- 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.
Little tunny (Euthynnus)
The body of the little tunny is wider towards the center and tapers towards both ends. Coloration is a metallic light blue on the upper half with a pale silver underbelly. The upper back has wavy black lines and below the pectoral fin is a set of dark spots. The front dorsal fin consists of about 15 dorsal spines. There is an average of 12 dorsal soft rays and 13 anal soft rays. Behind the second dorsal fin and behind the anal fin are a series of finlets. The air bladder is nonexistent on the little tunny.
Little tunny feed on small fish and crustaceans. Among their favored foods are round herring, Spanish sardine, round scad, squid and fish larvae. However, they will consume whatever is found in their environment at the time and eat almost 3 times their body weight each year.
Found in tropical and subtropical waters in the Atlantic Ocean, little tunny usually occur in the area about 55 degrees north latitude to 30 degrees south latitude. In the western Atlantic, they can be found from New England to Brazil, though they are most numerous around Florida and the Bahamas and in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. In the eastern Atlantic, they are found from Great Britain to South Africa, including the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.
Little tunny can reside in both inshore bays and reefs and offshore. Generally, they are found in waters up to about 500 feet deep. Little tunny travel in large schools as they migrate north and south in a seasonal pattern. In fact, some schools have been known to be 2 miles long.
- To lessen the strong flavor of the little tunny, remove the dark strip of meat that goes through the length of the fish.
- The world record for little tunny was caught off Algeria and weighed 35 pounds, 2 ounces.
- The little tunny is also known as the false albacore and bonito.