Skipjack tuna are a highly migratory fish that roams all the world’s oceans in tropical and subtropical zones. They live in large schools and are typically harvested and canned as “light tuna.”
Skipjack have a dark purplish-blue back and silver belly with up to six dark bands running from their head to tail. They do not have scales except around its head and running along their lateral line. They have streamlined, torpedo-shaped bodies adapted to fast swimming. With the most pronounced taste of all tropical tunas, skipjack are typically sold as canned light tuna.
Skipjack tuna have a life span of eight to 12 years and reach reproductive maturity when they reach 1.3 feet in length. The species is very productive, spawning throughout the year in tropical and subtropical waters. Females can spawn almost daily, releasing millions of eggs. Their most productive spawning periods are in the spring and fall. Females release their eggs near the sea surface where they are fertilized. They grow quickly reaching about 80 cm (31 inches) and weighing eight to 10 kg (18–22 lb). They live mostly in the open ocean and can be found in large schools swimming long distances to feed and reproduce. They are at the top of the food chain and feed on other fish, squid and crustaceans.
Handlining is a small-scale fishing method in which fish harvesters jig for tuna with weighted hooks, troll at low speeds with lures, attach hooks and lines to makeshift floats, and even use kites to dangle lures along the sea surface to attract tuna.
This fishery uses a longline to catch a variety of pelagic fish on the high seas such as tuna and swordfish. A deep-set longline is used to primarily target tuna and a shallow-set longline is used to target swordfish or mixed species including bigeye, Albacore and yellowfin tuna. Baited hooks are attached to a line that floats in the ocean using buoys and flagpoles.
This fishery uses a variety of artisanal hook-and-line methods to catch coastal pelagic fish such as tuna, marlin, swordfish, mahi mahi, wahoo (ono) and others. A pole and line with live bait scattered into the water is used to catch feeding skipjack tuna. Trolling with lures and lines, and handlines with lures, lines and bait bags are used to target larger fish such as bigeye tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi and wahoo.
This small-scale fishing method uses a pole and line to catch a variety of tuna species. Live baitfish is scattered into the sea to attract tuna. Fish harvesters then use a pole, lure and barbless hook to catch the feeding tuna.
Mangrove Crab HarvesterCanavieiras, Brazil
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