Is There a Difference Between Yellowfin and Yellowtail Tuna?



When caught on a line, yellowfin tuna have yellow sides, blue backs, silver bellies, and can weigh up to 450 pounds, while Pacific yellowtail have yellow stripes across their body, a yellow tail, and weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. The yellowtail tuna, Seriola lalandi, is not a tuna species and weighs less than the yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares.

Yellowtail is a delicacy in Japanese cuisine and is used as a sushi element. These fish, known in Japan as hamachi, are farmed and exported to other countries. The longest yellowtail ever captured was almost 8 feet long in August 2014, and the heaviest specimen ever recorded weighed over 213 pounds. Yellowtail can be found all over the world in subtropical waters. Mackerel, sardines, anchovies, crab, and squid are among the foods eaten by yellowtail.

Yellowfin tuna can be found in all three of the world’s oceans. These fish associate with dolphins and swim with other tuna species. The longest yellowfin tuna ever caught was 7.8 feet long and captured off Florida in August 2014. The heaviest yellowfin ever caught weighed in at 441 pounds. From Chile to California, the largest school of yellowfin can be found in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The top predator in the ocean food chain is the yellowfin tuna.

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