Blue Water
Blue Water

Tuna Tips

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Peter Jessup
March 2008

Stuff you should know about tuna species caught in New Zealand


Spawn on the sea surface at night within 10degrees of the equator and when water temperatures top 24degreesC, year-round but mostly November-April. Mature at 60-80cms, age 2yrs. All the fish in NZ waters are adults. Max age 8yrs, max size 240cm, weight 200kg.


Spawn between New Caledonia and Tonga November-February Mature at 3yrs, 70cm. Max size 112cm, weight 40kg, age 8yrs.


Spawn across the entire Pacific year-round. Mature at age 3yrs, 80cm by age 4yrs, most live to 5yrs, Max 12yrs. Max length 108cm, weight 34kg.


Spawn near the equator in the western Pacific November-January. Mature at 3yrs, 90cms. Max size 250cms, 210kgs, age 11 yrs.

Pacific Bluefin

Spawn between Japan and the Philippines April-June. Juveniles move to the Sea of Japan in July-August then on to the coast of Mexico at age 2-3 years. Mature 3-5yrs. Adults move widely across the Pacific and all the fish caught off New Zealand are adults. Maximum length 300cm, weight 550kg, age 15yrs.

Southern Bluefin

Spawn in the Indian Ocean south of Java. Juveniles congregate off the continental shelf of South and West Australia. Mature 8-12yrs, max age 30yrs. Max length 165cm, weight 300kgs. Adults move widely across the western Pacific and all southern bluefin caught here are adults.

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