NEWPORT — Albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, are built for speed. Their torpedo-shaped bodies sport smooth skin and streamlined fins that help these large predatory fish cross the world’s oceans with ease.
Like the vast herds of wildebeest in the Serengeti, tuna gather in great numbers, forming schools up to 19 miles wide. Together they travel tremendous distances in search of food and suitable habitat to spawn.
Each summer albacore tunas’ journey takes them past the Oregon Coast, motivating commercial and recreational fishing trollers to make their own migrations — more than 50 miles offshore to find this fishery.
The locale of this action makes the spectacle inaccessible to most, but the Oregon Coast Aquarium will bring the tremendous world of albacore tuna to shore for Tuna Fisheries Day on July 22.
Interactive displays will let visitors cast into the world of Oregon’s albacore tuna fishery from the Bayfront's docks to the Aquarium's exhibits.
Guests will have an opportunity to explore this speedy fish's adaptations, learn to tie knots like professional fisherpersons, shop for sustainable seafood with Oregon State University's Cooperative Extension or sample albacore tuna served up by the Oregon Albacore Commission.
The fishing practices of the Oregon albacore fleet are certified as well-managed and sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council and a “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. The fish are hand-caught, one at a time using outriggers or fishing poles to ensure the tuna are extremely fresh, and to eliminate inadvertent catch of other types of fish.
Tuna Fisheries Day activities are free with Aquarium admission and no advance registration required. For more information visit aquarium.org or call 541-867-FISH.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium, an accredited 501(c)3 non-profit organization association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Road, Newport. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow us on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium, or Twitter.com/OrCoastAquarium for the latest updates.