Albacore

Other names: albacore tuna, long-finned albacore, albies

Scientific name:Thunnus alalunga

Minimum size:
None

Bag limit:
5

Possession limit:
10

Identifying features:
A medium size tuna, albacore have a dark blue upper body without spots or stripes.  They have the longest pectoral fin of all the tunas, extending back behind the second dorsal fin.  Other identifying features include a dark yellow first dorsal fin, pale yellow second dorsal and anal fins and a distinctive white outer edge on the tail fin.

Grows to:
Up to 1.3 metres and 55 kg.

Habitat
: Albacore travel to Tasmania on the eastern Australian current from sub-tropical waters.  They are found from shallow coastal waters out to the continental shelf in depths ranging from 10-300 metres, commonly in schools off eastern Tasmania from late summer and through autumn.

Fishing information:
A popular recreational species, this highly migratory fish is found with other tunas such as skipjack and yellowfin.  Caught by trolling a variety of hard and soft bodied lures at varying depth ranges.  The main recreational season in Tasmania is from January through to April.

Responsible fishing tips:
Avoid long playing times by using heavier line.  Use a large de-hooker or pliers to remove hook.  Use barbless single hooks on lures.  Minimise interactions with seals and other wildlife.  Don’t dispose of fish frames around boat ramps.

Handling:
  If practising catch and release, keep tuna out of the water for the minimum time possible and handle with wet hands or cloth.  Don’t use a gaff.  Larger tuna should be released without removing them from the water.  If photographing, hold horizontally.  

Cooking:
Tuna need to be correctly handled after capture to retain the best eating quality.  They should be killed using a brain spike, bled, then cleaned and chilled shortly after capture. Arguably the best eating of Tasmania’s tunas, albacore has a paler, dry flesh when cooked.  Sometimes referred to as the ‘chicken of the sea’. Use as fillets or steaks.

Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

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