- 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.
Shortfin mako (Isurus)
The shortfin mako shark has a well-proportioned, streamlined body that allows it to swim very fast. It is considered the fastest shark and one of the fastest fish in the sea. The mako is a deep blue to blue gray on its back and sides, with a white belly. The larger first dorsal fin starts just behind the base of the pectoral fins, and the second dorsal fin is positioned slightly in front of the anal fin. Its tail fin is crescent shaped with nearly equal lobes. This shark has large black eyes and a long sharp nose. In addition, its teeth differ from other sharks. Instead of triangular teeth with serrations, the teeth are long, smooth and slightly curved.
The shortfin mako is an aggressive hunter that uses its speed in hunting. Smaller mako will feed mainly on squid and fish, such as mackerel, herring and bonito. Larger mako will add billfish, other sharks and small cetaceans, which are marine mammals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises, to their diet. When attacking swordfish, shortfin mako will first disable the prey by shearing off its tail.
The shortfin mako can be found in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world. Specific regions include the western Atlantic from the Gulf of Maine to southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. In the eastern Atlantic, shortfin mako are found from Norway to South Africa, including the Mediterranean Sea. In Indo-Pacific waters, shortfin mako range from east Africa to Hawaii, as far north as Primorsk Kray (far southeastern Russian region between China and the Sea of Japan) and south to Australia. In the eastern Pacific, mako are found as far north as the Alaskan Aleutian Islands through southern California and as far south as Chile.
Shortfin mako are primarily open-water sharks that are usually found in varying depths from the surface to 500 feet deep. However, it has been documented that the shortfin mako will enter water deeper than 1,300 feet. They are found all over the world except in cold waters, preferring waters ranging from the high 50s to 70 F with generally the larger shortfin mako able to tolerate the colder water. Shortfin mako are also seasonally migratory, traveling with the warm water as far as 1,500 miles.
- The all-tackle world record for a shortfin mako is 1,115 pounds caught of Mauritius (a small island east of Africa in the Indian Ocean) in 1988.
- In addition to being typically found in deeper waters, the longfin mako has longer pectoral fins and a rounder nose compared to that of a shortfin.
- Swimming speeds of shortfin mako have been reliably clocked at 31 mph but there are also less reliable affirmations of swimming speeds up to 60 mph.