Bluefin Tuna can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures but prefer cold, temperate and subtropical waters throughout the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. They school as far north as Norway and Labrador, Canada; south to the Gulf of Mexico and the Canary Islands; from Japan to the Philippines in the western Pacific Ocean, and from southern Alaska to Baja California, Mexico in the Eastern Pacific.
Shiny, deep blue on top with silver fading to white along their sides and belly, some Bluefins exhibit subtle, muted lines and rows of dot patterns. First and second dorsal fins may be yellow or blue, and brown or red, respectively. Average size exceeds six feet in length, weighing around 500 pounds. Giant Bluefins, like those found later in the year near Alaska, can routinely reach lengths 11 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. The world record for Bluefin Tuna is 1,496 pounds, caught near Aulds Cove, Nova Scotia.
Like other Tuna, Bluefin begin schooling while young, and retain this habit throughout their lives. This also makes them targets of marine mammals such as killer and pilot whales and, more drastically, Indonesian and Japanese commercial fishing industry. When not being recklessly hauled in en masse during spawning, large Bluefins migrate to tropical Australian seas. They feed upon a wide variety of crustaceans, cephalopods, other fishes and marine animals, where and whenever they can be found, either with quick, energetic pursuits, or by “filter feeding” large numbers of prey organisms.
If targeted only for sport, the Bluefin Tuna can remain one of the largest and best battlers to snag a line. Good eating as well as high-spirited, there are many reasons to seek them out. Unfortunately, due to exploitation by long-liners, this great fish may not be around much longer. Wise anglers will enjoy this opportunity while it exists.