Fisheries Infosite

Yellowfin Tuna Extra Territorial (200 mile limit) (YFNET)
Scientific name
Thunnus albacares

Physical characteristics

Yellowfin Tuna are metallic dark blue on top with a yellow-silver belly and bright yellow dorsal and anal fins and finlets. They can grow to a maximum length of 239 cm, but the largest reported in New Zealand is 164 cm.

Life cycle

Yellowfin Tuna have a maximum age of 8 years and reach maturity at 60-80 cm in length and 1-2 years old. Spawning occurs throughout the year at night in surface waters. During the peak spawning season from November to April, spawning can occur as often as every few days.


Yellowfin Tuna are found around the North Island, mostly in waters north of 40 °S. They inhabit depths of 0-100 m. They are carnivores that feed on squid and smaller fish.

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