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Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna supply the majority of fresh tuna sold in the U.S. market. Although both delicious, yellowfin tuna is often much leaner and firmer, whereas bigeye tends to be fattier and therefore contains higher oil content. Both species are oftentimes marketed simply as Ahi, the Hawaiian name for tuna.
Yellowfin tuna derive their name from their vibrant dorsal fins, which produce a rich, yellow color, and the golden stripe running along their side. This species is noted for being the world’s most valuable wholesale fresh tuna catch. Yellowfin top out at around 400 pounds, but generally range between 20 and 120 pounds. When consumed raw, the flesh color should be a bright ruby red. When cooked, however, it becomes off-white in color. Yellowfin tuna is excellent raw, firm in texture, mild to taste, and full of flavor.
Bigeye tuna can grow to be several hundred pounds and is rated second, only to Bluefin, for sashimi in Japan because of its high oil content. These tunas derive their name from self-explanatory logic, they have big eyes. Fresh bigeye tuna has a deep red color that can often appear to be slightly translucent. Bigeye tuna is considered slightly firm in texture and rich in flavor when cooked.
Both bigeye and yellowfin tunas are found in warm and temperate waters throughout the world, however, the populations are much larger in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Generally, these fish can be found in the mixed surface layer of the ocean, which is defined as 0 – 100m from the surface of the ocean. Although they tend to stay in this habitat, they periodically take deeper dives.
The fishermen we partner with abide by specific guidelines depending on the type of catch that they are looking for. Long line fishing practices are far more ecologically sustainable than other commercial fishing methods used across the world. We realize that it’s important to embrace emerging scientific data, especially when it comes to our oceanic habitats. Boston Sword & Tuna is a proud supporter of sustainable fisheries, and our fresh tuna is a prime example of that.