Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 775–810 | Cite as

Review of albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, biology, fisheries and management

  • Natacha NikolicEmail author
  • Gilles Morandeau
  • Ludovic Hoarau
  • Wendy West
  • Haritz Arrizabalaga
  • Simon Hoyle
  • Simon J. Nicol
  • Jérôme Bourjea
  • Alexis Puech
  • Jessica H. Farley
  • Ashley J. Williams
  • Alain Fonteneau


Albacore is one of the most important commercially harvested species in the world’s oceans. Despite a long history of scientific research, there is no global review or synthesis of knowledge about the species across all oceanic regions. We analysed 613 published studies that report on albacore and summarize the current state of knowledge on biology, stock structure, fisheries and management. To describe the trends in albacore fisheries, we examined the catch and effort databases of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. The stocks of albacore are generally largest in the Pacific Ocean and smallest in the Mediterranean Sea. The biology of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean stocks are well documented, while the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea stocks are more data deficient. These two latter areas should be considered as priorities for future research and data collection in order to better understand the state of global stocks of albacore tuna. Improved information would also assist with delineating stock boundaries needed for sustainable management of this species.


Albacore Tuna Thunnus alalunga Biology Fishery 



We acknowledge Marielle Bouildé (BLP Nantes) for providing early publications. This work was developed under the project GERMON “No759/DMSOI/2013” funded by European Fisheries Funds EU FEP 2013-2015 and IFREMER. Finally, the authors thank two anonymous reviewers and the associate editor for their very helpful recommendations to improve this manuscript.

Supplementary material

11160_2016_9453_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2686 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natacha Nikolic
    • 1
    • 9
    Email author
  • Gilles Morandeau
    • 3
    • 9
  • Ludovic Hoarau
    • 1
    • 9
  • Wendy West
    • 4
    • 9
  • Haritz Arrizabalaga
    • 5
    • 9
  • Simon Hoyle
    • 6
    • 9
  • Simon J. Nicol
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  • Jérôme Bourjea
    • 1
    • 9
  • Alexis Puech
    • 1
    • 9
  • Jessica H. Farley
    • 9
    • 10
  • Ashley J. Williams
    • 7
    • 9
  • Alain Fonteneau
    • 2
    • 9
  1. 1.IFREMER, Délégation Océan IndienLe Port CedexFrance
  2. 2.Saint MaloFrance
  3. 3.IFREMERAngletFrance
  4. 4.Department of Agriculture Forestry and FisheriesRoggebaaiSouth Africa
  5. 5.AZTIPasaiaSpain
  6. 6.NelsonNew Zealand
  7. 7.Oceanic Fisheries ProgrammeSecretariat of the Pacific CommunityNouméaNew Caledonia
  8. 8.Institute for Applied EcologyUniversity of CanberraBruceAustralia
  9. 9.CSIRO Oceans and AtmosphereHobartAustralia
  10. 10.Australian Government Department of AgricultureCanberraAustralia

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