North Carolina Sea Grant

May 5, 2010 | Barry Nash

north carolina fisheries

Yellowfin tuna are torpedo-shaped fish with metallic, dark-blue backs and upper sides that change from yellow to silver on the belly.  Their dorsal and anal fins are bright yellow.  Yellowfins inhabit the subtropical and tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Yellowfin tuna spawn from January to April in the eastern Atlantic and are capable of reproducing between two and three years of age.

They can grow up to 400 pounds and have a life span of approximately seven years.  They are a highly migratory species and feed on a wide variety of fishes as well as floating algae.

Yellowfin are harvested primarily with longline, handline and rod-and-reel gear and are important to both commercial and recreational fishermen.  Atlantic yellowfin stocks are managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.  According to NOAA, yellowfin stocks are believed to be near target levels and overfishing is not occurring.

For more information, go to NOAA FishWatch.

Contributed by Barry Nash

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