Scientific name: Thunnus thynnus
English name: Atlantic bluefin tuna
Italian name: Tonno rosso
The Atlantic bluefin tuna is a large pelagic fish in the Sgombridae family. This tuna lives in the tropical and subtropical water of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, mostly offshore, only moving closer to coasts in certain periods of the year to breed. In young tuna, the body is fusiform (tapering at both ends) and elongated but is more solid in adults which have short, robust fins including the two dorsal fins, closed together, with the first being taller than the second; the caudal fin is broad and lunate. The back of the fish is light or dark blue while the sides are iridescent silvery-grey. It is more than 3 m in length and some specimens can weigh more than 600 kg. It is a migratory species that gathers during the breeding season, when it was caught using the ‘tonnara’ technique (a system of fixed nets with two main parts, one of which extended for several kilometres in the sea, to interrupt the path of the tuna fish and drive them towards the area where they were caught) which ended with the typical ‘slaughter’; for economic reasons, this practice is used less and less. Given the enormous commercial importance, tuna are caught with purse seiners and on the hook with long lines. It is marketed fresh, frozen and preserved. The Japanese are the major consumers of tuna, buying about 80% of Mediterranean Atlantic bluefin tuna.