Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Yellowfin tuna
photo by Archambault, C.

Family:  Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos), subfamily: Scombrinae
Max. size:  239 cm FL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 200 kg; max. reported age: 9 years
Environment:  pelagic-oceanic; depth range 1 - 250 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas, but absent from the Mediterranean Sea. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-16; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 11-16; Vertebrae: 39. This large species is distinguished by the following characters: elongate, fusiform body, slightly compressed laterally; total gill rakers on first gill arch 26-34; dorsal fins 2 and separated only by a narrow interspace, the second followed by 8-10 finlets; anal fin followed by 7 to 10 finlets; large specimens may have very long second dorsal and anal fins, becoming well over 20% of fork length; pectoral fins moderately long, usually reaching beyond second dorsal-fin origin but not beyond end of its base, usually 22-31% of FL; 2 flaps (interpelvic process) between pelvic fins; body with very small scales; corselet of larger scales developed but not very distinct; caudal peduncle very slender, bearing on each side a strong lateral keel between 2 smaller keels; no striations on ventral surface of liver; swimbladder present. Colour of back metallic dark blue changing through yellow to silver on belly; belly frequently crossed by about 20 broken, nearly vertical lines; dorsal and anal fins, and dorsal and anal finlets bright yellow, the finlets with a narrow black border (Ref. 9684).
Biology:  An oceanic species occurring above and below the thermoclines. Pelagic in open water , but rarely seen near reefs (Ref. 48637). They school primarily by size, either in monospecific or multi-species groups. Larger fish frequently school with porpoises, also associated with floating debris and other objects. Feed on fishes, crustaceans and squids. It is sensitive to low concentrations of oxygen and therefore is not usually caught below 250 m in the tropics (Ref. 28952, 30329). Peak spawning occurs during the summer, in batches (Ref. 9684, 51846). Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6769). Encircling nets are employed to catch schools near the surface (Ref. 9340). Caught mainly with longlines and purse seines. Marketed mainly fresh, frozen, canned (Ref. 9684), but also smoked (Ref. 9987). Highly valued for sashimi (Ref. 26938).
IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT); Date assessed: 18 February 2011 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 04.02.19
Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 24.08.99

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