North Atlantic Albacore Tuna are large, oceanic fish and are seasonally migratory, some making trans-oceanic journeys. Albacore are landed at Viking Village as a longline product. They are found from the surface to a depth of 600m where they often form mixed schools with skipjack, yellowfin and bluefin tuna.
One of the smaller commercial tunas, North Atlantic albacore is most recognizable by its elongated pectoral fins, which span 30 percent of its body length.
•Geographic range: Gulf Stream of western North Atlantic Ocean, extending north into the Grand Banks; the North Atlantic stock is also in eastern Atlantic along Africa/Europe
•Habitat: Found in surface waters but feed throughout water column
•Life span: 9+ years
•Food: Groundfish, pelagic fish, deep-water fish, and invertebrates such as squid
•Growth rate: Rapid; females grow faster than males
•Maximum size: Up to 1,165 pounds
•Reaches reproductive maturity: Between 4 to 5 years in females
•Reproduction: Swordfish spawn numerous times throughout the year. Females produce a highly variable number of eggs: from 1 to 16 million in a 370-pound female to 29 million in a 600-pound female.
•Spawning season: Year-round
•Spawning grounds: Warm tropical and sub-tropical waters
•Migrations: Swordfish annually migrate thousands of miles along the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada and also in eastern Atlantic along Africa/Europe.
•Predators: Swordfish are top predators, but juvenile swordfish may fall prey to other larger fish.
•Commercial or recreational interest: Both
•Distinguishing characteristics: Swordfish have a long, flattened bill, which is used for slashing and stunning prey. Their color is darkest on top, generally black or brown, and fades to a lighter color below. They have special eye muscles and a heat exchange system, both of which allow them to swim in deep cold water in search of prey. They also have a streamlined body that facilitates swimming at high speeds.