The body of the Atlantic bluefin tuna is rhomboidal in profile and robust. The head is conical and the mouth rather large. The head contains a “pineal window” that allows the fish to navigate over its multiple thousands-of-miles range. Their color is dark blue above and gray below, with a gold coruscation covering the body and bright yellow caudal finlets. Bluefin tuna can be distinguished from other family members by the relatively short length of their pectoral fins. Their livers have a unique characteristic in that they are covered with blood vessels (striated). In other tunas with short pectoral fins, such vessels are either not present or present in small numbers along the edges.

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the largest, fastest, and most gorgeously colored of all the world’s fishes. Their torpedo-shaped, streamlined bodies are built for speed and endurance. Their coloring—metallic blue on top and shimmering silver-white on the bottom—helps camouflage them from above and below. And their voracious appetite and varied diet pushes their average size to a whopping 6.5 feet in length and 550 pounds, although much larger specimens are not uncommon.

Not only is Ken Fraser’s bluefin the biggest tuna ever recorded by the International Game Fish Association, it is also one of the most iconic records of all time. He landed the world record bluefin tuna on October 26, 1979, fishing with Capt. Eric Samson aboard Lady and Misty out of Port Hood, Nova Scotia. And get this, Fraser needed just 45 minutes to bring the largest tuna ever caught close enough to gaff after it ate a trolled mackerel.

General Features of  About Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

1. Atlantic bluefin tuna are the largest tuna species. The western Atlantic stock reaches a maximum length of 13 (4 m) feet and weight of 2,000 pounds (907 kg),1 while the eastern Atlantic stock reaches a maximum length of 15 feet (4.6 m).2

2. Atlantic bluefin tuna can live for 35 years, possibly longer.2

3. Female Atlantic bluefin tuna produce up to 10 million eggs a year. Eggs hatch 2 days after being fertilized.

4. Atlantic bluefin tuna are top predators, feeding on fish such as herring and mackerel as adults.

5. Atlantic bluefin tuna are characteristically torpedo-shaped with short pectoral fins and a dark red dorsal fin.1

Habitat And Migration Of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Atlantic bluefins are warm-blooded, a rare trait among fish, and are comfortable in the cold waters off Newfoundland and Iceland, as well as the tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea, where they go each year to spawn. They are among the most ambitiously migratory of all fish, and some tagged specimens have been tracked swimming from North American to European waters several times a year.

Fight And Speed Of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

They are prized among sport fishers for their fight and speed, shooting through the water with their powerful, crescent-shaped tails up to 43 miles per hour. They can retract their dorsal and pectoral fins into slots to reduce drag. And some scientists think the series of “finlets” on their tails may even serve to reduce water turbulence.

Diet Of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Bluefins attain their enormous size by gorging themselves almost constantly on smaller fish, crustaceans, squid, and eels. They will also filter-feed on zooplankton and other small organisms and have even been observed eating kelp. The largest tuna ever recorded was an Atlantic bluefin caught off Nova Scotia that weighed 1,496 pounds.

How Much Does A 15ft Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Weigh?

Atlantic Bluefin can weigh as much as 1500lbs (more on this below)! That means the tuna is about as heavy as a cow! The 15ft, 1500 lbs tuna are at the large end of the scale with most Atlantic Bluefin being closer to 500-1000 lbs.

How Big Was The Largest Bluefin Tuna Ever Caught?

The largest bluefin tuna ever caught weighed 1,496 pounds. The Largest Bluefin Ever Caught Weighed An Incredible 1,496 Lbs! You may have heard of the reality TV show called Wicked Tuna that follows a group of tuna fishermen from Massachusetts. There have been at least 10 seasons and during all those years the largest tuna anyone on the show caught was a 1,250lb bluefin off the coast of Cape Cod. It was nearly 10 ½ feet and was caught by TJ Ott.

BUT this was not the largest Bbuefin tuna ever caught! There is a long standing, almost 40 year record held by Ken Fraser who caught the largest bluefin tuna ever recorded back in 1979. The Bluefin he caught weighed 1,496lbs!

Ken Fraser and Captain Eric Samson were fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia and it only took them 45 minutes to reel it in close enough to spear it with a gaff. Some tuna weighing more than 1,000lbs have been recorded since this mighty catch but none have topped the 1,496lb record.

How Do You Catch A 1,500lb Tuna?

The most common fishing method for U.S. fishermen is the rod and reel where they fish for one tuna at a time. They will use bait to attract the tuna and then with short lines and hooks try to catch one and reel it in close to the boat where they can gaff or harpoon it before pulling it into the boat.

What Are Other Ways To Catch Tuna?

Tuna like to swim in schools so fishermen may come across large groups of tuna at a time. Fishermen used to pull large nets behind their boats and snag whatever was in the water, pull the nets up and keep the large tuna and throw the rest of the catch (bycatch) back in the water. However this resulted in a large number of dolphins being injured and killed. Dolphins often swim above schools of yellowfin tuna and fishermen would use these dolphin sightings to locate the tuna. There were marine life protection guidelines in place but it wasn’t until a biologist, Sam LaBudde, went undercover and videotaped the netting practices showing dolphins being captured, and he released the videos to the public, did change really occur. People were outraged by what they saw and demanded change. This was the beginning of the “Dolphin-Safe” labels for tuna that were regulated by the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act in 1990.

Are Sardines Just Tiny Tuna? 

No, sardines are a fish in a different family. They belong to the Clupeidae family along with herrings and shads. Sardines only get to be 6-12 inches and typically weigh 3ounces to 7lbs. The largest sardine ever caught was from India and was 272 mm and weighed 159g. That is not quite a foot and .35lbs, makes for quite a less impressive photo-op.

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