Yellowfin tuna

Popular food fish, prized for its mild flavor and firm texture

NOAA FishWatch


Yellowfin tuna

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Popular food fish, prized for its mild flavor and firm texture

Population

A remarkable and highly valued fish known for its speed, strength, and striking appearance. Found in warm and tropical oceans around the world, the yellowfin tuna is a prized catch in commercial and recreational fisheries due to its culinary appeal and vigorous fight when hooked. This species is not only vital to marine ecosystems but also holds significant economic and cultural importance.

One of the most distinctive features of the yellowfin tuna is its sleek, torpedo-shaped body, which is perfectly adapted for fast and efficient swimming. The body is covered in smooth, metallic-blue scales on the upper side, transitioning to a shimmering silver on the belly. A prominent yellow stripe runs along each side, giving the fish its common name. The dorsal and anal fins, as well as the finlets, are bright yellow, adding to its striking appearance.

A key adaptation of yellowfin tuna is their ability to regulate their body temperature, a trait known as regional endothermy. This allows them to maintain a body temperature higher than the surrounding water, which is beneficial for sustained high-speed swimming and hunting in various thermal environments. This adaptation gives them a significant advantage in the open ocean, where temperatures can vary widely between surface and deeper waters.

Diet-wise, yellowfin tuna are carnivorous, feeding primarily on smaller fish, squid, and crustaceans. Their sharp, conical teeth and powerful jaws are well-suited for capturing fast-moving prey. They are opportunistic hunters, often traveling in schools and using their speed and agility to herd and ambush their targets. Yellowfin tuna are known to dive to considerable depths to chase prey, showcasing their adaptability and prowess as hunters.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Atlantic Ocean
2021
Indian ocean
2021
Pacific ocean
2021
Gulf of California
2021
Gulf of Mexico
2021
American Samoa
2021
Angola
2021
Anguilla
2021
Antigua & Barbuda
2021
Aruba
2021
Australia
2021
Bahamas
2021
Bangladesh
2021
Barbados
2021
Belize
2021
Benin
2021
Bermuda
2021
Bonaire Sint Eustatius And Saba
2021
Brazil
2021
British Virgin Is.
2021
Brunei
2021
Cameroon
2021
Cape Verde
2021
Cayman Islands
2021
Chile
2021
Christmas Island
2021
Cocos Is. (Keeling)
2021
Colombia
2021
Comoros
2021
Congo-Brazzaville
2021
Cook Islands
2021
Costa Rica
2021
Cuba
2021
Curaçao
2021
Côte D’ivoire
2021
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2021
Djibouti
2021
Dominica
2021
Dominican Republic
2021
Ecuador
2021
El Salvador
2021
Equatorial Guinea
2021
Fiji
2021
French Guiana
2021
French Polynesia
2021
Gabon
2021
Gambia
2021
Ghana
2021
Grenada
2021
Guadeloupe
2021
Guam
2021
Guatemala
2021
Guinea-Bissau
2021
Guinea
2021
Guyana
2021
Haiti
2021
Honduras
2021
Hong Kong
2021
India
2021
Indonesia
2021
Iran
2021
Jamaica
2021
Japan
2021
Kenya
2021
Kiribati
2021
Liberia
2021
Madagascar
2021
Malaysia
2021
Maldives
2021
Marshall Islands
2021
Martinique
2021
Mauritania
2021
Mauritius
2021
Mexico
2021
Micronesia
2021
Montserrat
2021
Morocco
2021
Mozambique
2021
Myanmar
2021
Namibia
2021
Nauru
2021
New Caledonia
2021
New Zealand
2021
Nicaragua
2021
Nigeria
2021
Niue
2021
Norfolk Island
2021
Nort. Mariana Is.
2021
Oman
2021
Pakistan
2021
Palau
2021
Panama
2021
Papua New Guinea
2021
Peru
2021
Philippines
2021
Pitcairn
2021
Portugal
2021
Puerto Rico
2021
Réunion
2021
Saint Barthélemy
2021
Saint Helena
2021
Saint Lucia
2021
Saint Martin
2021
French Part
Saint Vincent
2021
Samoa
2021
Senegal
2021
Seychelles
2021
Sierra Leone
2021
Singapore
2021
Sint Maarten
2021
Dutch Part
Solomon Islands
2021
Somalia
2021
South Africa
2021
Spain
2021
Sri Lanka
2021
St. Kitts & Nevis
2021
Suriname
2021
São Tomé & Príncipe
2021
Taiwan
2021
Tanzania
2021
Togo
2021
Tokelau
2021
Tonga
2021
Trinidad & Tobago
2021
Turks & Caicos
2021
Tuvalu
2021
UAE
2021
US Minor Is.
2021
US Virgin Islands
2021
United Kingdom
2021
United States
2021
Vanuatu
2021
Venezuela
2021
Vietnam
2021
Wallis & Futuna
2021
Yemen
2021

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal (size) / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / School

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No