The fast, powerful Oregon Albacore are hand-caught, one at a time, and handled with care all through the process. The boats tow lures called “jigs” from fishing lines attached to outriggers, that are extended on either side of the boat. Tuna is also caught on individual poles held by fishermen using bait. Once an albacore bites, the fisherman lands it by hand, removes the barbless hook, and transfers it to ice for the fresh market or to an on-board freezer. In both cases the fish is preserved in as fresh a state as possible.
This type of fishing, sometimes called trolling, hook and line, or pole-caught, produces the very best quality, and eliminates inadvertent catch of other types of fish (called by-catch) such as sea turtles and dolphins.
The fishing practices of the Oregon Albacore fleet are a source of pride. These high standards have been commended by international environmental groups, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which certified the fishery as well-managed and sustainable. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch awarded Oregon Albacore with a “Best Choice” because of the abundant stocks and environmentally friendly fishing methods.