Variety of Tuna Fish and their Significance

Tuna comprises of several species of fish together. It includes a total of 61 species, of which 14 are considered to be “true tuna”. Albacore, skipjack, bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin are the five species, which are predominantly seen in the Pacific islands.

variety of tuna fish and their significance

The Types of Tuna Fish Having Commercial and Recreational Importance

Albacore

White Tuna as they are called popularly have long pectoral fins which are their distinctive characteristic. They venture into the south and west coast of USA and make up 20% of shelf stable tuna market of USA.

Skipjack

They are known as surface schooling tuna which are distinguished by their small size, dark pectoral fins and distinct three to six dark longitudinal lines. They are usually found all year-round in the warm tropical waters of the WCPO. Skipjack are caught mainly by purse seine and pole-and-line gear. They are used in the production of canned tuna and make up 70% of shelf stable market of USA.

Bigeye

This type of tuna are among the largest of tuna species and are distinguished by small dorsal and anal fins and a glowing blue longitudinal  band on the body. They are distributed geographically between 40°N and 40°S. They are found at a depth of 500m -1000m; as they are sensitive to low temperatures and low oxygen levels.

Yellowfin

This type of tuna are a relatively large tuna, easily distinguished by their large bright yellow second dorsal and anal fins. Yellowfin tuna are distributed throughout the tropical and sub-equatorial waters of the WCPO. Small yellowfin are caught on the surface by a range of gears including hand line, purse seine and ringlet and are used mainly for canning,

Bluefin

These fishes are mainly found in Atlantic and Southern Pacific. Sushi preparation has boosted the demand of these bluefin tuna. They are caught by purse-seining catches when they come together to spawn. Their demand for Sushi has led to the adoption of this new technique of fishing. They are warm-blooded top predators that move faster than a sports car.

Bonito

Known as Atlantic Bonito, distinguished by short pectoral fins and 9-12 dark stripes on their backs. They are the biggest angled fish and caught in parts of Black Sea, Indian Ocean, North East Atlantic Ocean by the purse seining method. They are sold in markets of Turkey, Greece and Spain.

Thus on a concluding note, among the sixty one species of tuna, only five species are of considerable commercial and recreational importance.

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