News from Dudley: Tuna

Hi Kids,
The other day I met an Atlantic Bluefin tuna. I know that some humans think tuna only comes in a can but they are a fascinating and beautiful fish. Tunas have sleek, powerful bodies made for speed. They have a torpedo shaped body which helps streamline their movement through the water.

Yellowfin Tuna (Photo courtesy NOAA)

Yellowfin Tuna (Photo courtesy NOAA)

Tunas are impressive. The Atlantic bluefin can reach ten feet in length and weigh as much as 1500 pounds. That’s as much as a cow! The body shape, fins and scales enable some species of tuna to swim as fast as 43 miles per hour. A tuna will also swim incredible distances as they migrate.

Tuna is an important part of the diet of millions of people. This makes tuna one of the most commercially valuable fish. Unfortunately,  conservation and management of tuna has not evolved very quickly. That’s why some are considered “species of concern” such as the Bluefin.

Like all animals, tuna are an important part of their habitats. How can you help tuna? If you eat tuna, know where it comes from. Is it caught by sustainable methods? If not, find a tuna supplier that does. If you don’t eat seafood, of course, it is always important to reduce, reuse and recycle. And, buy locally. The more products you buy grown or produced near where you live the smaller your carbon footprint. (Find out more at NOAA’s Fish Watch Page)

A fun fact of the Bluefin tuna is that they can keep their body temperature warmer then the surrounding water. Fish are cold blooded, so this is a very cool adaptation to keep muscles warmed up so the tuna is always ready to sprint.  Boy, do I wish I could do that.

See you later,

Ref: NOAA Fisheries

Learn more about Tuna at NOAA Fish Watch (