Yellowfin tuna

Thunnus albacares

Family Scombridae - tunas

Body elongate, robust; snout pointed; color dark blue on back, yellow to silvery on sides and belly, sometimes with broken whitish lines on sides and belly; 2 dorsal fins, 2nd dorsal fin and anal fin long, falcate (sickle-shaped), becoming very long in older fish; 8-10 finlets behind 2nd dorsal fin and anal fin; 2nd dorsal fin, anal fin and finlets bright yellow; pectoral fin moderately long, reaching past origin of 2nd dorsal fin but not past its base; 2 separated flaps (interpelvic process) in between the pelvic fins; caudal peduncle slender with 2 well-developed lateral keels; 2 smaller keels on base of tail.
Similar Species
The yellowfin and bigeye tunas are the only tunas in the area with bright yellow finlets. The yellowfin has extremely long 2nd dorsal and anal fins in older adults, whereas the bigeye does not. In live specimens, the bigeye has a metallic blue band on its sides. The yellow on its 2nd dorsal and anal fins is more concentrated on the tips and posterior edge than being throughout the fins. The bigeye also does not have the white broken lines on its sides and belly that the yellowfin has.
Gulf, open waters
Maximum Size
239 cm (8 ft) fork length, common to 150 cm (5 ft) fork length
Fin Element Counts
D. XIII-XV+13-16+8-10 finlets; A. II,12-15+8-10 finlets (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits