Up here in the Pacific Northwest, July is a big month for tuna, and we are fortunate that some of the healthiest Albacore tuna fish stock can be found off our coasts. In fact, according to Fishpeople seafood supplier and commercial fisherman Capt. Scott Kastengren, tuna stocks have improved over the years, and Albacore tuna is more abundant than ever. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, this increase in numbers can be attributed to the combined efforts of the United States, Canada, and Japan: all three countries tightly manage their tuna fishing industry to insure stock is maintained at a sustainable level.
Large numbers of Albacore tuna off the Oregon coast are one of the reasons Capt. Scott Kastengren loves to fish. Tuna swim in large schools that sometimes reach a mile wide and hundreds of fish deep. Using the sustainable catch method of hook-and-line, Capt. Scott skims up to 200 fish at a time off the top of a school, circles back, and repeats.
Here are our top 7 reasons Albacore tuna is one of our most impressive species:
- Tuna are fast. They are one of the fastest fish in the sea, and can swim up to 50 miles per hour. Born of the Sea of Japan, they are highly migratory, and can cross entire oceans. Their long journey makes them voracious eaters. Each year, young Albacore migrate to the Pacific West Coast, where they feed. When they are caught, they are plump and well-fed, which contributes to their tastiness.
- Tuna are somewhat warm-blooded. They maintain their body temperature at a higher level than the surrounding water. This is due to their highly evolved circulatory system that reduces the loss of heat, keeping their muscles warm and working efficiently. source
- Tuna is good for your organs. Tuna is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat), which help your brain function more efficiently, and can actually help stave off heart disease. source source
- Tuna is safer to eat than other seafood species. When you eat Albacore tuna fish that weigh less than 16 lbs., you are eating fish that have not been alive long enough to accumulate dangerous levels of mercury. That’s why Fishpeople selects only small, young fish for our products.
- Tuna is high in protein and good for your muscles. One cup of Albacore has 41 grams of protein and no carbs. Bodybuilders and dedicated weightlifters often add this food to their meal regimens because protein is important for the rebuilding of muscles. source
- Tuna rids the body of toxins. Albacore contains very high levels of Selenium, which neutralizes the effects of radiation and heavy metals – including mercury.
- Tuna is sustainable. Albacore tuna that is wild caught using hook-and-line trollers is one of the most sustainable fish you can eat. The Monterey Bay Aquarium rates Albacore a Best Choice because this method results in very little bycatch.
These are just a few of the things that make tuna a great species, and why including Albacore tuna in your diet on a regular basis is a great idea. We are what we eat, and when it comes to fish, eating Albacore tuna is a wise, healthy, and sustainable choice.