Albacore is one of the most important commercially harvested species in the world’s oceans. Despite a long history of scientific research, there is no global review or synthesis of knowledge about the species across all oceanic regions. We analysed 613 published studies that report on albacore and summarize the current state of knowledge on biology, stock structure, fisheries and management. To describe the trends in albacore fisheries, we examined the catch and effort databases of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. The stocks of albacore are generally largest in the Pacific Ocean and smallest in the Mediterranean Sea. The biology of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean stocks are well documented, while the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea stocks are more data deficient. These two latter areas should be considered as priorities for future research and data collection in order to better understand the state of global stocks of albacore tuna. Improved information would also assist with delineating stock boundaries needed for sustainable management of this species.