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Home > Biological Info > Blackfin Tuna

Biological Info: Blackfin Tuna

Blackfin Tuna

Scientific Name:
Thunnus atlanticus
Common Names:
Blackfin, Bermuda Tuna, Football
Range & Habitat:
This species is found Gulfwide, in the open ocean. It will venture closer to land than the other tunas, penetrating green water.
Identification & Biology:
This small tuna has the typical fusiform, tuna body shape. The back is dark metallic blue, the sides are silvery-gray and the belly is white. Many have traces of a bronze-colored line down each side. The most reliable identifying characteristic is the color of the small finlets located behind the dorsal and anal fins. In the other four species of tuna, they are yellow or yellow, edged with black. In the blackfin, they are distinctly dusky, although they may have a yellowish tinge.

This tuna seems to have less of a fish-based diet than other tunas and will actually consume the tiny larvae of stomatopods (king shrimp or mantis shrimp), true shrimp, and crabs, as well as fish larvae. It does, of course, also eat juvenile and adult fish and squid. They are a short-lived, fast-growing species, with a 5 year old fish being considered old. They reach sexual maturity at two years old and 4-6 pounds in weight and spawn in the open sea during the summer. Blackfin tuna are a warmer-water fish, preferring water temperatures over 68ºF. What they lack in size, they make up for in numbers and willingness to bite. See Yellowfin Tuna for more information on tuna biology.
Usually 10-20 pounds, but may reach 40 pounds.
Food Value:
Excellent, however the small size of the fish often produces "medallions" rather than steaks from its loins. Flesh color is pink to red. It is oily and best prepared by grilling or broiling.

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