There is not one individual fish called tuna , there are over a dozen different species of tuna globally but we only use the four main tropical tuna species at our operations in Mauritius . These species are called Skipjack, Yellowfin, Albacore and Big Eye.
Skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis)
Skipjack is the most common of the commercial tuna species and is therefore the most popular type of tuna for our customers and consumers. It is also the smallest of the main tuna species and usually does not reach one metre in length (usually 40–80 cm). Skipjack is a highly migratory specie and is found throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans between 55–60°N and 45–50°S, although the greatest numbers are seen in tropical and equatorial waters. This species usually swims near the surface and large schools of adult skipjack tuna often mix with albacore and smaller yellowfin and big eye tunas. It is clearly identified by the horizontal stripes on its belly.
Yellowfin (Thunnus albacares)
Yellowfin tuna is among the larger tuna species, reaching lengths of up to two metres, although the common size ranges are 40–170 cm. It is an open water and oceanic species found worldwide in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, between 40°N and 40°S, but mainly concentrated between 20°N and 20°S. This species can form free swimming schools of similar larger sized individuals, and sometimes mix with albacore and big eye tunas. As for smaller sized examples they can form swimming schools with skipjack and big eye tunas. As its name suggests this specie is identified by its large bright dorsal fin and the yellow strip down its side.
Albacore ( Thunnus alalunga)
Albacore is one of the smaller major tuna species, with its usual size being between Skipjack and Big Eye and it tends to be found in cooler waters than the other main species listed here. It is however widely found in temperate areas of all major oceans. Albacore tend to travel in single species groups and do not mix very often with other tuna species.
Big Eye ((Thunnus obesus)
One of the main tuna species found in warm temperate waters of the Atlantic Pacific and Indian Oceans, which when mature is similar size to yellowfin 40-180 cm but with a geographical distribution similar to skipjack. Adult fish tend to be found in cooler waters whilst younger fish can form in schools with similar sized yellowfin and skipjack tunas.