Atlantic bluefin (Thunnus thynnus) is one of three bluefin tuna species, together with Pacific bluefin and Southern bluefin.
For many years, bluefin tunas around the Northern Hemisphere were considered to be the same, or one subspecies. They were only recently divided as a result of the scientific agreement that Atlantic bluefin and Pacific bluefin (Thunnus orientalis) are separate species.
The Atlantic bluefin is the largest of the tuna species. It can reach 3 meters in length (or nearly 10 feet), although the common size ranges between 80 and 200 cm. Two stocks are assessed and considered in development of fishery management by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT): Western Atlantic Ocean, and Eastern and Mediterranean stocks.
The Atlantic bluefin tolerates a wide range of temperatures. It lives in subtropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean and Black seas, although sightings in the Black Sea are now rare. They are highly migratory and tend to form schools by size. Sometimes bluefin can be seen together with other tuna species like albacore, yellowfin, bigeye, and skipjack.
- In the eastern Atlantic, this species is present from Norway to the Canary Islands, including the Mediterranean and the southern part of the Black Sea, between 80–70°N and 20–10°N.
- In the western Atlantic, Thunnus thynnus ranges from Canada to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, between 60–50°N and the Equator.
- 80°N to 60°S, 100°W to 20°E
The following Atlantic bluefin stocks are managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) RFMO:
- Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin
- Western Atlantic bluefin
Bluefin Tuna Stock Status
Our Status of the Stocks report summarizes the status of bluefin tuna worldwide according to the most recent scientific assessments. The report includes:
- Catch data
- Graphics and charts
- Ratings on stock abundance, fishing mortality, and fishing’s environmental or bycatch impact
It also reviews the management measures for bluefin that Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) have adopted.
Bluefin Stock Health & Catch Trends
Use our “Interactive Stock Status and Catch Tool” to visualize, download, and share data about bluefin tuna:
- Stock health since 2011
- Current catch by fishing method
- Catch trends by fishing method since 1950
Our research and advocacy work aims to ensure, on a global level, that tuna resources are well managed and protected from overfishing.
Tuna Stock Evaluations
An ISSF report uses the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) scoring system to evaluate both the health and RFMO management of 23 tuna stocks worldwide, including bluefin.