Skipjack Tuna

skipjack tuna
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit10


possession limit20


boat limit-

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


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.

Other names

stripey tuna, stripey

Scientific name

Katsuwonus pelamis

Grows to

Up to

1m and 35kg

Identifying features

​A smaller tuna, skipjack can be identified by 3-5 dark horizontal stripes on its lower half and sides against a silvery white belly. The dorsal fins are narrowly separated with 14-16 spines in the first dorsal fin. Skipjack have a thickened scale patch near the pectoral fin base and virtually no scales on the posterior half of the body.


Skipjack tuna are found in similar habitat to albacore but come into slightly shallower waters. They travel to Tasmania on the eastern Australian current from sub-tropical waters and are found from shallow coastal waters out to the continental shelf. They form tight schools in offshore waters off eastern Tasmania and are caught from late January to April.

Fishing information

Often found with other tunas such as albacore and yellowfin. Caught by trolling a variety of hard and soft bodied lures at varying depth ranges. At times they can be seen feeding on the surface and then can be taken on fly and light gear using small lures.


If releasing, minimise the time the tuna is out of the water 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.


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. Use as fillets or steaks.

Recipe: Tuna and Pea Pasta Bake:

450g tuna, cooked and flaked; 400g pasta; 40 g butter; 2 tbsp flour; 2 cups milk; 1 ½ cups frozen peas; 1 ¼ cups grated cheddar cheese; ½ cup grated parmesan.

Cook the pasta in salted water, drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, add flour and stir until mixture thickens. Gradually stir in milk until sauce becomes thick, and then add cheese and peas. Combine sauce with cooked pasta and tuna and put into a shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake at 180°C oven for about 20-30 minutes or until brown on top.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

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Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550