Albacore is the only tuna species allowed to be marketed as white meat tuna. Traditionally the premium canned tuna, this highly migratory species is gaining prestige in the finest white-tablecloth restaurants and sushi bars for its mild, delicate flavor.
A cosmopolitan fish, albacore range in subtropical and temperate oceans worldwide. In the Pacific, juvenile albacore embark on well-defined migrations between eastern and western shores. Research suggests that at least two subpopulations inhabit the North Pacific, each with different migration patterns. Spawning adults, more than six years old, make shorter journeys than their offspring.
Off the North American coast in summer and fall, albacore run from Baja California northward to Canada's Queen Charlotte Islands. California albacore fishermen troll feathered jigs at the ocean surface to catch these swift-swimming fish. Several members of the fleet also travel to the South Pacific to fish albacore during wintertime.