Certifier : 
MRAG Americas, Inc.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
24 Aug 2007
Certificate expires : 
13 May 2029


Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0078 Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Hooks And Lines - Trolling lines 67 (Pacific, Northeast), 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central) MSC-F-31371 (MRAG-F-0052)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) 2021 4,209

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

Eligibility, client groups and vessel lists

A fishery may choose to define the members of the fishery certificate. These members can be vessels or other client group members (e.g. companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle certified product covered within the fishery certificate scope). Please refer to the fishery certificate statement on additional product specific eligibility criteria (e.g. product eligibility limitations, eligibility date, exclusive points of landing and the point where Chain of Custody certificate is required). Please consult the fishery Public Certification Report for product eligibility rationale.

Documents Published on Files
Vessel List 06 Jun 2024 2 files
List of client group members 15 Jan 2013 1 files

About this Fishery

Albacore tuna is a highly migratory tuna found throughout the world. They mature relatively early and reproduce well. 

Two MSC-certified albacore tuna fisheries in the North Pacific merged in 2014 – the American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA) north fishery and the American Western Fish Boat Owners Association (WFOA) North Pacific fishery. During the past five years the number of US vessels that landed albacore ranged from 650 to 870.

The certified fisheries use pole-and-line and/or troll-and-jig methods to fish for albacore tuna. Both are highly selective methods that catch one fish at a time. Because there are no nets, there's no bycatch of other species.

Trolling for albacore involves towing artificial lures with barbless hooks (‘trolls’) behind a fishing vessel. If fishers see or feel a tuna on a line they pull it in.

When fishers have located a school of albacore tuna, they will keep it close by throwing small amounts of live fish 'chum' (bait), often anchovy, into the water.

In pole-and-line fishing, they use a stout pole with a short line and a single barbless hook to flip the tuna out of the water one by one.

Image: American albacore tuna fisher preparing hook © Carey Schumacher / MSC

Market Information

Most albacore tuna is canned, but it is also sold fresh and frozen. The fishery supplies the US and global markets.