- Albacore are the only tuna allowed by the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed and sold as white meat. Because of this distinction, albacore is the most prized tuna meat in the United States.
- Albacore is considered inferior to other tuna meat in Japan for the exact same reason. Only some members of the billfish family (marlins, swordfish) and the mako shark are faster. Albacore have been recorded going over 55 knots.
- Close to 200,000 tons of albacore are harvested every year, most coming from the Pacific Ocean.
Blackfin tuna (Thunnus)
Blackfin tuna are one of the smaller but most abundant tuna species. They are equally tapered toward their head and tail from their midsection, helping them earn the nickname football. Coloration is dark metallic blue on the back, silver on the sides and milky white on the belly. The finlets that run from the second dorsal and anal fins are gray, as are the other fins. Light bars and spots alternate on the lower side. The eyes are large and the pectoral fin is moderately long.
Though blackfin tuna were thought to be mainly piscivorous, or only fish eaters, they actually feed more on small crustaceans, zooplankton, crab and shrimp larvae and squid than on fish. Blackfin tuna feed most often at the surface, feeding in schools. They feed both by straining food items from the water and chasing and engulfing prey.
This species of tuna is found only in the western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts in the north to Brazil in the south and including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Blackfin tuna prefer warmer water and are found in the more northern part of their range only during summer months. They favor water above 68 F. They are usually found on or near the surface in open water, usually near offshore reefs, but sometimes near shore. They often occupy areas along current lines over reefs and banks and are known to form large schools with skipjack tuna.
- The all-tackle world record is 45 pounds, 8 ounces caught off the coast of Florida.
- Blackfin tuna are one of the most common items in the diet of blue marlin.