Certifier : 
MRAG Americas, Inc.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
24 Aug 2007
Certificate expires : 
13 Jun 2023


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