16 Different Types of Tuna : The Complete Guide

There are over sixteen different types of tuna, including yellowfin tuna, albacore, little tunny, bluefin tuna, blackfin tuna, slender tuna, bullet tuna, and many more. Tuna’s body is extremely smooth and features two fins. There are five balances that are scaled down towards the rear of the body.

16 Different Types of Tuna

The body becomes more tight towards the end and closes with a forked tail. Tuna are extremely swift and powerful swimmers, and some of them can swim up to 43 miles an hour. The bluefin species could reposition its pectoral and dorsal fins to create spaces on its back, which result in being significantly more smooth. The 16 different types of tuna we will be talking about in this article includes:

16 Different Types of Tuna

  1. Albacore Tuna

Appearance: Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) is a fast-moving fish with a torpedo-shaped body smooth skin and with aerodynamic fins. This fish is characterized by having a first dorsal fin of dark yellow color and a second dorsal fin of pale yellow color.

Each side of the pectoral fins is located. body, being exceptionally long and shaped like a crescent. The deeply forked caudal fin helps generate the energy necessary for this species to maintain an impressive speed. The white tuna is dark blue metallic on the back, with silver-white sides and belly.

Albacore

Size: Its size ranges from 30 centimeters to one meter

Habitat and Distribution: Albacore tuna has a cosmopolitan distribution in tropical and temperate waters worldwide and all oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.

How to catch: Best time to catch tuna is typically late July through September, when warm currents move within 20-40 miles of shore. Once you’ve found the thermoclines, you want to target the warm side and troll your lures in that temperature range, as this is where albacore will most often be. They prefer warm water and spend much of their time following it around the coastline and the world in general. Oregon is a great location to fish albacore tuna albacore tuna.

Taste: It has a very mild fishy taste.

Nutritional value: It is considered an oily fish since it has a large amount of unsaturated fat, especially omega 3, which unlike being harmful, makes it an ideal food for the diet of people who use these fish to keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control.

Cost: The value of albacore tuna reached in the market has been favorable, with an average price of $4 per kilo 

  1. Southern Bluefin Tuna

Appearance: The external appearance of this fish is almost indistinguishable from that of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Some of the coloration characteristics are, however, different: In the lower part of the sides, there are indistinct vertical strips formed by weak points, the first dorsal fin can be yellow or blue, the anal fin and leaflets are opaque yellow with a black border. Also, the central hull present on the caudal peduncle is yellow in mature individuals.

Southern Bluefin

Size: It is a large tuna: the maximum known size is 245cm, and the average size is about 160cm. The maximum weight that is known is 260kg.

Habitat and Distribution: Is found in open Southern Hemisphere waters of all the world’s oceans, primarily between 30°S and 50°S, to about 60°S. Growing up to 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) tall and weighing up to 260 kilograms (570 lb), it is among the largest bony fishes.

How to catch:  The primary method of catching SBT is longline fishing. This method involves using long lengths of fishing lines with many hooks. The SBT caught are frozen at shallow temperatures (-60C) and either unloaded at intermediate ports and shipped to markets in Japan or unloaded directly at markets in Japan.

Taste: Intense in flavor.

Nutritional value: They have 22g protein and 100+ calories

  1. Bigeye Tuna

Appearance: This species of thresher shark, family Alopiidae, is found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide. Like other thresher sharks, almost half of their total length consists of the elongated upper lobe of the caudal fin.

Their common name comes from their enormous eyes, set in keyhole-shaped sockets that allow them to rotate upwards. The pair of deep grooves at the top of this species’ head can be used to distinguish it. This is how its scientific name derives.

Bigeye

Size: The size of a bigeye tuna can reach up to 250 centimeters or 98 inches in length. The maximum weight can be beyond 400 pounds or 180 kilos.

Habitat and Distribution: The bigeye thresher has a practically circumtropical distribution.  In addition, it is known from Portugal, Madeira, Senegal, Guinea to Sierra Leone, Angola, and the Mediterranean Sea in the eastern Atlantic.

How to catch: One of the best methods for drawing bigeye to the surface is to use spreader bars along with large teasers.

Taste:  Its meat is dark fat and highly appreciated for its flavor and texture.

Nutritional value: Has Cal:112, fat: 1.6 mg, Cholesterol: 66 mg, Sodium: 31 mg, potassium: 0 and Protein: 22.8 g..

  1. Pacific Bluefin Tuna

Appearance: The largest of the three tuna families is the Pacific bluefin tuna. Their dorsal edges are dark or black blue, with grayish-green iridescence and gray or silver spots on their bellies. The small yellow “fins” with black edges begin just behind their dorsal second fin and extend all the way to the tail. In comparison to other tuna species, they have small pectoral fins and eyes. They also have a homocercal lunate (crescent-shaped) tail that can travel long distances at high speeds.

Pacific Bluefin

Size:  Reaches 330 cm; common to a length of 200 cm.

Habitat and Distribution: The North Pacific is home to Pacific bluefin tuna, which can be found from East Asia’s coast to the west coast of North America. [1] [5] It is primarily an aquatic species found in temperate oceans and ranges into the tropics and more coastal regions. [1] It usually occurs from the surface to 200 m (660 ft) [5] but has been recorded as deep as 550 m (1,800 ft)

How to catch: You must know the right location to look for these magnificent fish. These fish can also be found in Nova Scotia, Canada and the northern waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Taste:  Its meat is red, very fat, and has an intense flavor.

Nutritional value:  Has high protein content 

  1. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Appearance: The Atlantic bluefin tuna has a robust, rhomboidal body with a conical head. Their body is dark blue, with gray stripes and a yellow pineal window. Their pectoral fins are short and have striated lobes. They can get as long as six feet in length.. The Atlantic bluefin tuna is a top predator, feeding primarily on herring, mackerel, and other seafood.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Size: It grows so large that the average Atlantic bluefin tuna weighs 400 to 500 pounds.

Habitat and Distribution: The same geographical range of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is still unknown, the fish migrates to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean to spawn and feed. As the fish grows larger, these migrations are longer, but the exact patterns have been studied through electronic tagging.

How to catch: To get the best chance of catching a giant Atlantic bluefin tuna, you should find them in late February or early April. The fish may be more than 50 miles offshore, so you will have to travel several miles to find them. To catch them, make a 45 degree cut behind their head, 2 inches deep along the backbone, and across the middle of their belly. If the tuna is late, you should enlarge the cuts in their stomach and backbone.

Taste: Is fatty, sweet, and delicious

Nutritional value: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids

  1. Blackfin Tuna

Appearance: It is characterized by the entire back, including the dorsal fin, being black, and the belly is white. Its body is completely rigid and has 13 dorsal spines.

Size: It can measure up to 108 cm in total length and 20 kg in weight.

Blackfin Tuna

Habitat and Distribution: The largest commercial fishery for blackfin tuna is located off the southeastern coast of Cuba. The blackfin tuna feeds on various sea creatures, including crabs and other crustaceans, as well as various types of surface and deep-sea fishes.

How to catch: These relatively small fish are fairly easy to catch. Smaller Blackfins stay near the surface, while larger ones prefer deeper waters. When trolling, chum slicks can be used to draw blackfins to the surface. Free-swimming bait works well here, but larger ones should be released first. Once they are sighted, add baited hooks to the line.

Taste: It has a robust fish flavor with firm, dark meat.

Nutritional value: Blackfin tuna has the most omega-3 fatty acids and the highest fat content of any fish. 

  1. Longtail Tuna

Appearance: The longtail tuna has a silvery body color and is relatively small. Their lower sides and belly are silvery white with rows of colorless oval spots. Their fins are black and have yellow anal fintips and grayish margins. They live in the tropical neritic zone.

Longtail Tuna

Size: Their maximum length is about 136 cm, and they can weigh up to 36 kg.

Habitat and Distribution: The longtail tuna has a wide range of habitats, including subtropical and temperate oceans. Its habitat ranges from the surface to 1000 meters. This species is highly migratory and found in a variety of ocean habitats. The oceanic distribution of tuna makes it an excellent candidate for commercial fishing. They are highly migratory and are found throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

How to catch: The best time of day to target longtails varies depending on the tide. Large, neap tides are the clearest. Try fishing during the middle of the tidal period, as the tuna will be most active during the lower half of the tide. Also, keep an eye out for wheeling or diving terns, which often fly directly over the tuna pods. Regardless of your location, longtail fishing can be a fun and rewarding experience. Remember always to be flexible and persistent, and you’re sure to catch some!

Taste: Raw Longtail tuna fillets are pink to red with a medium to firm texture and a rich, mild and meaty taste when cooked.

Nutritional value: Being an excellent source of protein, it also contains several essential vitamins and minerals. 

  1. Yellowfin Tuna

Appearance: Yellowfin tuna are among the largest tuna species but are significantly smaller than Atlantic and Pacific bluefin tuna, which can reach over 450 kg (990 lb ), and slightly smaller than bigeye tuna. And southern bluefin tuna. Second dorsal and anal fins, between their fins and tail, are bright yellow, giving this fish its common name.

Adult specimens may have very long second dorsal or anal fins. They can reach almost to the tail, appearing like sickles and scimitars. Although the pectoral fins of bluefin tuna are longer than albacore, they are not as long. The main body is very dark metallic blue and changes to silver at the belly. There are about 20 vertical lines.

Yellowfin Tuna

Size: They weigh as much as 400 pounds. It is certainly not a small fish. The Yellowfin can reach lengths of over 7½ feet long and 3 feet high.

Habitat and Distribution: Its usual habitat is warm waters, the most tropical tuna species. It abounds in the tropical waters of the Atlantic. It is an epipelagic fish that lives in the first 100 meters of the water column.

How to catch: It is easier to catch during the summer months and warm weather conditions because they are available on the surface of the seas. However, during the winter months and chill climatic conditions, they go deep into the seas.

Therefore, your equipment, such as the rod and reel, must be robust, matching the strength of the Yellowfin. In addition, it would be best to protect yourself with a good and robust harness because this large and strong yellowfin tuna may also pull you into the water with their strength.

Taste: Has a substantial and delicious taste

Nutritional value: There are 108 calories in Yellowfin Tuna (100 g), 8% fat, 0% carbohydrate, 92% protein. 

  1. Slender Tuna

Appearance: The slender tuna has a long and elongated body, with silvery grey or blue-black sides. Its meat is highly oily, and it is not typically fished. It lacks long pectoral fins and short dorsal fins. However, some slender tuna exhibit a coppery sheen shortly after capture.

The tuna’s slim body is an important characteristic of its distinctive appearance. Its vascular system is unusual, allowing it to maintain a body temperature higher than its surrounding water. This means that tuna muscles can be 21 degC or 39 degrees Fahrenheit above their surrounding water temperature. Its appearance makes it a desirable target for anglers. But several factors can explain the slender tuna.

Slender Tuna

Size: This species can reach a maximum length of 3 feet and weigh five to ten kilograms.

Habitat and Distribution: They have unexploited natural habitats and spend most of their time chasing small fish. Present in all the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere between 20 ° and 50 ° South.

One specimen was caught in the port of Los Angeles and another in the North Pacific Ocean, both considered erratic individuals. It is an oceanic pelagic species that frequent the surface layers of the water column.

How to catch: In warmer waters, slender tuna are common in the waters off northern New South Wales and Queensland. Generally, slender tuna are caught as bycatch by Australian trawl fishermen. They feed on krill and squid. Because their flesh is paler than other types of tuna, they make great food.

Taste: The slender tuna is an oily fish with great taste

Nutritional value: Every 100 grams of its flesh contains 3700 milligrams of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. 

  1. Bullet Tuna

Appearance: Bullet tuna is a comparatively small and slender tuna. It has a triangular first dorsal fin, widely separated from the second dorsal fin, which is relatively small like the anal and pectoral fins. There are the usual tuna fins. There is a small corset of small scales around the pectoral region of the body.

Bullet Tuna

Size: Is 50 cm fork length, typical to 35 cm.

Habitat and Distribution: Epipelagic in inshore waters and near islands. Forms large schools of similar-sized individuals. It is epipelagic in inshore waters and near islands. Forms large schools of similar-sized individuals

How to catch: They are mainly caught by gillnet, handline, trolling, and small-scall longlines. This fish can be caught using a variety of nets, including traps, beach seines, purse seines, rings nets, and otter trawls.

Taste: It’s a deep-frozen fish with a firm, meaty texture and a distinct flavor.

Nutritional value: Calories: 102, carbohydrate: 0g , Fat: 4g,  Protein: 17g

Cost: Cost approximately $7 per kg

 11. Frigate Tuna

Appearance: They have a well-developed corselet of scales on the front of their bodies. Under their second dorsal fin, they have a small patch of fifteen or more narrow wavy lines above the lateral line. Their bodies are slightly larger than a white cloud mountain minnow or round goby.

Frigate Tuna fish

Size: Have wingspan of 1.8m and weigh 114g

Habitat and Distribution: Frigate tuna live in various environments, including coastal areas and open oceans. They can live throughout the eastern Pacific all year. Its spawning period occurs between December and April in the coastal waters of Japan and Costa Rica.

How to catch: They usually are caught trolling small lures and feathers.

Taste: Has soft and tasty meat.

Nutritional value:  protein (20-25%) and low in fat «2%) 

  1. Mackerel Tuna

Appearance: It lives in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean waters and has black lines on its back, very similar to the strips of tigers. Its scales are between blue and green, so it is a rather striking animal to look at. The scientific community dubbed it Scomber scombrus, but the general population calls it mackerel.

Mackerel Tuna large

Size: Average mackerel can be about 30 centimeters long and weigh between 250 and 300 grams

Habitat and Distribution: Mackerel travels the waters of the British Isles to the North African area. It also sails along the American and Canadian coasts, without forgetting the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

How to catch: Mackerel have enormous, sharp teeth, and they can and do bite and slash unwary anglers. When the fish is gaffed, the quickest way is to tap on top of the head with a small bat or length of pipe. Leave the hooks in its mouth and tie on another trace. Hooks can be removed after the fish has been cleaned.

Taste: The best mackerel fillets are accompanied by the soft taste of sunflower oil. If you are a lover of oily fish, you will not be able to resist this variety, with all the flavor of the sea perfectly accompanied.

Nutritional value: It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and make the blood more fluid, decreasing the risk of clots or thrombi. 

  1. Black Skipjack Tuna

Appearance: It has two dorsal fins: the first, with 10 to 15 spines and the margin quite concave; the second is smaller and similar to the anal fin, both followed, usually by 8 and 7 fins, respectively.

The dorsal fins are separated by a distance identical to the diameter of the eye. The dorsal regions have a dark blue color that turns silver to the sides and grayish-white ventrally with 5 or 6 dark bands, sometimes undulating, on the upper sides and six short on the belly.

Black Skipjack Tuna It has two dorsal fins

Size: Reaches up to 92.5 cm in standard length and a maximum weight of 11.8 kg

Habitat and Distribution: Restricted to the Eastern Pacific Ocean5: From San Simón, California, and the lower half of the Gulf of California to northern Peru and all oceanic islands. As well as Central American waters.

How to catch: It is caught with purse seines, rods, and trolling, as well as other sporting gear, since there are no fisheries mainly aimed at catching it.

Taste: It is very delicious

Nutritional value: Has 103 calories and 22 g/100 g (39% of RDI) of protein.

  1. Skipjack Tuna

Appearance: Skipjack tunas have torpedo-shaped bodies featuring dark blue and purple backs, and silver on the lower side and the stomach. They are characterized by 3-5 distinct dark bands that run the the sides lower. Skipjack tunas are usually scaleless

Size: 1.1m in length and weighs 34.5kg.

Skipjack Tuna have torpedo-shaped bodies

Habitat and Distribution: Skipjack tuna is widely found in all the waters tropical to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Skipjack tuna is a migration-prone species that is able to travel over far distances. They are a pelagic fish species that can be found at depths of 260m. Skipjack tuna are categorized according to size.

Schools are typically linked to albacore or yellowfin tuna, and occasionally with whale sharks or whales. They may also be when floating objects are involved. They are typically found in surface waters , but eventually move into deeper waters as they grow older.

How to catch: Skipjack tuna are caught throughout the tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Skipjack tuna are caught throughout the tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The purse-seine technique of fishing can be highly selective , since it generally is limited to one species at an time. This means that there is very little effect of purse his fishing on other marine species. Purse seine nets are placed close to the surface of the ocean and are not able to get into the seafloor, therefore their impacts on the marine environment are small.

Taste: It’s fishy in taste

Nutritional value: Has 124 calories, 26g protein, and 1g fat. 

  1. Little Tunny

Appearance: The body is elongated and spindle-shaped, the eyes are small and round, and the lower jaw protrudes slightly. Its blue-black back coloring and the many dark lines and dark round spots on the back make it unmistakable. The little tuna has smooth dandruff-free skin. The sides and abdomen are silvery. It can grow 1m in length.

Little Tunny

Size: Has a length of 30 to 80 cm

Habitat and Distribution: Little tunny is native to the entire Mediterranean, especially Sicily and the Ionian Sea. He loves warm waters and covers long hiking trails during the mating season in spring and summer.

How to catch: Is caught with longlines, enclosing nets, and driftnets. The highest catch rate is achieved from April to September.

Taste: Has coarse texture and strong taste

Nutritional value: Has Protein of 23.97g and Fat of 6.29g 

  1. Bluefin Tuna

Appearance: Bluefin tuna has a large head but small eyes compared to other tuna. Its back is dark blue, its belly silver-white. The anterior dorsal fin is yellow or blue and significantly larger than the second dorsal fin behind it, which is colored red or brown.

The fin of this tuna species and the rafts are yellow with a white border. The pectoral fins are very short, and the arch shape is characteristic of the caudal fin of this tuna species. Its spindle-shaped physique makes the bluefin tuna an efficient swimmer.

Bluefin tuna has a large head but small eyes

Size: It has 3m in length and can weigh up to 600kg.

Habitat and Distribution: The bluefin tuna lives in the Mediterranean. In shoals, the fish can be found either directly below the water surface or at depths of up to 1000 meters. They feed on anchovies, mackerel, hake, flying fish, herring, or squid.

How to catch: You will have to send your baits back a minimum of 300 yards. We call this WWB way way back fishing, and this is the secret to catching bluefin as over the years, the bluefin tuna in Ocean City, MD has become boat shy.

  2 outside rigger lines at 300 yards, a shotgun at 240 yards, and a subsurface planner rod around 300 yards will be plenty. When putting the rod in the holder, please do not set it at strike but rather set it to14 pounds using the pre-marked tape.

Taste: Has a mild taste

Nutritional value: Has 22g protein and 2.4g fat.

 Conclusion about Types of Tuna

It’s exhilarating to feel the excitement when you catch a large fish on your line. This feeling is unmatched anywhere else. With this information provided about different types of tuna you should be able to figure out which tuna you are going for.

 FAQs

What is the benefit of tuna?

Since tuna has Omega 3 fatty acids, we also find a large amount of B vitamins: B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12. All of them are related to the cardiovascular system since they stimulate the formation of red blood cells. 

Do sharks eat tuna?

Fish, generally speaking is the most popular prey of sharks. Sharks, whether great whites or spiny dogfish, enjoy eating fish. Tuna is one of the most common species of fish that sharks hunt.

What is the scientific name of tuna?

the scientific name of tuna is “Thunnus.”

You can read more:

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