Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Tuna, Bigeye

© Duane Raver
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Tuna, Bigeye Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Ahi, Po'onui, Patudo, Maguro, Toro U.S. Atlantic Troll, Pole
Tuna, Bigeye 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. Ahi, Po'onui, Patudo, Maguro, Toro U.S. Atlantic Longline
Tuna, Bigeye Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Ahi, Po'onui, Patudo, Maguro, Toro Worldwide, Except U.S. Atlantic Longline
Tuna, Bigeye 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. Ahi, Po'onui, Patudo, Maguro, Toro Worldwide Troll, Pole


Bigeye Tuna, Wild, Worldwide

A valuable tuna prized for its sashimi-quality flesh, bigeye tuna is found throughout the world's oceans. Although bigeye matures and reproduces quickly, populations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are declining.

Consumer Note

Bigeye is often sold fresh or frozen by its Hawaiian name ahi and is commonly used for sashimi. When served as sushi it is sold as maguro or toro (tuna belly).

Health Alert

Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for longline-caught bigeye tuna due to elevated levels of mercury. (No consumption advisories are listed for troll- or pole-caught bigeye as these methods catch younger tuna with lower mercury levels.)

Summary

Bigeye is caught with troll, pole and longline gear. There is little or no bycatch when bigeye is caught with troll or pole gear. However, longlines, the most common method, result in large bycatch, including threatened or endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks and seabirds. Since there are no international laws to reduce bycatch, these longline fleets are contributing heavily to the long-term decline of some of these species.

Most of the world's bigeye populations have been depleted due to longline fisheries and longline-caught bigeye is rated as "Avoid." One notable exception is longline-caught bigeye from the U.S. Atlantic, where strict bycatch regulations and more abundant populations result in a "Good Alternative" rating.

When possible, look for bigeye caught with troll or pole gear which has very low levels of bycatch. In particular, bigeye from the U.S. Atlantic is a "Best Choice."


Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
Seafood Watch Card Print a pocket-size Seafood Watch guide to take with you.
Mobile phone users log on to mobile.seafoodwatch.org.

iPhone® and iPod touch® users, you can get the most up-to-date Seafood Watch recommendations on your iPhone or iPod touch.

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