For many years, bluefin tunas around the Northern Hemisphere were considered to be the same, or one subspecies. They were only recently divided as a result of the scientific agreement that Atlantic bluefin and Pacific bluefin (Thunnus orientalis) are separate species.
The Atlantic bluefin is the largest of the tuna species. It can reach 3 meters in length (or nearly 10 feet), although the common size ranges between 80 and 200 cm. Two stocks are assessed and considered in development of fishery management by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT): Western Atlantic Ocean, and Eastern and Mediterranean stocks.
The Atlantic bluefin tolerates a wide range of temperatures. It lives in subtropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean and Black seas, although sightings in the Black Sea are now rare. They are highly migratory and tend to form schools by size. Sometimes bluefin can be seen together with other tuna species like albacore, yellowfin, bigeye, and skipjack.
|Size (cm)||Weight (kg)||Age (yrs)|
- In the eastern Atlantic, this species is present from Norway to the Canary Islands, including the Mediterranean and the southern part of the Black Sea, between 80-70°N and 20-10°N.
- In the western Atlantic, Thunnus thynnus ranges from Canada to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, between 60-50°N and the Equator.
- 80°N to 60°S, 100°W to 20°E
The following Atlantic bluefin stocks are managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) RFMO:
- Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin
- Western Atlantic bluefin