Thunnus maccoyii, Southern bluefin tuna : fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish
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Thunnus maccoyii (Castelnau 1872)

Southern bluefin tuna
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Thunnus maccoyii   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Thunnus maccoyii (Southern bluefin tuna)
Thunnus maccoyii
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Scombriformes (Mackerels) > Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos) > Scombrinae
Etymology: Thunnus: Greek, thynnos = tunna (Ref. 45335).  More on author: Castelnau.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 50 - 2743 m (Ref. 57178).   Temperate; 5°C - 20°C (Ref. 168); 10°S - 60°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 54921)

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

Atlantic, Indian and Pacific: temperate and cold seas, mainly between 30°S and 50°S, to nearly 60°S. During spawning, large fish migrate to tropical seas, off the west coast of Australia, up to 10°S. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139). If the current exploitation continues, the population will be below 500 mature individuals in 100 years (Ref. 27905).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 119.0, range 120 - 130 cm
Max length : 245 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5203); common length : 160 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9684); max. published weight: 260.0 kg (Ref. 5203); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 168)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Vertebrae: 39. A very large species, deepest near the middle of the first dorsal fin base. Swim bladder present. Lower sides and belly silvery white with colorless transverse lines alternating with rows of colorless dots. The first dorsal fin is yellow or bluish; the anal fin and finlets are dusky yellow edged with black; the median caudal keel is yellow in adults.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

By maturity, most southern bluefin tuna lead an oceanic, pelagic existence (Ref. 6390). Spawning fish and larvae are encountered in waters with surface temperatures between 20° and 30°C. An opportunistic feeder, preying on a wide variety of fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods, salps, and other marine animals. Mostly canned (Ref. 9684). A specialized fishery for sashimi-quality has been developed recently by New Zealand fishers. In Japan, it is highly prized for the sashimi markets.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

It is not known whether all mature fish spawn each year, every few years, or even only once in their lifetime (Ref. 30320).

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. (Ref. 168)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

  Critically Endangered (CR) (A2bd); Date assessed: 05 December 2009

CITES (Ref. 123416)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

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

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 2.5 - 7.9, mean 5 °C (based on 439 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5039   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01349 (0.01103 - 0.01650), b=3.02 (2.98 - 3.06), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.9   ±0.53 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.14-0.15; tm=8-9; tmax=20; Fec=14 million).
Prior r = 0.27, 95% CL = 0.18 - 0.41, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (67 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.