American albacore tuna | PCC Natural Markets

American albacore tuna


Rich and meaty, albacore tuna is delicious whether rubbed with spices and grilled or simply pan-seared — and it pairs well with everything from cool Miso marinades to spicy glazes and salsas.

PCC gets its fresh albacore from the warm waters off Hawaii. It’s low in saturated fat and a rich source of niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus, and heart-healthy omega-3s. Each four-ounce serving, in fact, contains more than two times the amount of omega-3s you need in a day!

It's in the can

Pacific Northwest pole-caught albacore — provided in cans and jars at PCC — is one of the most healthy and sustainable seafoods you can eat. It tops the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program’s Super Green List, meaning it’s a “Best Choice” for sustainability, contains the daily minimum of omega-3s, and has low levels of contaminants. PCC carries several brands in the aisle with canned and jarred seafood, including Sweet Creek Foods, Tuna Guys and Wild Planet.

High in omega-3s, low in mercury

When you think of omega-3s, salmon probably is the first fish that comes to mind. But did you know that Pacific Northwest pole-caught albacore tuna also is a terrific source of these healthful fats? It may even have nearly twice as much as salmon, in fact, and has many times the amount found in tuna that wasn’t caught locally. One trusted PCC brand, Wild Planet, says its tuna has 1,384 mg per 2-ounce serving. Other albacore tuna has only 250 mg!

Why? The reason is that companies that pack PNW pole-caught albacore cook the fish only once, leaving all the natural omega-3s in the can. The large national brands of tuna lose most of the omega-3s in a pre-cooking process before the fish is put in the can with water or vegetable oil, and sell the extracted omega-3 oil to supplement manufacturers.

PNW troll-caught albacore are lower in mercury because they are smaller (about nine to 25 pounds) and younger (three to five years old) than the longline-caught older fish that reach up to 70 pounds after 10 to 15 years of growth. The older the fish, the more it bio-accumulates mercury.

Troll-caught, pole-caught

"Troll-caught" (or “pole-caught”) means the fish was caught by towing a lure or baited hook behind a slow-moving boat. In the albacore fishery, trollers attach 10 to 20 fishing lines to the vessel's outriggers. Trollers are limited in the number of fish they can catch — they have about 12 hooks in the water at any one time, and when an albacore is hooked, the fisherman has to pull each line in individually. This means there virtually is no by-catch.

More about: omega-3, sustainable seafood, tuna