If fish were like cars, tuna would be the F1 of the ocean—sleek, mighty and made for speed. Just like a bullet hot car, a tuna fish can be as supersonic. The torpedo-shaped bodies streamline their movement along the water, and their distinctive swimming muscles help them to cruise the ocean highways with utmost efficiency.
Tuna are impressive and noteworthy wild animals. The Atlantic bluefin can reach 10 feet in length and weigh as much as 2000 pounds (more than a horse). Their unique body shape, fins and scales help some species of tuna to swim as fast as 43 miles per hour.
Tuna swim remarkable distances as they migrate. Some tuna are innate species in the Gulf of Mexico, and travel throughout the whole Atlantic Ocean to feed off the coast of Europe, and then swim all the way back to the Gulf to breed.
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Scientific and Physical Description of Tuna
Tuna Species and Description
There are 8 species of tuna divided into two groups:-
Thunnus (Thunnus) – the Bluefin Group
Atlantic bluefin tuna
Southern bluefin tuna
Pacific bluefin tuna
B. Thunnus (Neothunnus) – the Yellowfin Group
Of Species, however, bluefin meat also happens to be considered as surpassingly delicious, especially among sashimi eaters, and overfishing throughout their range impelled their numbers to critically low levels.
Bluefin tuna have been consumed by humans for centuries. However, during the 1970s, demand and prices for huge bluefins rose up on a global level, specifically in Japan, and commercial fishing functions found new ways to find and seize these sleek giants. As an outcome, bluefin stocks, particularly of huge, breeding-age fish, have slumped, and international conservation attempts have resulted in curbs on commercial catches. Nonetheless, a minimum of one group says illegal fishing in Europe has brought the Atlantic bluefin populations to the brink of extinction.
Habitat and Migration of Tuna Fish
Atlantic bluefins (tuna) are saltwater and aquamarine warm-blooded animals, a rare trait among fish, and are convenient with the cold waters off Iceland and Newfoundland, as well as the tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea, where they go every year to spawn. They are among the most aiming and motivated migratory of all fish and some labelled specimens have been detected swimming from North American to European waters a number of times a year.
Fight and Speed of Tuna Fish
They are regarded as prized possessions among sport fishers specifically for their fight and speed, gliding through the water with their mighty, crescent-shaped tails up to 43 miles per hour. They also retract their dorsal and pectoral fins into slots in order to decrease drag. Some scientists believe that the order of “finlets” on their tails may even cater to reduce water turbulence.
Diet of Tuna Fish
Bluefins obtain their enormous size by gobbling themselves almost constantly on smaller fish, eels, squids, crustaceans and other small water organisms. They will also filter-feed on zooplankton and other small creatures and have even been noticed eating kelp. The biggest tuna ever recorded was an Atlantic bluefin seized off Nova Scotia. That tuna mass weighed 1,496 pounds.
Amazing Tuna Fish Facts
Tuna is a huge fish.
Tuna fish can reach a maximum length of 6.5 feet and a weight of up to 250kilograms.
The largest (ever recorded) specimen of tuna had been 21 feet long, weighing 1600 pounds (about 725kilograms)
The Colour of the tuna body offers excellent camouflage in the water. The Dorsal (back) side of the tuna's body is dark blue and it mixes with the ocean floor when seen from the air. The belly of tuna is silver-white and it mixes with the surface of the ocean when seen from below.
Despite their huge size, tunas are quick swimmers. They can reach the speed of 44 and 62 miles per hour.
Tuna is able to change the position of its dorsal and pectoral fins to decrease drag and boost the swimming speed.
Tuna can swim near the ocean surface or can dive down the depth of 3000 feet while it hunts for food.
Tuna is a carnivore and feeds on various kinds of fish (hake, herring, mackerel), and squids.
Did You Know
On the contrary to other fish, tuna is able to rise and sustain the body temperature some degrees above the temperature of the surrounding water. Because of this characteristic, tuna can be classified as a "warm-blooded" animal.
Tuna has a special network of small veins and arteries near the muscles called "rete mirabile" that equips warming of the blood. Warmed blood is crucial for raid and powerful swimming.
Tuna breathes oxygen from the water and this necessitates them to swim constantly.
Tuna fish can travel long distances in a short span of time. It can cross through the entire Atlantic in 30 days by travelling 16 miles per hours
Besides humans, natural predators of tunas are sharks and orcas.
The mating season of tunas largely depends on their geographic location. Tunas in the Gulf of Mexico mate from mid-April to mid-June. In the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea, mating is held from June to August.
At the time of spawning, one female can disperse 30 million eggs. Only 2 of those 30 million are to survive until adulthood. The remaining eggs will be consumed by other marine creatures.
The average lifetime of tuna is between 15 and 30 years, possibly longer in the wild. However, a lesser percent of tuna managed to survive until this span.
These incredible marine animals are also an integral part of the diet of millions of people and are one of the most commercially valuable fish. The critically endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna only makes up 1% of the global catch.
FAQs on Tuna Fish
1. Which are The Popular Tuna Fish in the Market?
Answer: The majority of the trade market is made up of 4 species: skipjack alone accounts for more than half of the worldwide capture of tuna, followed by bigeye, yellowfin, and albacore. The techniques of capturing tuna have advanced over the years, but the conservation and management of tuna have not evolved as rapidly and efficiently. As per the reports of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, most tuna stocks are completely exploited (meaning there is no room for fishery elaboration) and some are already overexploited (there is a risk of a stock slump and subsidence). From the data revealed, 65% of tuna stocks are at a healthy level of profusion, but 13% are considered overfished.
2. Is Tuna Healthy For Eating?
Answer: Tunas are one of the most consumed as well as commercialized fish species. There are 8 species of tuna fish. All species of tuna are nomadic, which means that they do not spend their whole life in a single place and thus keep migrating. Rather, they often change their location. Tunas are generally situated in temperate and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Black and Mediterranean seas. Tunas are overfished in various parts of the world, particularly in Australia and Japan. As an outcome, the number of tunas declined by over 90 percent since the beginning of the 20th century. Although tunas are listed as endangered species, fishermen around the globe hunt them constantly.
Blufin is mainly overfished as a food system to many across the world. Fried tuna can also be mixed and served into a dish with curry, cream and sauces. Tuna meat, tuna curry, canned tuna and seasoned tuna are all amongst the options suitable for human consumption and will work just fine for your tuna cooking cravings.
In spite of being low in fat, tuna is still considered an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (1, 2, and 9). Omega-3s are key dietary fats that are useful for eye, heart, and brain health. Raw or Seared, tuna tastes more mild, tender, and oily. Canned or cooked medium, it tastes like fishy cardboard. It's incredibly difficult to fully describe something you've never experienced.
3. What is Light Tuna?
Answer: There is a variety of fish that fall in the category of “light tuna”. This tuna essentially belongs to either Skipjack or Yellowfin tuna. The light meat tuna is also favoured in some parts of the world and its meat is darker in colour – somewhere between a light tan and tan-ish pink. It contains a soft texture and is more flavorful than white meat tuna.
4. What is The Difference Between Light Tuna and White Tuna? Is One Better Than The Other?
Answer: Some people think “tuna” is “tuna” but standing on the shelf willing to decide what to buy is overwhelming!
The tuna walkway can be confusing! There are certainly some differences in taste, nutrients and how best to use each type of tuna. Once you understand the distinction between them, you would buy the tuna you like best, meet your needs and best fit the meal you are planning.
Light Tuna– In many ways, the texture of light meat tuna is like a chicken thigh. Customarily it is found in a “chunk” pack, which implies that it is small pieces of the fish loin that have been chopped off. It may be boxed in water or vegetable oil.
From a nutritional point of view, it is a little lower in fat than Albacore (White) tuna and thus is a bit lower in Omega-3s.
The light meat tuna type is ideal for tuna salad sandwiches, tuna melts and tuna casserole since it adds up a nice flavour and texture and the small pieces blend easily with the other ingredients. It also picks up flavours beautifully which is why it is also majorly used in the lightly seasoned Tuna Creations line of products.
White Tuna (Albacore) – The only species of fish tuna that can be referred to as “White Tuna” is Albacore. It is white to light pink in colour and sports a fairly firm texture. The flavour is very mild. To some extent, it imitates a baked chicken breast – it has a firm bite and a very mild flavour. It may be sold as a solid pack – a tuna fillet or big chunks of fish– or it may be a slice style, similar to the light tuna meat product.
From a nutritional viewpoint, it is a little higher in fat content and may contain more Omega-3 fatty acids than a light tuna.
Albacore tuna is an ideal choice for fresh salads, appetizers or any dish where you would like to see nice slices of fish and want the flavours to stand out!
Note: Both light and white tuna are available in varieties of low sodium. Very Low Sodium Albacore and Low Sodium Chunk Light products are available in canned and pouched products.