Albacore travel to Tasmania on the eastern Australian current from sub-tropical waters. They are found from shallow coastal waters out to the continental shelf in depths ranging from 10-300 metres, commonly in schools off eastern Tasmania from late summer and through autumn.
A popular recreational species, this highly migratory fish is found with other tunas such as skipjack and yellowfin. Caught by trolling a variety of hard and soft bodied lures at varying depth ranges. The main recreational season in Tasmania is from January through to April.
If practising catch and release, keep tuna out of the water for the minimum time possible and handle with wet hands or cloth. Don’t use a gaff. Larger tuna should be released without removing them from the water. If photographing, hold horizontally.
Tuna need to be correctly handled after capture to retain the best eating quality. They should be killed using a brain spike, bled, then cleaned and chilled shortly after capture. Arguably the best eating of Tasmania’s tunas, albacore has a paler, dry flesh when cooked. Sometimes referred to as the ‘chicken of the sea’. Use as fillets or steaks.
Recipe: Pan Seared or Barbeque Albacore Steaks:
Dry each steak on paper towel. Coat both sides of the steaks with salt, lemon pepper or other seasoning.
Pan Sear: Lightly oil a heavy pan and preheat the pan to hot. Place the steaks in the pan and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. Then, reduce the heat to medium. Cook for a few minutes on each side. The middle of the albacore should still be pink when it is done.
Barbecue: Heat the barbecue until very hot. Place steaks on the oiled grill and brown each side. Reduce the heat or move the steaks to the coolest area of the barbecue and cook for a few minutes on both sides until the fish is just pink inside.