Tuna (Thunnini) is one of the few species of fish that almost everyone in the world knows of. It’s a saltwater fish that falls within the mackerel family. There are over 15 species that live within this category. These fish are highly targeted on hook-and-line fishing and can also be found when spearfishing pelagic fish in blue water.
They are one of the only fish species that can maintain a body temperature that’s above the surrounding water temperature. With a streamlined and sleek body, these fish have evolved to be a sleek and agile predator. In fact, they’re one of the fastest swimming pelagic fish with speeds clocking up to 75 kilometers per hour.
Is Tuna Expensive?
Tuna prices can vary widely. There are certain species that are not relatively expensive, like the ones that are being canned (e.g. longfin or albacore tuna). However, certain species can demand a hefty price, like the bluefin-tuna.
There are three species of bluefin that are found in the ocean. Furthermore, this type of fish doesn’t breed in captivity, therefore, supply and demand play a large factor in the price of this fish. Keep in mind that the bluefin is the top-shelf choice for any sushi lover. Thus, it’s the reason why it’s so expensive.
Where Is Tuna Found?
Tuna are found all over the world’s ocean. The bluefin is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Hemisphere. They mostly populate in the subsurface and surface temperate waters.
Skipjack is more abundant compared to any other type of this fish. They are mostly found in tropical regions. They like to patrol the surface waters in the open parts of the ocean.
Yellowfin is another tropical fish within the tuna family. Also, they mostly reside in the subsurface and surface waters. The smaller ones are often canned, while the larger ones are shipped to the Asian markets.
Albacore tuna is mostly found in temperate and tropical waters. The juveniles will often wander in the oceanic fronts.
Bigeye Tuna is often found in the subsurface and surface tropical waters. Smaller bigeye tunas tend to populate the surface waters, while the bigger ones tend to wander the deeper waters.
Is Tuna Really Safe For Eating?
The issue that is often associated with tuna is mercury. Mercury is an element that is toxic to humans, and it can also damage a growing brain. Tuna is a fish known to accumulate higher levels of mercury compared to other species. However, the real question is – does the mercury levels in these fish affect human health when consumed?
There’s no easy answer here, and it’s still being debated among experts. However, the FDA recommends eating fish at least twice a week as a source of protein and other nutrients.
According to the FDA, light tuna tends to have the lowest mercury content compared to other species. Yellowfin may have higher mercury content, but it’s still within the bounds of what is considered safe. However, the FDA recommends avoiding bigeye tunafish for its high mercury content.