What Is Tuna?
Tuna Fish is one of the most commonly fished species worldwide, providing a substantial income to US fishermen.
The Tuna fish, also called "tunny", is one of seven species of fish which make up the oceanic population of fishes. A giant relative of the mackerel, tuna fish is known for its commercial food value and is hunted worldwide. There are three main tuna fishes, which make up the tuna family:
The Little Tuna is hunted solely for food and weighs about 10 pounds. Most Little Tuna are found in the Atlantic Ocean.
BLUE FIN TUNA
The Blue Fin Tuna is the largest of the three fish, with a giant, bony structure that can grow to the length of 14 feet. The Blue Fin Tuna generally weighs between 1000-1500 pounds. This fish is hunted most frequently and is found in almost all salt bodies of water.
The Pacific Albacore Tuna is where white tuna meat comes from. Smaller in size, at just under 60 pounds, this fish is found mainly in the Pacific Ocean and portions of South America.
The tunas have streamlined blue and grey bodies, with two fins and five or more finlets on the back. The pectoral fins fold into grooves on the body, and the eyes are flush with the body surface. The tuna body is narrow and its tail is forked, providing for the tunas driving force through water.
Unlike other fish, the tuna fish has a smooth, almost scaleless body, giving them a smooth, shiny, oily skin. The tunas' powerful muscles and large size allow them to dominate their environment and make them smooth, swift swimmers.
Because the tuna has no respiratory mechanism to ensure the flow of water over the gills, only the current caused by its swimming achieves this, so the tuna will die of anoxia if it stops swimming.
Tunas travel in schools, feeding on smaller fish like herring and squid. The location grounds for tuna spawning is unknown, due in part to their largely private existence and migratory patterns.
Tuna is fished in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the United States. Almost all the tuna landed at U.S. ports is used for canning. The tuna liver produces an oil that is commonly used for leather preservation and is sold worldwide to marketers. Larger tuna fish are harvested in other countries and are used for their white tuna steak properties.