Fisheries Infosite

Pacific Bluefin Tuna 1-10 (Combined) (TOR1)
Scientific name
Thunnus orientalis

Physical characteristics

Pacific Bluefin Tuna have dark backs and lighter undersides with speckling around the head. They can grow to a maximum length of 300 cm, though the largest reported in New Zealand waters is 270 cm.

Life cycle

Pacific Bluefin Tuna have a maximum age of over 15 years, reaching maturity at 3-5 years. They do not spawn in New Zealand waters, and spawning near Japan takes place from April-August depending on region.


Pacific Bluefin Tuna is found moustly in northern New Zealand but can be found throughout New Zealand waters at depths to 100 m. They are epi-pelagic opportunistic feeders on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.

Key statistics
Recreational significance High
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