Bluefin Tuna

(Thunnus maccoyii)

Bluefin tuna, Bluefin tunny, Blue fin, Atlantic bluefin tuna, Blouvin Tuna, Pacific Bluefin Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna

1. What is it?

Southern Bluefin (Thunnus maccoyii) are large, slow growing and late maturing fish. They are considered to be a valuable food source on the sashimi market and are therefore under heavy fishing pressure. Southern Bluefin tuna are listed as Endangered on IUCN’s list of threatened species and stocks are currently rated as over-exploited.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

The Southern Bluefin are caught using pelagic longlines. Pelagic longline fishing involves a fishing line that is several kilometers long, suspended at different depths and covered in baited hooks. The most likely Endangered, Threatened and Protected (ETP) species affected by pelagic longlines are seabirds, especially albatrosses and petrels, as well as sharks and sea turtles. Bycatch is significant but no specific data is available. Pelagic longlines are considered to have little to no impact on the benthic habitat.

3.Where is it from?

Southern Bluefin tuna is fished in the Indian Ocean (FAO 51 and FAO 57). Due to its migratory nature and current stock levels, catches of southern Bluefin tuna are managed by a particular Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) known as the Commission for Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCST). Member countries or co-operating non-member countries are then responsible for ensuring the implementation and adaptation of the recommended quotas and regulations. Management of the Indian Ocean component for longline fisheries is considered to be marginally effective. Effective enforcement is hindered by the lack of observer coverage, uncertainties around bird bycatch and potential ecosystem impacts.

NOTE: Atlantic Bluefin tuna is imported on a small scale through the pelagic longlines and rod and reel sector. However, all imported Bluefin tunas are RED on the SASSI list and, therefore, it is recommended to avoid buying imported Bluefin tuna.