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What is bluefin tuna?

Atlantic bluefin tuna

The Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) lives in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It moves in schools and makes important migrations to feed and reproduce. Although it tends to live in surface waters, it can dive to depths of up to 1000 m. This voracious and fast predator (it is capable of speeds of over 100 km per hour) feeds on fish, squid and pelagic crustaceans (living in open water). A record-breaking fish, it can live for 40 years or more, reach 3 m in length and weigh 600 kg! Located at the top of the marine food chain, its predators are the killer whale, the great white shark … and Man!

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Find the IFREMER press kit on bluefin tuna

Image thon rouge Stéphane Le Gallais

Geographical distribution of bluefin tuna

This map shows the spatial distribution of the Atlantic bluefin tuna: in blue its distribution area, in yellow the known spawning areas. The black arrows indicate the main migration routes (Figure adapted from Fromentin and Powers – 2005) © Ifremer.

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Did you know?

The bluefin tuna is one of the rare fish capable of endothermy: it adapts its body temperature to its environment and can thus evolve in cold water (where it feeds) or warm water (where it reproduces), that is to say from 3 to 30°C!

Why is bluefin tuna so sought after?
Is there bluefin tuna from aquaculture?
How are bluefin tuna caught?
Is bluefin tuna threatened by overfishing?
How are bluefin tuna stocks managed?
Can we eat bluefin tuna?
What is the economic importance of tuna?
How big and how heavy are bluefin tuna?
Will the Mediterranean bluefin tuna disappear?