Blackfin tuna is the smallest tuna species in the Thunnus genus, generally growing to a maximum of 100 centimetres (39 in) in length and weighing 21 kg (46 lbs). Blackfin have oval shaped bodies, black backs with a slight yellow on the finlets, and have yellow on the sides of their body.
Blackfin are only found in the western Atlantic from Cape Cod to Brazil.
These tuna do not consume as much fish in their diet as other tunas, and will eat the tiny larvae of stomatopods (king shrimp or mantis shrimp), true shrimp, and crabs, as well as small fish. They do, of course, also eat juvenile and adult fish and squid. They are a short-lived, fast-growing species; a 5 year old fish would be considered old. They reach sexual maturity at two years old, and spawn in the open sea during the summer.
Blackfin tuna are a warmer-water fish, preferring water temperatures over 68°F (20°C). What they lack in size, they make up for in numbers and willingness to bite. There are scattered records of blackfin tuna occurring as far north as Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, but the usual range is from North Carolina to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
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