Blackfin Tuna, Thunnus atlanticus

The Blackfin Tuna (Thunnus atlanticus) is a species of tuna found only in the western Atlantic Ocean from Cape Cod to Brazil.

This is the smallest species of tuna, typically growing to 39 inches in length and weighing 46 lbs. It has an oval-shaped body, black back with slight yellow on the finlets, and yellow on the sides of the body.

The dietary needs of this tuna are less than for most other tuna species. It will eat the tiny larvae of king shrimp and mantis shrimp, true shrimp, and crabs, as well as small fish. It also often consumes juvenile and adult fish and squid. It is a short-lived, fast-growing species. It reaches sexual maturity at two years old and spawns in the open sea during the summer. It is a warm-water species, preferring temperatures over 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

As of 2010, this species is not listed on Greenpeace’s seafood red list. “The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries.”

Image Caption: Blackfin Tuna, Thunnus atlanticus. Credit: Duane Raver, Jr./Wikipedia