Mercury Risk: Moderate
Albacore tuna, or shiro maguro, is one of the smallest members of the tuna family. It occurs in temperate and tropical zones throughout the world’s oceans, and is commonly found in many North American sushi establishments. Common issues faced by albacore fisheries include high bycatch levels and depleted stock status. Some fisheries are strong and well-managed; others are not.
Pacific troll-caught albacore from the contiguous United States, Hawaii, or Canada is one of the best ways to enjoy tuna at the sushi bar. With relatively strong stocks and a low bycatch rate, shiromaguro from these fisheries is an excellent choice.
Longline albacore from Hawaii and the North Pacific (U.S. and Canada) is a decent alternative. It has less bycatch and better management than other longline albacore fisheries, but it is still not an optimal
U.S. Atlantic and imported troll-caught albacore is a somewhat satisfactory option. Bycatch is relatively low in these fisheries, but stock status and management effectiveness vary widely.
All longline albacore, with the exception of the Hawaiian option discussed above, should be avoided. Many international albacore fisheries are largely unregulated, with highly disturbing levels of bycatch.
Casson Trenor is a frequent commentator on sustainable seafood issues. He has been featured in regional, national, and international media outlets, including CNN, NPR, Forbes, New York Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times.