Pacific bluefin tuna

Key Facts

  • Common Name

    Pacific bluefin tuna

  • Scientific Name

    Thunnus orientalis

  • Habitat

    Open ocean

  • Location

    Pacific Ocean

  • Conservation status

    At risk from overfishing

Physical Description
Pacific bluefin tuna are generally smaller than their Atlantic cousins, reaching a maximum length of 3m and a maximum weight of 540kg.

Bluefin tuna are built like torpedoes. Not only do they have a hydrodynamic shape, their pectoral (side) fins can be retracted and, unlike other fish, their eyes are set flush to their body. This means their bodies create little drag as they swim through water.

Habitat and Distribution
In the eastern Pacific, bluefin tuna have been spotted from Baja California as far north as the Gulf of Alaska, though they rarely venture further north than Oregon. In the western Pacific, bluefin tuna can be found as far north as Russia’s Sakhalin Island and as far south as New Zealand.

Reproduction
Pacific bluefin tuna spawn between Japan and the Philippines, in April and August. They reach reproductive maturity at around 5 years and 60kg.

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