Marine Heatwave Alert - Tasmania is currently experiencing a marine heatwave that will impact animals, plants and the environment. Learn how to report unusual observations related to the heatwave.
Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.
Southern tuna, bluefin tuna, SBT
The largest of the Tasmanian tunas, southern bluefin have a moderately long and muscular body with small scales covering skin. They are bluish black in colour along the back and silvery white below. Keels are present near the tail and are coloured yellow in juveniles and black in adults. Looks similar to bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) but fishers experienced in catching SBT will be able to identify distinguish bigeye by the larger shape of the eye and the chubby form of the fish.
Avoid long playing times by using heavier line. Use a large de-hooker or pliers to remove hook. Use barbless single hooks on lures. Minimise interactions with seals and other wildlife. Don’t dispose of fish frames around boat ramps. If you catch a tagged tuna, please record the tag details and report to the
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.
Find out more from the Southern Bluefin Tuna Code of Practice and
Tuna Champions website.
Handling: If practising catch and release, keep tuna out of the water for the minimum time possible, cover their eyes and handle with wet hands or cloth. Don’t use a gaff. Larger tuna should be released without removing them from the water. If photographing, hold horizontally, not unsupported by the tail.
A fast swimming tuna found in the open ocean, southern bluefin are highly migratory and may be found around Tasmania when the water temperature starts to cool, generally from March to June and spend winter in offshore waters. Can be found in close to sea cliffs but generally found in waters from 40 metres depth.
Southern bluefin tuna are actively targeted by game fishers off Tasmania’s east and south coasts during autumn and into winter. Usually caught by trolling large lures. In recent years, the stocks of SBT have declined to the point where catch limits have been placed upon the fishery in an attempt to allow the stocks to recover.
Tuna need to be correctly handled after capture to retain the best eating quality. They should be killed using a brain spike, bled, then cleaned and chilled shortly after capture. Tuna has a high oil content, distinctive flavour and firm, dark flesh which lightens when cooked. Cooking methods: bake, barbecue, foil bake, marinate, sashimi. Cooked tuna steaks are often preferred by Tasmanian fishers.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550
Level 1, 134 Macquarie St