Skipjack tuna | WWF

Skipjack tuna

Key Facts

  • Common Name

    Skipjack tuna

  • Scientific Name

    Katsuwonus pelamis

  • Habitat

    Open Ocean

  • Location

    Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans

  • Status

    Not threatened

  • Length

    Up to 1 m

  • Weight

    Around 18 kg

Skipjack tuna is an important commercial fish. Although it is not currently threatened, the purse seine nets and other unsustainable methods used to catch skipjack tuna results in bycatch of other vulnerable species, including dolphin and other juvenile tuna species.

Physical Description
Skipjack have a streamlined body that is mostly without scales. Their backs are dark purple-blue. Their lower sides and belly are silver with 4 to 6 dark bands. Skipjack can live as long as 8-10 years, growing up to 1m long and weighing around 18kg.

Habitat and Distribution
Skipjack are highly migratory and are found throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans between 45 degrees North and 40 degrees South. Skipjack usually swim near the surface at night and can dive up to 250m during the day. Large schools of adult skipjack tuna often mix with juvenile yellowfin and bigeye tuna.

Skipjack mature early, around age 1 and at about 16 inches long. Skipjack spawn throughout the year.

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