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Thunnus obesus  (Lowe, 1839)

Bigeye tuna
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Thunnus obesus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Thunnus obesus (Bigeye tuna)
Thunnus obesus
Picture by Chow, S.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos) > Scombrinae
Etymology: Thunnus: Greek, thynnos = tunna (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 250 m (Ref. 168), usually 0 - 50 m (Ref. 89423).   Subtropical; 13°C - 29°C (Ref. 168); 45°N - 43°S, 180°W - 180°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 100 - 125 cm
Max length : 250 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27000); common length : 180 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 168); max. published weight: 210.0 kg (Ref. 9987); max. reported age: 11 years (Ref. 30326)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-15; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 14; Vertebrae: 39. A large species, deepest near the middle of the first dorsal fin base. Lower sides and belly whitish; a lateral iridescent blue band runs along the sides in live specimens. The first dorsal fin is deep yellow, the second dorsal and anal fins are light yellow, the finlets are bright yellow edged with black.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Atlantic, Indian and Pacific: in tropical and subtropical waters. Absent in the Mediterranean. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occur in areas where water temperatures range from 13°-29°C, but the optimum is between 17° and 22°C. Variation in occurrence is closely related to seasonal and climatic changes in surface temperature and thermocline. Juveniles and small adults school at the surface in mono-species groups or mixed with other tunas, may be associated with floating objects. Adults stay in deeper waters (Ref. 5377). Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6390). Feed on a wide variety of fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans during the day and at night (Ref. 9340). Meat is highly prized and processed into sashimi in Japan. Marketed mainly canned or frozen (Ref. 9684), but also sold fresh (Ref. 9340).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Collette, Bruce B. | Collaborators

Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen, 1983. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5039   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01349 (0.00788 - 0.02308), b=3.15 (3.00 - 3.30), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.11-0.23; tm=3; tmax=11; Fec=2 million).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (72 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.