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Tuna Page

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NMFS Permits Required Tuna Landing Reporting
Tuna Identification(1p1)
Tuna Identification(1p2)
Tuna Identification(2)
Tuna research and conservation center Tuna Identification(3)
Official NMFS Tuna Guide NMFS Tuna Permit Guide
Guide for NMFS fisheries compliance Bluefin Tuna Size Class
ICCAT Taging
Tuna facts Fish Base


Size Class Categories of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
Size Class Curved Fork Len Pectorial Fin
Curved Fork Len
Approx. Round Weight Recreational Limit*
Young school < 27" < 20" < 14 lbs None
School 27 - <47 " 20 - <35 " 14 - <66 lbs 4 per vessel
Large School 47 - <59 " 35 - <44 " 66 - <135 lbs 4 per vessel
Small Medium 59 - <73 " 44 - <54 " 135 - <235 lbs 4 per vessel
Large Medium 73 - <81 " 54 - <60 " 235 - <310 lbs 1/vessel/year
Giant 81 " or > 60 " or > 310 lbs or > 1/vessel/year

*limits are subject to frequent and unpredictable change. Check NMFS for most current data.



Quick Reference Guide To Atlantic Tuna
Species Gill Rakers on first gill arch Markings on lower body Markings on upper body Trailing Edge of Caudal Fin Bottom surface of Liver Pectoral Fin Length Finlets Fork length and Weight Maximum Recreational Limits
Bluefin 34-43 Gray spots and bands, sometimes resembles treebark none not white striated Very short; does not reach origin of second dorsal fin Yellow, often with narrow black margin 118+ inches 1000 + pounds See table above
Yellowfin 26-35 Chains (20+) of white streaks and spots Yellow gold band on sides, fading at death not white Without striations Extends beyond origin of second dorsal fin Lemon yellow with a very narrow black margin 80 inches 400 pounds 3/person
(over 27")
Bigeye 23-31 none none not white striated margin Reaches origin of second dorsal fin Yellow with black margin 90 inches 450 pounds over 27"
Albacore 25-32 none none white striated Extends beyond anal fin Dorsal; yellowish anal; silver or dusky 50 inches 90 pounds None
Bonito 16-23 none Oblique dark stripes- seven or more not white without striations very short dusky 36 inches 20 pounds None
Skipjack 53-63 4-6 dark longi-tudinal stripes on belly none not white without striations Very short and broad dusky 40 inches 40 pounds None
Blackfin 19-25 Alternating bars and spots, light in color none not white without striations Reaches origin of second dorsal fin Uniformly dusky with white margins 40 inches 40 pounds None
Little Tunny 37-43 Chest spots Wavy lines on back not white without striations short and broad dusky 40 inches 35 pounds None


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