Most tongol tuna is ranked as "Avoid" due to high levels of bycatch and poor enforcement of fisheries regulations.
Tongol is typically marketed as either tongol tuna or canned light tuna, and is gaining popularity as a slightly moister alternative to albacore (white) tuna.
Unlike most other commercially caught tuna species that travel the world's oceans, tongol tuna is "neritic," meaning it favors nearshore waters. It's found in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.
Over 90 percent of tongol tuna in the market comes from four nations: Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Thailand. All have numerous management measures in place to help protect tongol tuna populations; however, Malaysia is the only one that also has adequate enforcement. For this reason, tongol tuna from Malaysia is ranked as a "Good Alternative."
Tongol tuna is caught in a variety of ways. Gear such as trolls, handlines, or pole gear is more selective, and tongol tuna caught these ways are "Good Alternatives."
Tongol tuna caught using all other gear (including gillnets and purse seines) has high bycatch of sharks and juvenile fishes and is ranked as "Avoid" - unless caught in Malaysia, in which case it's a "Good Alternative."