Name: bluefin tuna are a group of saltwater fish in the tuna family, there are five species: albacore, southern bluefin, bigeye, Pacific bluefin, and Atlantic bluefin tuna.
Appearance: bluefin tuna have streamlined bodies, cone-shaped heads, and large mouths. They are dark blue above and grey below, with bright yellow fin tips.
Size: they are one of the biggest fish in the sea. Atlantic bluefin are the largest species, reaching up to 4.5 metres and weighing over 600 kg. The smallest are the albacores which measure 1.4 metres and weigh around 60 kg.
Diet: thanks to their powerful muscles and streamlined shape, bluefin tuna are incredibly fast swimmers and apex predators. They feed on a range of smaller fish including sardines, herring, and mackerel, as well as squid and crustaceans.
Did you know: the Atlantic bluefin tuna is the target of one of the world’s most lucrative commercial fisheries. Bluefins are targeted for the Japanese sushi and sashimi market and fetch eye-watering prices. This has led to severe overfishing and a collapse in bluefin numbers around the world. Global efforts to protect the species failed, however, regional quotas on fishing numbers have led to increases in particular areas. As of 2021 they were moved off the endangered species list by the IUCN.
Location: bluefin tuna are found throughout the world’s oceans.
Where to see bluefin tuna
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see bluefin tuna in the following places:
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Photo credit: Tom Puchner under a Creative Commons licence from Flickr