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Thunnus orientalis (Temminck &. Schlegel, 1844)
Pacific Bluefin Tuna; Thunnus thynnus orientalis Temminck and Schlegel, 1844; Thunnus thynnus Linnaeus, 1758; Thynnus orientalis Temminck and Schlegel, 1844

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Scombridae   Thunnus

Thunnus orientalis
© Copyright IATTC 1999, 2006 · -3
Thunnus orientalis

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Main identification features
  • 1st dorsal fin : yellow; 2nd dorsal fin : brown
  • pectoral: short, not passing 1st dorsal fin
  • a: yellow + black edge
Dorsal fins close together, the first with prolonged spines anteriorly; first dorsal with XI-XIV spines; second dorsal and anal fins falcate, each followed by 7-10 finlets; pectoral fins very short, no reaching past first dorsal fin; 16-21% fork length; small scales on body; corselet of larger scales developed, but indistinct.

Back metallic dark blue; lower sides and belly silvery white; first dorsal fin yellowish or bluish, second dorsal reddish brown; anal fin and finlets dusky yellow edged with black.

Size: attains 330 cm, common to 200 cm.

Habitat: oceanic, pelagic.

Depth: 0-550 m.

Pacific, in tropical and temperate seas; California to the SW Gulf of California, and the Revillagigedos islands.

The Pacific and Atlantic populations are recognized as a separate species by Collette (1999).

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California); Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos).
Depth Range Max: 550 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: octopus/squid/cuttlefish; bony fishes; Pelagic crustacea.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=33; Southern limit=19; Western limit=-118; Eastern limit=-110; Latitudinal range=14; Longitudinal range=8.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic.
Global Endemism: All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; Pacific only (East + Central &/or West); "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Water column.
Inshore Offshore: Offshore; Offshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 330 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Vagrant.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Surface; Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Béarez, P., 1996., Lista de los Peces Marinos del Ecuador Continental., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:731-741.
  • Collette , B. B. and Nauen, C. E., 1983., Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. FAO species catalogue Vol. 2., FAO Fish. Synop. No 125, 125.
  • Collette, B.B., 1999., Mackerels, molecular, and morphology. In Proc. 5th Indo-Pac. Fish. Conf. Nouméa, 1977. Séret B. & J. Sire. Eds., Soc. Fr. Ichtyol.:149-164.
  • Collette, B.B., Reeb, C. and Block, B.A., 2001., Systematics of the tunas and mackerels (Scombridae)., Fish Physiology, 19:1-33.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen III. Vertebrados - Parte 2., FAO3:1201-1813.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., 2000., The distribution and affinities of the shore fishes of the Baja California Sur lagoons. In Aquatic Ecosystems of Mexico: Status and Scope. Eds. M. Manuwar, S.G. Lawrence, I.F. Manuwar & D.F. Malley. Ecovision World Monograph Series., Backhuys Publishers:383-398.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Joseph , J. , Klawe , W. and Murphy, P., 1988., Tuna and Billfish - fish without a country., Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission:69.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Schaefer, K. M., 2001., Reproductive biology of tunas., Fish Physiology, 19:225-270.
  • Temminck , C. J. and Schlegel, H., 1844., Pisces. In: Fauna Japonica, sive descriptio animalium quae in itinere per Japoniam suscepto annis 1823-30 collegit, notis observationibus et adumbrationibus illustravit P. F. de Siebold., Pisces, Fauna Japonica, (Parts 5-6):73-112.


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Following modified from Australian Faunal Directory
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Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

You are here:  Environment home » Biodiversity » ABRS » AFD » ANIMALIA (Kingdom) » CHORDATA (Phylum) » VERTEBRATA (Subphylum) » GNATHOSTOMATA (Higher Taxon) » PISCES (Higher Taxon) » ACTINOPTERYGII (Class) » EUTELEOSTEI (Subdivision) » ACANTHOPTERYGII (Superorder) » PERCIFORMES (Order) » SCOMBROIDEI (Suborder) » SCOMBRIDAE (Family) » Thunnus South, 1845 (Genus) » Thunnus orientalis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844)

Species Thunnus orientalis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844)


Regional Maps

External Links

CAAB : 37441026 Taxon concept Thunnus_orientalis last modified 2014-02-12 10:25:58.471

Species Thunnus orientalis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844)

Northern Bluefin Tuna , Pacific Bluefin Tuna

Compiler and date details

8 May 2012 - Douglass F. Hoese, Dianne J. Bray, & John R. Paxton & Matthew M. Lockett

20 December 2006 - Dianne J. Bray, Douglass F. Hoese & John R. Paxton


Generic Combinations


Miscellaneous Literature Names




New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Normally found in north Pacific, strays recorded in small numbers from southwest TAS, NSW, WA and QLD; subtropical, north Pacific, also found in New Zealand.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Tasmania Province (10), Southeast Transition (11), Central Eastern Province (12), Tasman Basin Province (13), Central Eastern Transition (15), Kenn Transition (16), Kenn Province (17), Northeast Province (18), Northeast Transition (19), Timor Province (2), Cape Province (20), Northwest Transition (3), Northwest Province (4), Central Western Transition (5), Central Western Province (6), Southwest Transition (7)

Ecological Descriptors

Marine, pelagic.


General References

Griggs, L. & Chow, S. 2001. DNA identification of Pacific bluefin tuna ( Thunnus orientalis ) in the New Zealand fishery. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 35 : 843-850 (New Zealand records)

Ward, R.D., Elliott, N.G. & Grewe, P.M. 1995. Allozyme and Mitochondrial DNA Separation of Pacific Northern Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus orientalis (Temminck and Schlegel), from Southern Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus maccoyii (Castelnau). Marine and Freshwater Research 46 : 921-930 (Australian records)


Common Name References

Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide . Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp. [85] (Pacific Bluefin Tuna)

Seafood Services Australia 2008. Australian Fish Names Standard. ( Northern Bluefin Tuna )


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
15-May-2013 15-May-2013 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)

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Last modified: Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:25:58 AM AEDT

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Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Actinopterygii  
 Order Perciformes  
 Family Scombridae  
 Genus Thunnus  
  Thunnus orientalis    (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844) 
Provider: Kwang-Tsao Shao 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Orcynus schlegelii Thunnus saliens Thunnus schlegelii Thunnus thynnus Thunnus thynnus orientalis Thynnus orientalis   details
Citation: 臺灣魚類誌(沈等, 1993); Fishbase(2002)
Character: Body fusiform, elongate, and slightly compressed. Teeth small and conical, in a single series. Gillrakers 27 to 34 on first gill arch. Two dorsal fins, separated only by a narrow interspace, second dorsal fin higher than first dorsal, the first with XIII to XV spines; second dorsal fin with 14 to 16 rays followed by 7 to 8 finlets; anal fin with 14 to 15 rays followed by 7 to 8 finlets; pectoral fins very short, less than 80% of head length; interpelvic process small and bifid. Body with very small scales; corselet of larger scales developed but not very distinct. Caudal peduncle very slender, bearing on each side a strong lateral keel between 2 smaller keels. Swimbladder present. Lower sides and belly silvery white with colourless transverse lines alternated with rows of colourless dots, visible only in fresh specimens; first dorsal fin yellow or bluish; the second reddish-brown; anal fin and finlets dusky yellow edged with black; median caudal keel black in adults. 
Habitat: Epipelagic, usually oceanic, but seasonally coming close to shore. Tolerates ample temperature intervals. Forms schools by size, sometimes with other scombrids. Migrates between June and September in a northward direction along the coast of Baja Californi 
Distribution: known found in the North Pacific from Gulf of Alaska to southern California and Baja California and from Sakhalin Island in the southern Sea of Okhotsk south to northern Philippines. It is mainly found in eastern and southern Taiwanese waters. 
Utility: Marketed fresh and frozen. The belly portion fetches particularly high prices when containing much fat. 
Name Code: 382503
  IUCN Red List:VU  A2bd      Marine     
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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Thunnus orientalis (Temminck & Schlegel , 1844)

Pacific bluefin tuna Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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Pictures | Google image Image of Thunnus orientalis (Pacific bluefin tuna) Thunnus orientalis
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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 ) .  More on authors: Temminck & Schlegel .

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

Marine; brackish; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 1 - 550 m (Ref. 58302 ).   Subtropical; 61°N - 52°S, 99°E - 70°W

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

North Pacific: Gulf of Alaska to southern California and Baja California and from Sakhalin Island in the southern Sea of Okhotsk south to northern Philippines. There are four substantiated records of this subspecies in the southern hemisphere: off Western Australia, southeast Pacific (37°11'S, 114°41'W) and Gulf of Papua (Ref. 10997 ). The species occurs mainly in the northern Pacific but ventures into New Zealand waters for at least three months during spring and early summer (Ref. 83312 ).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ?   range ? - ? cm
Max length : 300 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9340 ); common length : 200 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9340 ); max. published weight: 450.0 kg (Ref. 47525 ); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 83312 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Mean number of gill rakers 35.9. First ventrally directed parapophysis on vertebra number 8. Dorsal wall of body cavity has a narrow bulge with lateral concavity and wide lateral trough. Caudal keels dark.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Epipelagic, usually oceanic, but seasonally coming close to shore (Ref. 168 ). Tolerates ample temperature intervals (Ref. 168 ). Forms schools by size, sometimes with other scombrids (Ref. 168 ). Migrates between June and September in a northward direction along the coast of Baja California, Mexico and California (Ref. 168 ). A voracious predator that feeds on a wide variety of small schooling fishes and squids, also on crabs crabs and to a lesser degree on sessile organisms (Ref. 168 ). Marketed fresh and frozen.

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

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

Collette, B.B. , 1995. Scombridae. Atunes, bacoretas, bonitos, caballas, estorninos, melva, etc. p. 1521-1543. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9340 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744 )

  Vulnerable (VU)  (A2bd); Date assessed: 20 August 2014

CITES (Ref. 118484 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

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

More information

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


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Special reports

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Download XML

Summary page | Point data | Common names | Photos

Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | 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 | Tree of Life | Wikipedia( Go , Search ) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 13.9 - 28.1, mean 24.3 (based on 983 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 0.5039   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  4.5   ±0.3 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives Generation time: 10.6 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median LN(3)/K based on 2 growth studies. Resilience (Ref. 120179 ):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=3-5; tmax=15; K=0.1-0.2). Prior r = 0.38, 95% CL = 0.25 - 0.57, Based on 2 stock assessments. Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Very high vulnerability (76 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Very high .

Entered by Garilao, Cristina V. Modified by Bailly, Nicolas Fish Forum
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