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Yellowfin Tuna

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Tuna (Yellowfin)
(Thunnus Albacares)

The Yellowfin Tuna is a species of tuna found in pelagic waters of the tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. One of the largest species of fish, Yellowfin Tuna has a metallic dark blue color that changes to silver on the belly, with about 20 vertical lines. Known to be a strong swimmer, a Yellowfin Tuna has warm muscles that let it escape most of its predators. The Yellowfin Tuna can navigate enormous distances while crossing the oceans. Unlike Tuna, this species is warm-blooded. The Yellowfin Tuna is a popular game fish among the anglers who fish from the Gulf coast ports. A dominant sports fish pursued by many fishermen from different parts of the world, Yellowfin Tuna is a highly prized catch in the offshore sports fisheries.

Yellowfin Tuna are important commercial Tuna species, particularly in the raw sashimi market, where they are valued as more than just seafood. Tuna are a top predator in the marine food chain while maintaining a balance in the ocean’s environment.

Yellowfin Tuna
Habitat and Behavior

Found in the waters of the Tropical and subtropical areas, the Yellowfin Tuna is mainly located in the deep offshore waters, but may also approach the shore under suitable conditions, for instance when the food is available in abundance, when the water temperature and the clarity is sufficient; under such situations, the Yellowfin Tuna may venture well inshore as well. With the capability of diving to the considerable depths, Yellowfin Tuna inhibits under the mixed layers on the surface of the ocean. Yellowfin often travel in schools with similarly sized companions. The fish is known to travel in schools with mixed species or other Tuna of small Yellowfin Tuna and Skipjack Tuna. The Yellowfin Tuna is often associated with various species of larger marine creatures such as Whale Shark. Owning a body that is particularly adapted to speed, the Yellowfin Tuna preys on pelagic shrimps, squids, other fish and fast moving baitfish such as Mackerel, flying fish, etc.

Although more commonly found in deep offshore waters, the Yellowfin Tuna may approach the shore under suitable conditions. Mid-ocean islands often harbor the Yellowfin Tuna feeding on the baitfish these spots concentrate close to the shoreline. The Yellowfin Tuna may also venture inshore of the continental shelf when the water temperature and clarity are suitable and the food is available in abundance.

The Yellowfin Tuna is known to grow up really fast, up to 400 pounds and have a shorter life span, of about 7 years, in comparison. Most Yellowfin are able to reproduce at the age of 2 or 3. In the western Atlantic, the Yellowfin Tuna spawn from May to August in the Gulf of Mexico and from July to November in the Southeastern Caribbean. In the eastern Atlantic, the Yellowfin spawn from October to March in the Gulf of Guinea and from April to June off Senegal. The female Yellowfin spawns about once every three days during the spawning season. It is known to produce an average of 1 million to 4 million eggs each time it spawns. Like much other open ocean bony fish, Yellowfin Tuna starts out as extremely tiny larvae, no more than a few millimeters long, weighing only a few hundredths of a gram. Within two years, individuals reach lengths of 3 feet and become sexually mature. Yellowfin Tuna feeds near the top of the chain, on fish, squid, and crustaceans. Yellowfin Tuna is a prey to the top predators such as sharks and large fish. Because Yellowfin Tunas undergo such transformation in size, they eat a wide variety of prey throughout their lifetime. The size of their prey increases as they increase. When they are newly hatched, they are eaten by other fish that specialize in eating plankton. At that stage in their lives, the Yellowfin Tuna decreases drastically in number. The ones that survive, however, face a steady increase in the size of their predators.

Yellowfin Tuna -
Physical Description

  • Size: – Being one among the larger tuna species, the Yellowfin Tuna may reach weights of over 180 kg (400 lb). It is, however, significantly smaller than the Atlantic and Pacific Bluefin Tunas that can reach over 450 kg (990 lb), and is slightly smaller than the Bigeye Tuna and the Southern Bluefin Tuna. Reported sizes of a Yellowfin have been as high as 2.4 m (94 in) in length and 200 kg (440 lb) in weight. As per the records of the International Game Fish Foundation, the largest Yellowfin Tuna weighed 176 kg (388 lb0 for a fish caught in the year 1977, near the San Benedicto Island in the Pacific waters of Mexico.
  • Appearance: – The body of a Yellowfin Tuna is metallic dark blue in color, changing to silver on the belly, along with around 20 vertical lines. Yellowfin Tuna are torpedo-shaped fish that lie true to their name, with their dorsal and anal fins and finlets being bright yellow in color. This bright yellow dorsal fin and a yellow strip down the side help the yellowfin Tuna stand out from the others. The second dorsal fin and the anal fin, as well as the finlets between those fins and the tail, are all bright yellow in color, giving the fish its common name. The second dorsal fin and the anal fin are very long in mature specimens, reaching almost as far back as the tail, giving an appearance of sickles or scimitars. The pectoral fins are longer than the related Bluefin Tuna but not as long as those of the Albacore.

Yellowfin Tuna
Conditions for Survival

Yellowfin Tuna prey on other fish, pelagic crustaceans, and squid. Their body is such that it makes it easier for the fish to pursue and capture fast-moving baitfish such as flying fish, sauries, and mackerel. Schooling species such as myctophids or lantern fish and similar pelagic driftfish, anchovies, and sardines are frequently taken. Large yellowfin preys on smaller members of the tuna family such as frigate mackerel and skipjack tuna.

The Yellowfin are preyed upon when young by other pelagic hunters, such as the larger Tuna, Seabirds, and predatory fish such as Wahoo, Shark, and Billfish. The adult Yellowfin are threatened only by the largest and the fastest hunters, such as toothed Whales, particularly the False Killer Whale, pelagic sharks such as the Mako and great white, large Atlantic Blue Marlin and Pacific Blue Marlin, and Black Marlin. The main source of mortality, however, is industrial Tuna fisheries.

Yellowfins are able to escape most predators because unlike most fish, tuna are warm-blooded, and their warm muscles make them extremely strong swimmers, with Yellowfin tuna reaching ‘speeds of up to 50 miles per hour’.

Aruba Fishing Seasons and
Availability of Tuna (Yellowfin)

If you are one of those fantasizing about the Yellowfin Tuna, and could never afford to miss a chance on landing your hands at the fish, you must visit the island of Aruba in the months of March, June, and July.

WhenJanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
AvailabilityGoodGoodExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellentGoodGoodGoodGoodGood

  • Your Chances of landing the Tuna (Yellowfin) is excellent from March to July.
  • Tuna (Yellowfin) in Aruba enters its low season from January to February and August to December.
  • There is no closed season for Tuna (Yellowfin) fishing in Aruba.

Yellowfin Tuna
Availability in Aruba

If you are one of those fantasizing about the Yellowfin Tuna, and could never afford to miss a chance on landing your hands at the fish, you must visit the island of Aruba in the months of March, June, and July.

Yellowfin Tuna
How to make the Catch?

The Yellowfin Tuna usually swims in large schools and breaks the surface chasing the bait. This Tuna can be caught using multiple techniques used such as baits, and lures. Given their good eyesight, one might want to try a fluorocarbon leader in order to reduce the fish’s visibility and its abrasion resistance. You can also chum with live bait that would help keep the fish around the boat. For Trolling, you can use cedar plugs, tuna feathers, and plastic skirted trolling lures. You may also try replacing treble hooks with single or double hooks as they will bend and shake less.

Yellowfin Tuna
Eating for Humans

The fish has a mild, meaty flavor and is claimed by some to be similar to the taste of a Swordfish. Yellowfin is considered to be better flavored than the Albacore, but leaner than Bluefin. The Yellowfin Tuna is mostly used in dishes made of raw fish, especially in sashimi and in sushi and is excellent for grilling. The canned product (the light meat of Yellowfin Tuna) is a bit darker than canned Albacore and is often blended with skipjack tuna. Good quality tuna meat will have a glistening, wet look. With Yellowfin, more the fat in the fish, better will be the flavor.

Yellowfin Tuna
Nutrition

  • Calories: 108
  • Fat Calories: 8.1
  • Total Fat: 0.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 45 mg
  • Sodium: 37 mg
  • Protein: 23.4 g
  • Omega 3: 0.2 g

Yellowfin Tuna
Common Names

Yellowfin Tuna is commonly known by the following names-

  • Scientific Name: Thunnus albacares
  • Market Name: Tuna
  • Common Name: Yellowfin tuna, Pacific yellowfin, ahi (Hawaiian), “light-meat” tuna
  • French Name: Albacore
  • Hawaiian Name: Ahi
  • German Name: Gelbflossenthun
  • Italian Name: Tonno albacora
  • Japanese Name: Kihada
  • Spanish Name: Rabil

Yellowfin Tuna -
Unknown Facts

  • The Yellowfin Tuna is among the larger tuna species, reaching weights over to 180 kg (400 lb), and the size ranged is as high as 2.4 m (94 in) in length.
  • The average lifespan of a Yellowfin Tuna is eight years.
  • The Yellowfin Tuna is known to swim at a speed is 50 mph.

Fishermen say that when watching yellowfin feed, it’s easy to see why they carry the Hawaiian name ‘Ahi’, or fire.

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FAQ

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Find the Answer Here

Can yellowfin Tuna be eaten raw?

It is safe to eat a Yellowfin Tuna raw. In fact, any sort of tuna, be it Bluefin, Yellowfin, Skipjack, or Albacore, can be eaten raw. Furthermore, it is one of the oldest ingredients used in sushi and is regarded by some as the icon of sushi and sashimi.

How big is Yellowfin Tuna?

Being one of the larger Tuna species, a Yellowfin Tuna weighs over 180 kg and can be as high as 2.4m in length.

Is yellowfin Tuna and Ahi the same thing?

Yes. Ahi is the Hawaiian name of Yellowfin Tuna, meaning fire.

Can you eat Yellowfin Tuna when pregnant?

Being lower in mercury constituents, it is safe to eat Yellowfin Tuna during pregnancy.

Is Yellowfin Tuna tasty?

Yes. Yellowfin Tuna is considered one of the tastiest fish throughout the world.

Where are Yellowfin Tuna found?

The Yellowfin Tuna is a species of tuna found in pelagic waters of the tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.

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