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.
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.
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.
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.