Skipjack Tuna

Skipjack Tuna
Common Name Skipjack Tuna
Market Name ocean bonito, aku
Scientific name Katsuwonus pelamis

Sourcing Summary

Size

7-22 lbs.

Skipjack is the species most commonly used in canned tuna. It is mainly sold as “canned light” or “chunk light” tuna, and it is also available fresh and frozen. Skipjack has the most pronounced taste of all of the tropical tunas and when raw, good-quality skipjack meat is deep red. Smaller fish are lighter red. Cooked skipjack becomes light gray. Some canned skipjack maybe be mixed with yellowfin tuna when the species aren't separated at harvest. Some sushi markets prefer skipjack tuna because it’s comparable to yellowfin tuna when fried or grilled.


Product Forms

Fresh/Frozen
Fresh
Product Forms
Canned
H&G
Loins
Steaks
Fresh/Frozen
Frozen
Product Forms
H&G
Loins
Steaks

Fresh Seasonal Availability

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
nononoyesyesyesnononononono

Culinary Composition

Mild

Flavor

Firm

Texture

Health/Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving Size: 100g
Amount per serving
Calories 103
Total Fat 1g
Cholesterol 47mg
Sodium 37mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 22g

Science & Management

Wild
Harvest Methods

Conservation Criteria - Wild

Impact on Stock

Skipjack is a small tuna with short lifespans as well as rapid growth and reproduction rates, making them resilient to fishing pressure.

Skipjack stocks in both the Atlantic and Pacific are currently estimated to be above target levels, according to the U.S. Marine Fisheries Service.

Habitat impacts ( Wild)

In the United States, most skipjack tuna is caught off Hawaii using troll and pole-and-line gear. Since handgear doesn’t connect with the seafloor, it has no impact on that habitat. In the Western Pacific, where most skipjack are landed, skipjack tuna are caught using purse seines which have little, if any, impact on habitat.

Bycatch

When skipjack is caught using pole-and-line or troll gear, the bycatch is minimal because these fisheries are so selective. However, most skipjack worldwide are caught with purse seine fleets known to catch non-targeted fish such as juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and mahi mahi. Purse seines that use fish aggregating devices (FADs) are more likely to accidentally catch sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and marlin. Longlines result in large amounts of bycatch, including threatened or endangered sea turtles, seabirds, and sharks. When skipjack tuna are caught without fish aggregating devices, bycatch is reduced but the skipjack is not separated from other tuna caught with more impactful gear.

Management effectiveness

Internationally, skipjack tuna management falls under several agencies: the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). Management and monitoring varies by region. Skipjack is well monitored in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but information in the Indian Ocean is considered inadequate. Overall, skipjack tuna fishery management measures tend to be vague, according to the Blue Ocean Institute. Attempts to curb FADs have been made but the devices continue to be used.

Conservation Criteria - Farmed

Origin Method Ratings
All Other Origins All Other Fishing Methods  
Atlantic Ocean Purse Seine - Floating Object  
Atlantic Ocean Purse Seine - Unassociated  
Atlantic Ocean Troll/Pole  
Indian Ocean Purse Seine - Floating Object  
Indian Ocean Purse Seine - Unassociated  
Indian Ocean Troll/Pole  
Pacific Ocean - East Purse Seine - Dolphin Set  
Pacific Ocean - East Purse Seine - Floating Object  
Pacific Ocean - East Purse Seine - Unassociated  
Pacific Ocean - East Troll/Pole  
Pacific Ocean - West Central Purse Seine - Floating Object  
Pacific Ocean - West Central Purse Seine - Unassociated  
Pacific Ocean - West Central Troll/Pole  
USA - Hawaii Deep-Set Longline  
USA - North Atlantic Greenstick  
Name Country State / Province
American Tuna, Inc. United States California
Blue Circle Foods United States District of Columbia
Ensis Fisheries Pvt. Limited Maldives MAA
Fresh Island Fish, Inc. United States Hawaii
Garden & Valley Isle Seafood, Inc. United States Hawaii
Mind Fish Co. United States California
Norpac Fisheries Export United States Hawaii
Safe Catch United States California
Santa Monica Seafood, Inc. United States California
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico United States New Mexico
The Tuna Store LLC United States Washington
Wild Fish Direct LLC United States Florida
Wild Planet Foods, Inc. United States California
Wixter Market United States Illinois