Fisheries Infosite

Fishery - Albacore tuna


Key statistics
Recreational significance High
Customary significance High
Environmental importance High
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2020
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2020
Related links
Opportunities and challenges
  • Exploring environmental certification for the domestic albacore fishery 
  • Ensuring orderly development of the South Pacific albacore fishery 
Albacore tuna is fished in New Zealand fisheries waters, and in the Pacific, where a North Pacific and a South Pacific stock are recognised. Within New Zealand waters, albacore form the basis of a summer troll fishery, mostly on the west coast of the North and South Islands. Albacore is also an important recreatioanl target species on the west coast of both the North and South Islands, as well as off the east coast of the North Island from the Bay of Plenty to Wairarapa, and the northern east coast of the South Island. Large albacore are targeted with trolled lures in these areas, both for food and for sport. Small albacore are commonly caught for bait or as a bycatch, off the northern coast of the North Island.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, most ablacore catches occur in longline fisheries within the zone of Pacific Island states and territories, and in adjacent hjigh seas areas. Total South Pacific albacore catches have fluctuated between 25–65,000t since 1960. Average catch between 1990 and 2005 was approximately 44,000t. Catches from within New Zealand fisheries waters account for about 10% of that on average.