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Tooltip Tags: Tuna

Yellowfin tuna [YFT]

Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Yellowfin tuna is among the larger tuna species, reaching lengths of two meters, although the common size ranges 40–170 cm. It is an open‑water and oceanic species found worldwide in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, between 40°N and 40°S, but mainly concentrated between 20°N and 20°S. This species forms both free and associated schools of similarly sized individuals, either in mono‑ or multi‑species groups. The free‑swimming schools tend to contain large individuals and are mono‑specific. Although not common elsewhere, in the Eastern Pacific, schools are often associated with dolphin pods. As for juveniles, they can form schools with skipjack and juvenile bigeye tuna in shallow waters. Schools may also occur in association with floating objects.

See also Tropical tuna species, Dolphin set and Dolphin strategy.


Tropical tuna species

Tropical tuna species

Tuna species that inhabit warm‑temperate tropical and subtropical waters, with temperatures generally greater than 18°C, (although they can dive in colder waters). This group includes skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna.

Temperate tuna species

Temperate tuna species

Tuna species that inhabit cold‑temperate waters around 10°C, although they can also be found in warmer waters of the subtropical regions. This group includes the three species of bluefin tuna (Atlantic bluefin, Pacific bluefin, and Southern bluefin) and albacore tuna.

Skipjack tuna [SKJ]

Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)

The smallest of the commercial tuna species, it usually does not reach one meter length (40–80 m). Skipjack is highly migratory and is found throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans between 55–60°N and 45–50°S, although the greatest abundance is registered in equatorial waters. This species usually swims near the surface and exhibits a strong tendency to school by size. Large schools of adult skipjack tuna often mix with albacore and juvenile yellowfin and bigeye tuna. Schools may also occur with whales or whale sharks and with drifting or floating objects. Moreover, they are the principal species associated with FADs, where can be caught in conjunction with juvenile yellowfin and bigeye tunas.

See also Tropical tuna species.


Southern bluefin tuna [SBT]

Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii)

Previously considered a subspecies of the Pacific bluefin or Atlantic bluefin, the Southern bluefin tuna also reaches large sizes, and adults are commonly found at around 180 cm in length. Southern bluefin occurs throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, in temperate and cold seas, mainly between 30°S and 50°S, to nearly 60°S. This species is highly migratory and travels long distances, tending to school by size.

See also Temperate tuna species.

Southern Bluefin


Pacific bluefin tuna [PBF]

Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis)

The Pacific bluefin is one of the largest of the tuna species (80–200 cm length), although it is generally smaller than the Atlantic bluefin tuna, with which it is closely related. Of the tunas, Pacific bluefin has the largest geographic range; it is primarily found in the North Pacific, from the East Asian coast to the western coast of North America. Although it is mainly a temperate water species, it also tolerates tropical waters and seasonally comes close to the shore. This species is considered to consist of only one stock and it forms schools by size, sometimes with other mackerel and tuna species.

See also Temperate tuna species.

Pacific Bluefin

Bluefin tuna [BFT]

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus spp.)

Bluefin tuna is the common name used to refer the group comprised of three different temperate water species of the genus Thunnus (T. thynnus, T. orientalis and T. maccoyii), representing the largest of the tuna specimens. Bluefin tuna has the widest geographical distribution of all tunas, including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Southern Hemisphere.

See also Pacific bluefin, Atlantic bluefin and Southern bluefin.

Bigeye tuna [BET]

Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

One of the main tuna species found in warm temperate waters of the Atlantic (but not in the Mediterranean), Pacific and Indian Oceans, with lengths ranging 40–180 cm. Its geographical distribution covers from 55–60°N and 45–50°S. Juveniles are seen in the equatorial region while adults are found at higher latitudes. Bigeye tuna can form either free schools or be associated with floating objects; juvenile bigeye can form schools with juvenile yellowfin and skipjack tunas.

See also Tropical tuna species.


Albacore tuna [ALB]

Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga)

One of the smaller major tuna species (40–100 cm length), generally bigger than skipjack, but smaller than yellowfin tuna. Albacore tuna is a temperate species widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters throughout all oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. It ranges from 5°N to 40°S in the Indian Ocean, and from 45–50°N and 30–40°S in the Atlantic Ocean. Albacore tend to travel in single species schools — without the level of mixing seen in other species — and their association with floating objects is not common.

See also Temperate tuna species.


Atlantic bluefin tuna

Northern Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

The largest of the tuna species that can reach three meters in length, although the common size ranges 80–200 cm. The Atlantic bluefin tuna occurs in subtropical and temperate waters and has a wide geographical distribution from the North Pacific Ocean to the North Atlantic Ocean (including the Mediterranean). This species schools by size and sometimes can be seen together with albacore, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, etc.

See also Temperate tuna species.

Atlantic Bluefin