U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Published in Fish. Oceanogr. (2011) 20:3, 157–173; doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2011.00575.x


Archival tags were used to study the seasonal movements, migration patterns and vertical distribution of juvenile North Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga). Between 2001 and 2006, archival tags were deployed in North Pacific albacore in two regions of the Northeast Pacific: (i) off Northern Baja California, Mexico and Southern California, and (ii) off Washington and Oregon. Twenty archival tagged fish were recovered with times at liberty ranging from 63 to 697 days. Tagged albacore exhibited five distinct, seasonal migratory patterns. Depth and temperature data also showed a broad range of vertical behaviors. In certain regions such as off Baja California, Mexico, juvenile albacore make frequent dives to depths exceeding 200 m during the day and remain in the surface mixed layer at night, whereas off Oregon and Washington they remain near the surface both day and night. Water temperatures encountered ranged from 3.3 to 22.7°C. Peritoneal temperatures were significantly higher by an average of approximately 4°C, as expected in these warm-bodied fish. This study provides a comprehensive examination of horizontal and vertical movements of juvenile albacore in the Northeast Pacific. The results reveal diverse behavior that varies regionally and seasonally as albacore move among different habitats throughout the entire North Pacific.