Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
16 May 2011
Certificate expires : 
13 Aug 2022


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-0135 Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Hooks And Lines - Trolling lines 81 (Pacific, Southwest) MSC-F-31295 (F-ACO-0038)

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) 2020 2,750

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.

About this Fishery

This fishery is found on the western coasts of the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and was certified in 2011. The fleet comprises 175 vessels.

Albacore tuna is a highly migratory pelagic species. Mature fish spawn in tropical and sub-tropical waters between about 10°S and 25°S during the austral summer. Juveniles appear in surface fisheries in New Zealand at 1 year of age, from where they appear to gradually disperse to the north. Subsequently, there are regular migrations between tropical and subtropical waters. Albacore migrate south during early summer and north during winter.

Commercial albacore trollers in New Zealand tow 12-18 lines simultaneously from the vessel’s stern and from long outrigger poles mounted amidships. The line lengths or depths are adjusted to permit hauling of any one line without tangling or interfering with the others. The lines are either braided polypropylene, dacron or monofilament nylon and are hauled in by hand or by hydraulic haulers.

Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

Market Information

3,000 tonnes are harvested annually. Most albacore is landed whole. Troll caught albacore are sent to a variety of markets for canning including Thailand and Pago Pago. Recently, a significant proportion of albacore has been exported to canneries in Spain.