Other Types of Tuna
Besides the well known yellowfin and bluefin tuna, other types of tuna caught by sportfishermen in the Bay of Chiriqui include the Skipjack, Bonito and Albacore.
Skipjack: One of the types of tuna found in both Pacific and Atlantic waters is the Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), or otherwise known in French (Bonite à ventre rayé) or Spanish (Listado).
The skipjack has an elongated and rounded body with two dorsal fins separated by a narrow interspace, the first with 14–16 spines. The second dorsal and anal fins are followed by seven to nine finlets. Its colors are dark purplish blue on its back, and the lower sides and belly are silvery, with four to six very conspicuous longitudinal dark bands.
Skipjacks can be found in tropical and warm-temperate seas around the world, but they are not found in the Black Sea.
Skipjack congregate in schools along the surface waters. These schools are associated with birds, drifting objects, sharks, whales, and other tuna species. They will feed on any forage available, usually early morning and late afternoon. Food items include fishes, crustaceans, and mollusks.
They are also a game fish. The current record is a 45-lb (20.5-kg) fish caught on Flathead Bank, Baja California.
Bonito: The bonito generally refers to certain fish related to, but smaller than tuna. It is a name given to various species of medium-sized, predatory fish of the genus Sarda, in the mackerel family. This includes the common or Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda) and the Pacific bonito.
In Japan, "bonito" usually refers to the skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), which is known as katsuo in Japan.
Pacific and Atlantic bonito meat has a firm texture and a darkish color. The meat of young or small bonito can be of lighter color, close to that of skipjack tuna, and is sometimes used as a cheaper substitute of skipjack, especially for canning purposes. Bonito may not be marketed as tuna in all countries, however. The bonito has a moderate fat content.
Albacore: The albacore (Thunnus alalunga) is one of the types of tuna from the Scombridae family . This species may also be called albacore fish, albacore tuna, longfin, albies, pigfish, tombo ahi, Pacific albacore, German bonito (but see bonito), longfin tuna, longfin tunny, or even just tuna. It is the only tuna species which may be marketed as "white meat tuna" in the United States.
It is found in the open waters of all tropical and temperate oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea. Lengths range up to 140 cm (55 inches) and weights up to 60 kg (132 lbs).
The pectoral fins of the albacore are very long, as much as 30% of the total length. The dorsal spines are 11 to 14 in number, and well forward of the rays of the dorsal fin. The anterior spines are much longer, giving a concave outline to the spiny part of the dorsal fin.
Albacore is a prized food, and albacore fishery is economically significant. Methods of fishing include pole and line, long-line fishing, trolling, and some purse seining. It is also sought after by sportfishermen.
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