About This Fish

Yellowfin Tuna

The yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) is a ray finned fish which belongs to the family Scombridae under order Perciformes of class Actinopterygii. It inhabits warm waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and all warm seas except the Mediterranean. In the western Atlantic, the species is found from Massechusetts to Brazil including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a pelagic fish that often travels in schools with similarly sized companions. Larger fish frequently schools with porpoises, also associated with floating debris and other objects. It sometimes schools with other tuna species.

Yellowfin tuna have elongated, fusiform and slightly compressed bodies. Body is metallic dark blue on the back and upper sides and yellow to silver on the belly. The dorsal fin, anal fin and finlets are bright yellow. Dorsal fin has 11-14 spines and 12-16 soft rays while anal fin contains 11–16 soft rays. It has very long second dorsal fin and anal fin. The pectoral fin is moderately long which reaches beyond the second dorsal fin origin. The belly frequently has about 20 broken, nearly vertical lines. The yellowfin tuna mostly feeds on pelagic crustaceans, squid and other fish such as flying fish, sauries, mackerel, lanternfish, driftfish, anchovies, sardines, frigate mackerel and skipjack tuna. It is preyed upon by larger tuna, wahoo, shark and billfish, Pacific blue marlin and black marlin. It is a batch spawner which spawns at sea in the spring and summer and it is capable of reproduction at the age of 2 or 3 years. It is the largest tuna which reaches 239 cm in length and 220 kg in weight. It can live up to 9 years.