Bluefin Tuna


April 23, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Fishing and boaing news


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Bluefin tuna are the world’s most popular fish for consumption. There is a large worldwide market for the fish, lead by Japan. The first bluefin on the year sells for an exorbitant price often over 100K in Japan’s seafood market, But we must realize that it is a setup for publicity. That price does not reflect the year long price.
They are a member of the Scombeidae family and the species is Thunnus thynnus.

There is a big fishery for bluefin in the warmer months of the year in New England and Canada. Part of that fishery is featured on the TV show Wicked Tuna. In the winter the fish move south to the Carolinas. They tend to be found in cool water and will migrate to areas that have the right temperature. There is also a big fishery in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and also in the Pacific. The fishing is most rigidly controlled in the Atlantic, but overfishing occurs worldwide. Pacific bluefin are considered a seprate species from Atlantic bluefin. Their scientific name is Thunnus orientalis.A third species exists in the Southern Pacific around New Zealand and Austrailia. It is known as southern bluefin Thunnus maccoyii

 

The IGFA world record Atlantic bluefin caught on rod and reel is 1496 lbs caught in Nova Scotia in 1979 by Ken Fraser. The world record Pacific Bluefin is 907 lbs caught in 2014 in New Zealand by Donna Pascoe. The record for southern bluefin is 369lb 4oz caught in Austrailia in 2009 by Phil Body.

Bluefin are considered a pelagic species (highly migratory) and trave in schools. They migrate over long distances and may even cross the Atlantic. The migrations seem to be controlled by water temperature and food sources. The giant bluefins travel the most distance. Primary food sources are eels, squid, crustaceans, and schooling fish like mackerels, herring, whiting and mullet. The tend tp prefer water temperatures in the mid 60’s.

Atlantic bluefin can exceed 10′ in length when mature. They are often referred to as Giant Bluefin.. Usully they areat least 10 years old. They may weight up to 1500lbs and swim 25 miles an hour. They have been known to cross the Atlantic in 21 daysThe term is used for most fish over 200lbs. Bluefin are known to spawn n 2 areas, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean but not much is known about which areas. As they grow larger they tend to congregate in schools of the same size fish.

Atlantic Bluefin Fishing

They are often found close to shore, which makes them a prime target of recreational fisherman. The are often found in the 20 mile offshore range, while other species may be 50 or miles offshore in the Northeast US. The 2016 regulations for recreational anglers are 2 Schoolie bluefin 27" to less that 47" and 1 large school ot small medium bluefin fromn 47 to less than 73 inches. Charter boat permit holders can keet 3 school bluefin and 1 large school or small medium bluefin. There is also a trophy bluefin limit of 1 fish greater than 73" per year per vessel north of great Egg Inlet and in the Gulf of mexico. Yellowfin tuna are limited to 3 fish over 27". There regulations go into effect April 23. All bluefin catches require a permit from National Marine Fisheries and catchs must be reported.

 

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