Fisheries Infosite

Bigeye Tuna Extra Territorial (200 mile limit) (BIGET)
Scientific name
Thunnus obesus

Physical characteristics

Bigeye Tuna have a metallic dark blue top and grey-white undersides with a lateral blue band. They can grow to a maximum length of 250 cm, but the largest reported in New Zealand is 192 cm.

Life cycle

Bigeye Tuna have a maximum age of 11 years. Spawning takes place in the equatorial waters of the western Pacific Ocean in spring and summer.


Bigeye Tuna are caught around the North Island only. They are found mostly in depths of 0-50 m, but during the day are known to dive to 500 m. They are epi-pelagic opportunistic feeders on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.

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