Bluefin tuna is some of the most expensive fish in the world, but how big can they grow to be?
Bluefin tuna can grow to huge proportions, with the largest examples weighing around two thousand pounds and measuring some fifteen feet in length. The average size for Bluefin tuna is around five feet in length, with a weight of around one-hundred and fifty pounds.
Read on to learn more about the impressive Bluefin tuna and the biggest examples that have appeared throughout history.
Big Ol’ Bluefin
Statistically, all the species of Bluefin make up some of the largest types of tuna on the planet. They can grow to gargantuan sizes and have made for some intensely prized catches throughout history.
It’s estimated that at the top end of the spectrum, Bluefin tuna can grow to be as long as fifteen feet, and weigh up to two thousand pounds. They’re huge fish, but owing to their torpedo-like builds, they cut through the ocean with ease, traveling hundreds – or thousands – of miles.
Although these top-end figures are merely estimates, there have been real-world examples of some enormous Bluefin tuna over the years. The record for the biggest bluefin has been secured by one fisherman for over four decades, though.
In 1979, Ken Fraser caught a monster Atlantic Bluefin off the coast of Nova Scotia. These extremely fertile breeding grounds are home to many species of fish and they’re regularly producing record-setting examples.
However, Ken Fraser’s Bluefin was a staggering 1,496 pounds and its length was more than twice his height. It would have been a struggle to physically catch the fish, but allegedly it took him just forty-five minutes to bring it aboard.
That might sound like quite a long time to catch one fish, but it has been known to take much longer. For example, a French fisherman caught a Bluefin tuna in Portugal in 1996 that took eight hours to bring in.
This is the longest example recorded to catch a single Bluefin, but they can often take upwards of an hour or two to catch. In most cases, specialist equipment and a team will be needed to bring in the largest Bluefins, as they’re considerably strong swimmers with a lot of pull.
Although, the average size of a Bluefin tuna is around five feet in length, with an average weight of one hundred and fifty pounds. That’s still going to be a battle for inexperienced fishermen, though.
Fishing For Value
Owing to overfishing and massive popularity, the Bluefin tuna is unfortunately regarded as endangered by all the world’s regulatory bodies. They’re subject to countless regulations in countries all around the world, both commercially and recreationally.
For example, the fishing of Bluefin tuna around Canada is strictly catch-and-release only. This has been mirrored in many countries, as the conservation of Bluefin tuna is taken more and more seriously as time goes on.
Reportedly, Bluefin tuna is a dramatically luxurious fish that’s a delight to eat. It’s most commonly served in raw form as sashimi, particularly in countries like Japan, where it’s consumed in huge amounts.
Although there have been some efforts to farm Bluefin tuna, it never works out as well as the wild-caught fish. The meat taken from a wild Bluefin is said to be quite fatty, almost marbled, which is a trait that gives it a fabulous consistency and taste.
It’s a similar trait to Wagyu beef, which is some of the finest meat on the planet. It’s taken from Japanese cattle and features an exquisite marbling of fat that offers ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ softness.
Globally, Bluefin tuna has a substantially high value, regularly being worth as much as two-hundred dollars per pound. At the lowest end of the spectrum, this can drop to around forty dollars per pound, which is still not particularly cheap.
The history books tell a different story, though – especially in Tokyo, Japan. In 2019, a single Bluefin tuna sold at an auction in a Tokyo fish market for three million dollars.
It was an impressive fish, weighing more than six-hundred pounds, and it just had to be bought by the ‘Tuna King’ Kiyoshi Kimura. He’s the proud owner of a sushi restaurant chain in Japan called Sushi Zanmai, and he outbid the competition by miles.
At that value, the fish was worth around five thousand dollars per pound, which is way above the known maximum market values.
However, he was quoted as saying, “The tuna looks so tasty and very fresh,” so that’s all that matters, right?