Animals

Fin-tastic Facts About The Albacore For Kids

Albacore facts let you know about an interesting tuna fish species.
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Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) refers to a species of tuna that has long pectoral fins and is used to make canned tuna. They are also known as the longfin tuna or white tuna. This is a highly migratory species of tuna found in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. These fishes are high in demand and regularly caught as seafood. They are mostly found in tropical and temperate water.

Albacore tuna was first harvested for economic purposes in the 20th century. These fishes migrated to the coast of California in the Pacific, which led to people fishing for them for commercial use. Ever since then, several giant fisheries have also been put in place to increase the production of albacore as seafood. This has led to a significant decline in their population. These fishes are also caught during recreational fishing. Albacore tuna is quite a popular choice as seafood, for its impeccable taste and health benefits.

To know more albacore tuna facts, continue reading below! If you like this article, you can also read about herring and brown trout.

Albacore

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fish, mollusk, zooplankton, crustaceans

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

2-3 million

How much do they weigh?

20-45 lb (9-20.4 kg)

How long are they?

18-25 in (45.7-63.5 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Dark-gray, blue

Skin Type

Scales

What are their main threats?

Humans

What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened

Where you'll find them

Marine habitat

Locations

Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Actinopterygii

Scientific Name

Thunnus alalunga

Family

Scombridae

Genus

Thunnus

Albacore Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Albacore?

Albacore is a kind of fish belonging to the tuna species. They are also known as longfin tuna.

What class of animal does an Albacore belong to?

Albacore tuna fishes belong to the class Actinopterygii. They are a member of the Scombridae family.

How many Albacores are there in the world?

Even though the exact number of albacore tuna fishes is not known, their population has been assessed to be decreasing by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN. Though their population is not severely fragmented, it is still affected mainly due to human activities.

Where does an Albacore live?

Albacore tuna species are found in various oceans across the world. Their locations are the Indian Ocean, the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. They are also found in the Mediterranean Sea.

What is an Albacore's habitat?

Albacores are pelagic in nature, meaning they do not live too close to the surface or too close to the bottom of the water. Their population is spread out through temperate and tropical waters. The larger albacores prefer cooler areas of the water, while the smaller ones stick to the warmer areas. They are usually found up to a depth of 1968 feet (600 m) in the oceans and sea.

Who do Albacores live with?

The albacore tuna is a solitary species. However, they are known to travel in schools even with fishes of other species while migrating. The other fishes along with whom they migrate are yellowfish tuna, skipjack tuna, and bluefin tuna.

How long does an Albacore live?

An albacore tuna usually has a lifespan of about 11 years. However, in the Atlantic Ocean, the maximum lifespan is 13 years long and in the Mediterranean Sea, it is only nine years.

How do they reproduce?

Albacore tunas are not monogamous in nature and hence, both the male and female fishes have multiple mates. The females lay between two and three million eggs and the males release their sperms in the water. The females are known to scatter their eggs in the water. Following that, external fertilization takes place. Since these tuna species are highly migratory in nature, they migrate to more tropical waters during the breeding season. The adult albacore tuna does not show any parental care towards their offsprings.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the albacore tuna has been listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their main threat is humans. Since this is a popular breed of fish caught to be sold as canned tuna, their population is being severely affected. Several conservation measures are taken to ensure these fishes do not face a drastic decline.

Albacore Fun Facts

What do Albacores look like?

Albacore tuna fishes are caught using different fishing methods.

The tuna albacore is characterized by a pair of big eyes and a pointed snout. Their body is torpedo-shaped. The upper side of the body appears dark blue and iridescent, while the underside has a silvery-white appearance. Another interesting feature of this tuna is its long pectoral fins. The fishes which measure more than 20 in (50 cm), have pectoral fins which are 30% of their total length. Their dorsal and anal fins have a hint of yellow. In this species, the male and female fishes appear the same in appearance. But as they grow older, the male fishes start looking bigger.

How cute are they?

The albacore tuna fish does appear quite cute. Their unique iridescent torpedo-shaped body adds to their charm.

How do they communicate?

There is not a lot of detailed information on how an albacore tuna communicates with members of its own species or other species. But like most other fishes, they are thought to successfully communicate through audible, visual, tactile, and chemical methods.

How big is an Albacore?

The length of the body of an albacore tuna is between 18 to 25 in (45.7 to 63.5 cm). This species of tuna is significantly smaller in size when compared to the bluefin tuna species, which can grow as long as 13 ft or 4 m.

How fast can an Albacore swim?

The albacore tuna is known to be quite a fast swimmer. Being migratory in nature, they attain speeds of about 50 mph (80 kph) while migrating across the waters.

How much does an Albacore weigh?

The weight range for an albacore tuna is between 20 to 45lb (9 to 20.4 kg). However, the maximum weight to be recorded was 133 lb (60.3 kg). The immature albacore tunas weigh less than 30.8 lb (14 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female fishes belonging to this species are known as male albacore tuna and female albacore tuna, respectively.

What would you call a baby Albacore?

A baby albacore tuna would be called an albacore tuna larva.

What do they eat?

Albacore tuna mainly feeds on other smaller fishes, plankton, mollusks, and crustaceans. Their most common prey is the anchovy fish, which is a smaller fish species. However, if there is a lack of this type of fish, they can eat other species as well. Hence, they are considered to be opportunistic feeders.

Are they dangerous?

An albacore tuna fish is not really dangerous to humans when alive. But, since they accumulate a lot of mercury, it can pose a health threat to humans. Hence, it is advisable to not consume canned tuna on a regular basis.

Would they make a good pet?

Albacore tuna fishes are not known to be kept as pets. Since albacore tuna is a larger fish with certain specific requirements, it might be difficult to keep them as pets.

Did you know...

The name albacore is derived from the Portuguese word 'albacora' meaning, yellowfin.

Some of the common predators that prey on albacore are larger tunas, sharks, rays, and so on.

There are a total of six stocks of albacore tuna and each stock has a different pattern of migration. For instance, the stock belonging to the north of the Atlantic is seen to migrate near the Bay of Biscay, which is located near France and Spain.

Do people eat Albacore?

Albacore is one of the most popular choices of seafood among people. This fish is sold as white tuna in the market. In fact, it is the only species that are allowed to be labeled as white meat tuna. They are available in fresh as well as canned form.  The white fish meat is supposed to be rich in omega-3 and vitamins A, B, and D.  Albacore fish is one of the most economically viable fish meat, prompting several large-scale fisheries to produce albacore tuna. Albacore fishing is also carried out using methods like long-line fishing, trolling, and purse seining.

Albacore vs. regular tuna

Even though albacore is a kind of tuna, there are a few differences between the two. There are several kinds of tuna fishes like bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, bonito tuna, and so on. Hence, tuna is a much broader term, whereas albacore refers to a specific kind of tuna. Unlike most tuna, albacore tuna has a much higher fat content. They are also much more expensive when compared to regular tuna. The taste of albacore tuna is also different from regular tuna. The former does not taste as fishy or as metallic as the latter.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including codfish and lungfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Albacore coloring pages.

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