Atlantic bluefin (Thunnus thynnus) is one of three bluefin tuna species, together with Pacific bluefin and Southern bluefin.

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.

In: FAO Species Catalogue, Vol. 2. Scombrids of the World (1983). Courtesy of Fisheries and Aquaculture Department/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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. 

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.

 

SPECIES CHARACTERISTICS

  Size (cm) Weight (kg) Age (yrs)
Common 80-200 145-300 25+
Maximum 458 679 35
Maturity 110-190 30-120 4-14

GEOGRAPHIC LIMITS

  • 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

SPECIES MANAGEMENT

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
See Atlantic-Bluefin-related News