fish and other sea creatures are caught and killed on the long-line, in addition to targeted species. When appropriate fishing methods are practiced, albacore is considered the most sustainable pelagic fishery in the world. Albacore school in uniform sized groups which allows pole and line fishermen to target specific sized fish without bycatch or harvesting immature fish. The pole and line fishing method is embraced by the scientific community and supported by third party agencies such as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. The young fish, 3-5 years old, which are targeted by McAdam's Fish, are found in the cold waters off the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand. These fish have a higher fat content and low mercury levels in comparison to "Tombo". Careful fishery management and promotion of appropriate, low-impact fishing techniques will maintain the abundance of the albacore resource.