Fisheries Infosite

Southern Bluefin Tuna 1-10 & high seas (combined) (STN1)
Scientific name
Thunnus maccoyii

Physical characteristics

Southern Bluefin Tuna are blue-black on top, with a silver-white underside. Adults have yellow finlets and caudal keels. They can grow to a maximum length of 215 cm.

Life cycle

Southern Bluefin Tuna have a maximum age of at least 30 years. They mature between 8-12 years old.


Southern Bluefin Tuna are found around the South Island and along the east coast, with few fish being found north of 34 °S. They are usually found at depths down to 40 m, with occasional dives as deep as 800 m.

Key statistics
Recreational significance Medium
Customary significance Medium
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025