Blackfin Tuna
(Thunnus atlanticus)

Size:
Length - Maximum of approx. 2 – 3 feet
Weight - Maximum of approx. 25 – 50 lbs.

Range:
Blackfin tuna are found throughout the Western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil in the open ocean environment.

Habitat:
Blackfin tuna split their time between surface waters and deeper waters in the open ocean. They prefer warmer waters ranging from 20-25 degrees Celsius.

Diet:
These smaller tropical tuna rely less on finfish than other tuna species. As such, the blackfin tuna often preys on shrimps and crabs.

Life History:
Blackfin tuna are short-lived, often only reaching five years of age. The blackfin tuna reaches maturity in less than 2 years, and begin spawning during the summer in the open ocean environment.

Importance to Fisheries and Aquaculture:
Blackfin tuna stocks remain relatively healthy compared to the many other tuna species facing great fishing pressure and even potential extinction. As such, this is the only species of tuna absent from the red list of species found in the marketplace that are likely sourced from unsustainable fisheries. Although blackin tuna stocks are relatively stable, scientists continue to develop aquaculture technology for the production of this fast growing, and delicious species. Once the production of blackfin tuna reaches technological feasibility, a commercial industry could be formed around it, benefitting society as a whole.

Fun Fact:
Blackfin tuna travel closer to shore than all other tuna species. This smaller bodied tuna is the only member of this group that is commonly found in murkier ‘greenwater’.

The largest blackfin tuna recorded was caught in the Marathon, Florida in 2006. This fish weighed in at 49 lb. 6 oz.