Differentiating Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna Easily

The vast ocean holds countless wonders, including the beauty of the fish that swim in it. Among the many species that attract ocean lovers, two tuna that are often confused are bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares). Although similar, there are important differences that set these two species apart. This article will help you identify them easily and reveal interesting facts about these fish.

  1. Distinguishing Physical Appearance

One of the easiest ways to differentiate between bluefin and yellowfin tuna is through their physical appearance. Bluefin tuna has a generally darker body color with a blue-metallic sheen on its back. Meanwhile, yellowfin tuna tend to have a lighter body color, with silvery yellow stripes extending from top to bottom.

  1. Different Dorsal Fin Positions

It is important to note the position of the dorsal fin on both types of tuna. In bluefin tuna, the dorsal fin tends to be closer to the caudal fin, while in yellowfin tuna, the dorsal fin is located further away from the caudal fin and appears larger.

  1. Different Size and Weight

Differences in size and weight are another thing that can help distinguish between these two types of tuna. Yellowfin tuna tend to be smaller and lighter compared to the larger and heavier bluefin tuna. However, keep in mind that the size and weight of fish can vary depending on their location and living conditions in the sea.

  1. Mold Patterns on the Body

Looking at the mold patterns on the body can also be a distinguishing characteristic of bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Yellowfin tuna usually have dark spots spread around their bodies. Whereas bluefin tuna tend to have a flatter body without any noticeable dark spots.

  1. Different Swimming Behavior

Ultimately, observing the swimming behavior of these two types of tuna can be a key clue in identifying them. Yellowfin tuna tend to be more active on the water surface, more agile, and often jump out of the water. Bluefin tuna, on the other hand, tend to be slower swimmers and prefer to stay at deeper depths.


Identifying the difference between bluefin and yellowfin tuna can be challenging, but by looking at their physical appearance, dorsal fin position, size and weight, print pattern, and swimming behavior, you can now more easily tell the difference. Knowing these differences will enrich your experience as you explore the ocean and witness the stunning beauty of the underwater realm. Happy exploring the amazing underwater world!

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