Other names: yellowfin, yellowfinned albacore
Scientific name: Thunnus albacares
Minimum size: None
Bag limit: 2 (southern bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye tuna combined)
Possession limit: 2 (southern bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye tuna combined)
Boat limit: 4 (combined) (only 2 over 1.5 metres)
Identifying features: This colourful tuna is dark blue-black on the body, silver to yellow on the belly and has a yellow stripe that runs from eye to tail. They have moderate to long pectoral fins reaching just beyond the start of the second dorsal fin. The second dorsal fin and anal fin are sickle shaped, and yellow-edged on larger fish.
Grows to: Up to 2 metres and 175 kg.
Habitat: Found in offshore temperate waters of eastern Tasmania from late January to April when the water is warmer. They are found from shallow coastal waters out to the continental shelf in depths ranging from 10-200 metres.
Fishing information: Less common in Tasmania than other tunas. Caught on a variety of hard and soft bodies lures trolled at varying depths.
Responsible fishing tips: Avoid long playing times by using heavier line. Use a large dehooker or pliers to remove hook. Use barbless single hooks on lures. Minimise interactions with seals and other wildlife. Don’t dispose of fish frames around boat ramps.
Handling: If practising catch and release, keep tuna out of the water for the minimum time possible, cover their eyes and handle with wet hands or cloth. Don’t use a gaff. Larger tuna should be released without removing them from the water. If photographing, hold horizontally not unsupported by the tail.
Cooking: Tuna need to be correctly handled after capture to retain the best eating quality. They should be killed using a brain spike, bled, then cleaned and chilled shortly after capture. Tuna has a high oil content, distinctive flavour and firm, dark flesh which lightens when cooked.
Cooking methods: bake, barbecue, foil bake, marinate, sashimi.
Recipe: Foil Baked Tuna:
4 tuna steaks approx 2 cm thick; 1 tbsp butter; 1 small red capsicum, chopped; 3 spring onions, finely chopped; 1 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs; 1 tbsp capers, chopped; 1 cup sour cream; 1 tbsp lemon juice; lemon pepper; salt.
Place each tuna steak on a piece of foil. Melt butter then saute capsicum and spring onions until soft. Add breadcrumbs, capers, cream and juice. Season to taste. Cover each tuna steak with equal amounts of vegetable mixture. Seal foil and place all parcels on a tray. Bake at 200°C for 15 mins.
Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe