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Other names: 

Atlantic bluefin tuna, tunny fish, horse-mackerel

Scientific name: 

Thunnus thynnus


Occurs in subtropical and temperate waters of the north Pacific Ocean, the North Atlantic Ocean, and in the Mediterranean and Black seas.

It is a pelagic, schooling, highly migratory species. The smallest fish form the largest schools and vice versa.Its migrations, which are among the most extensive of all fish, appear to be tied to water temperature, spawning habits, and the seasonal movements of fishes on which the bluefin feeds.

Specimens tagged in the Bahamas have been recaptured as far north as Newfoundland and Norway and as far south as Uruguay. In some cases the captured fish had traveled 5,000 mi (8050 km) in 50 days. The giants of the species make the longest migrations.Reportedly, some can be found as far north as northern Siberia.However, the water temperature must be above 50F (10 C).

This is the largest tuna and one of the largest true bony fish. It can be distinguished from almost all others by its rather short pectoral fins which extend only as far back as the eleventh or twelfth spine in the first dorsal fin.

During spawning which occurs in the summer or spring, a giant female may shed 25 million or more eggs. Bluefins grow rapidly and may be 2 ft (0.6 m) in length and weigh 9 lb (4 kg) by the end of their first year. By age 14 they may be over 8 ft (2 m) long and weigh 700 lb (318 kg).

Fishing methods include still fishing or trolling with live or dead bait such as mackerel, herring, mullet, or squid; and trolling with artificial lures including spoons, plugs, or feathers. Bluefin tuna are supreme in their size, strength and speed, and axe a very important game fish. They are also extremely important commercially in many parts of the world.

The flesh is of good quality and the annual world catch is significant. Their red flesh is prized in Japan more than that of any other tuna, especially late in the season when the meat contains the most fat. It commands premium prices in Japanese restaurants, where it is served raw.

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