Although albacore are closely related and quite similar to skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna, they have different life history strategies. Skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna are characterized by rapid growth and development, early maturation, and high energy input into gonad production. Albacore on the other hand, grow slow, mature late, and put relatively little energy into gonad production. The life stages of albacore include immature juveniles, non-spawning mature adults, and spawning mature adults. The eggs and larvae are planktonic, floating around the water column freely. The typical age of sexual maturity is five years. Up until the age of four, differences between males and females are negligible, but after that, males become increasingly larger than females. When captured, sex is determined by gonad analysis.
- Essington, T. 2003. Development and Sensitivity Analysis of Bioenergetics Models for Skipjack Tuna and Albacore: A Comparison of Alternative Life Histories. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 132: 759-770.
- Santiago, J., H. Arrizabalaga. 2005. An integrated growth study for North Atlantic albacore (Thunnus alalunga Bonn. 1788). Journal of Marine Science, 62: 740-749.