Albies Unite the Coast

Passionate anglers, cutting-edge science, & precautionary fisheries management.

Albies have a cult following throughout the Atlantic coast and much of the ASGA membership depends on them. There are an estimated half of a million trips targeting false albacore annually but unfortunately, there is no management or scientific understanding for this species so important to coastal communities throughout much of the Atlantic coast.  

ASGA recognized how valuable this species is to our membership and leveraged our network to learn more about albies with the goal of convincing fishery managers to establish some precautionary management for his under-appreciated and overlooked species.  

Pioneering Albie Science and Research:

Recognizing that false albacore are a data-poor species, ASGA stepped onto the frontlines of Albie research with ample support from our community partners and sponsor brands. The Association initiated an acoustic tagging study with the New England Aquarium to learn about coastal movements and gain insights about catch and release mortality. You can find results from the first year of the study here.

During the 2021 season, we received a call from one of our Montauk guides, Capt. Vinny Catalano, who connected us with one of his long-time, Albie-crazed clients, Steve Bogdanawicz – who just so happens to be a Geneticist at Cornell University. The next step in the development of The Albie Project was clear. In the following weeks, the ASGA team executed genetics work with albies caught over a 72-hour window in Harker’s Island (NC), Montauk (NY), and Cape Cod (MA).

A summary of the initial results of the Genetics Research can be found here. Additionally, you can listen to The Guide Post Podcast where Steve joins the ASGA team to break down the findings.

False Albacore Management – Opportunities and Challenges:

In the summer of 2022, ASGA began to explore possible avenues for false albacore management, as some of our members in North Carolina and Florida informed us of concerning and expanding sources of landings: unreported and unregulated bait markets. Our primary response was developing precautionary guardrails for albie fisheries to protect the communities dependent on them and the species’ long-term sustainability. You may remember our community call-to-action which can be found here. We first went to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, because albies were previously included in the Council’s Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan.  

While the Council appreciated the value of false albacore fisheries, there was little appetite for full-fledged federal management. ASGA pivoted their management campaign approach, deciding to advocate that the Council’s Mackerel and Cobia Advisory Panel develop fishery performance reports to track landings and catch estimates. In December 2022, the Council directed the Advisory Panel to develop FPRs every three years; while not as frequent as we would have hoped, this was a win for false albacore.

Join The Tag Team:

Join The Albie Tag Team and support ASGA’s efforts to learn more about and protect false albacore for generations to come. This sponsorship supports one of the acoustic telemetry tags currently swimming along the east coast attached to little tunny – deployed by ASGA in partnership with the New England Aquarium this fall. All Tag Teams Sponsors will receive an exclusive Albie Project “Tag Team” hooded tech shirt produced by SIMMS. You can find them here.

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