In the vast and shimmering waters that surround India, there is a creature that is both fierce and graceful, sleek and powerful. This is the tuna, a fish that has captured the imaginations of fishermen and foodies alike for centuries. With its torpedo-shaped body and iridescent scales, the tuna is a true marvel of the sea, capable of swimming at incredible speeds and leaping high above the waves.
|Scientific Name||Thunnus spp.|
|Colour (s)||Dark metallic blue on the back and upper sides, silvery on the lower sides and belly|
|Average Length||Up to 2 meters|
|Average Weight||Up to 200 kg|
|Which coastal waters its found ?||Along the east and west coasts of India, as well as in the waters surrounding the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands|
Tuna fish found in India belong to several species, including the Yellowfin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, and Albacore Tuna. Despite their differences, these fish share some common physical characteristics.
In terms of color, the Yellowfin Tuna has a metallic blue-black back and silver sides with a yellow finlet and finlet edges. The Skipjack Tuna, on the other hand, has dark blue to blackish back and a silver belly, with several rows of whitish spots on their lower sides, and yellow finlets. The Albacore Tuna has a dark metallic blue back, silver sides and a white underbelly.
As for their length, Yellowfin Tuna can grow up to 2.4 meters (8 feet), Skipjack Tuna up to 1 meter (3 feet), and Albacore Tuna can reach up to 1.4 meters (4.6 feet).
Tuna fish are known for their speed and agility. Yellowfin Tuna can swim at speeds up to 75 km/h (46 mph), while Skipjack Tuna can reach speeds up to 64 km/h (40 mph). Albacore Tuna are slightly slower, with a top speed of around 50 km/h (31 mph).
Tuna have several types of fins, including a dorsal fin, pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and anal fins. The dorsal fin is located on the back of the fish, and the pectoral fins are on either side of the fish’s body. The pelvic fins are near the fish’s belly, while the anal fin is located near the fish’s tail.
Habitat and Food
Tuna fish in India can be found in a variety of habitats, ranging from shallow coastal waters to deep offshore regions. Some of the most common species of tuna found in Indian waters include yellowfin, skipjack, and longtail tuna.
Yellowfin tuna, for example, are known to inhabit depths of up to 300 meters, with some individuals venturing even deeper. They tend to prefer warmer waters, making them more common in the southern regions of India.
Skipjack tuna, on the other hand, are often found in shallower waters closer to shore, typically within 50 meters of the coastline. They are known to school in large groups, making them a popular catch for commercial fishermen.
As for their diet, tuna are voracious predators that feed on a variety of smaller fish, crustaceans, and squid. They are known for their high-energy requirements, which they meet through a diet rich in protein and fat.
The current conservation status of Thunnus tonggol, as determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is Data Deficient. This means that there is not enough information available about the species to assess its population size and trends, distribution, habitat status, and potential threats.
More research and data collection is needed to determine the conservation status of Thunnus tonggol, and to develop appropriate conservation measures to ensure its long-term survival.