Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Tuna, Blackfin

© Scandinavian Fishing Yearbook/www.scandfish.com
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Tuna, Blackfin Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Deep-Bodied Tunny Atlantic Longline, Purse Seine
Tuna, Blackfin Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Deep-Bodied Tunny Atlantic Troll, Pole


Blackfin Tuna, Atlantic, Wild

Blackfin tuna caught by troll or pole is a "Good Alternative" while blackfin tuna caught with purse seines and longlines should be avoided due to serious bycatch concerns. Overall, little is known about the health of blackfin tuna populations due to a lack of data.

Health Alert

Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for Blackfin tuna due to elevated levels of mercury.

Summary

Unlike most tuna species that are highly migratory and may cross entire oceans, blackfin tuna has a narrow range and is limited to the western Atlantic Ocean. It's found from approximately Massachusetts to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Blackfin tuna reproduces at a young age and grows quickly, traits that make it resilient to fishing pressure.

The blackfin tuna fishery is small compared to other tuna fisheries and the fish itself is more popular with sport fishermen than with cooks.

Blackfin tuna is often caught in fisheries that target other tuna species, such as skipjack. Blackfin tuna is primarily caught by trolling or purse seines, but handlines and longlines are also used. Of these, trolling and handlines are preferred because they produce less bycatch. Longlines may result in high bycatch, including undersized tuna and endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks and seabirds. The purse seine fishery also has high bycatch when used with fish aggregating devices (FADs) as these floating devices also attract turtles, sharks and other species that end up in the nets, dead or dying.

Blackfin tuna caught with handlines, troll or pole methods are a "Good Alternative." Consumers should "Avoid" blackfin tuna caught with purse seines and longlines because of bycatch as well a lack of effective management and uncertainty about population size.


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat