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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 696 | AIRED 06/24/2024

Albacore Tuna: Upcoming Season, West Coast Supply, Japan Supply, North Pacific vs South Pacific Albacore

June 24th, 2024 - June 15th marks the official start of the Pacific Northwest Albacore Tuna season in Canadian and U.S. waters, however actual landings will only occur once favorable oceanic conditions migrate tuna to the fishing grounds.

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This year however, fishermen and industry may have some reason to celebrate, as the U.S. - Canada Albacore Treaty was finally re-signed after operating 2023 without a treaty, which meant that there were no reciprocal fishing opportunities between British Columbia, Canada and Washington state.

If you struggled to source Albacore Tuna along the West Coast last year, it may have been because 2023 was one of the worst harvest seasons on record where only about 3800 metric tonnes were landed.

Previous to 2023, the 5 to 10-year annual harvest averages between Canada and the U.S. range between 10,000 and 12,000 metric tonnes.

Albacore Tuna Update

Fishery managers attribute poor landings to the absence of the treaty, compounded by the Super El Niño, which dispersed tuna over wide areas, reducing vessel landings.

Canadian caught Albacore Tuna from British Columbia have a unique marketable feature - that is, it consistently tests among the lowest in the world for mercury levels, so much that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency imposes no serving limits, allowing consumption by children as young as six months.

Turning to Japan, the world's largest harvester of North Pacific Albacore Tuna, landed approximately 56,000 metric tons in 2020.

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Of this, around 11,000 metric tons were exported to global markets, indicating that Japan retains the majority of its albacore tuna harvest for domestic consumption.

The harvest data for recent years is yet to be finalized.

Albacore Tuna Update

It's important to note that global markets feature both North Pacific and South Pacific Albacore Tuna.

Despite sharing the same scientific name, they differ significantly in flavor, texture, and price.

For more information about Albacore Tuna products, please contact your Tradex Foods Business Representative.

Albacore Tuna Update

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