Albacores are swift, streamlined members of the tuna family. They are truly mystery fish of the sea. Large schools of albacores live in warm and temperate seas throughout the world. They are uncommon near the equator and in cold Arctic water. Little is known about where albacores lay their eggs or how their young develop, however. also, the migration routes used by albacores through the open sea are still not understood. Every commercial fishermen catch millions of pounds of albacores in the deep waters off the western coast of the United States. Tremendous schools appear in offshore waters in early summer and may still be present in the fall. Later the schools appear off the coast of Japan and also in the waters off the Hawaiian Islands. Schools of smaller fish show up first, then the heavyweights. Sometimes airplanes are used to spot these big schools as they swim along close to the surface feeding on smaller fish. A few albacores are also caught in the Atlantic, but they are not abundant enough there to be important to commercial fishermen. Albacores have white meat which is canned and sold as, ”chicken of the sea.” Albacores are fast swimmers. Their dorsal fins fit into slots on their backs so that they create no friction when the fish are travelling at top speed. An albacore tagged by biologists off the coast of California was caught two weeks later by fishermen near Japan. It had travelled about 400 hundred miles per day. Albacores are caught on hook and line by trolling lures or live baits through their schools. They fight hard, taking the lure or bait deep into the water. As soon as they stop the fishermen begin ”pumping” them up. The record catch weighed 69 pounds, but albacores are reported to reach a weighed of more than 80 pounds.
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