About This Fish

Skipjack Tuna

The skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) is a medium-sized ray finned fish which belongs to the family Scombridae under order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is also known as the aku, arctic bonito, mushmouth, oceanic bonito, striped tuna or victor fish. It is found throughout the southern part of the area except the furthest south-eastern part of the Mediterranean basin. It is occasionally found in the Bay of Biscay. It occurs in offshore waters while larvae are restricted to waters with surface temperatures which range from 15°C to 30°C.

The skipjack is a streamlined fast-swimming pelagic fish. It has fusiform elongated and rounded body. Back is dark purplish-blue, lower sides and belly is silvery with 4-6 very conspicuous longitudinal dark bands. It has two dorsal fins which is separated by a small interspace, of which, the first dorsal fin has 14-16 spines while the second with 13-16 rays which is followed by 7-9 finlets. Anal fin contains 13-16 rays which are also followed by 7 or 8 finlets. Pectoral fin is short with 24-28 rays. Inter-pelvic process is small and bifid. Body is scaleless except for the corselet and lateral line. A strong median keel is present on each side of caudal peduncle between two smaller keels. It exhibits a strong tendency to school in surface waters with birds, drifting objects, sharks and whales and may show a characteristic behavior like jumping, feeding, foaming etc. It feeds on fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods and mollusks. It is preyed upon by large pelagic fishes and sharks. The female reaches sexual maturity at 41-42 cm in length while male at 42-43 cm in length. The skipjack tuna is a batch spawner which spawns during the period from April to September. The female lays 80000 to 1.25 million eggs each season. It grows up to 108 cm in length and 35 kg in weight. Its life span ranges between 8 and 12 years.

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