Southern bluefin tuna have torpedo-shaped bodies with blackish-blue backs, and a silvery-white belly with alternating rows of clear dots and lines. The anal fin and finlets are yellow edged with black.
They can grow up to 2.45 metres in length and 260 kg. They can be found up to 1.8 metres in length and 100 kg
They can swim as fast as 70 km/hr
In Australian waters, Southern bluefin tuna are found mainly in the Great Australian Bight and in waters adjacent to our eastern coastline
They are most commonly caught during the summer months for the ranching sector, and are caught by longline off our eastern coastline during winter
The catch of Southern bluefin tuna in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery represents approximately 10-15% of Australia’s allocation
It is important to match the cut of tuna to the type of dish being prepared
The belly (Otoro) of the tuna will have a much higher fat content requiring much less heat to bring out the flavours. Caution when grilling this cut on the barbeque as the oil may burn leaving an acrid flavour. It is much better to use the back loin (Akami), which has a lower oil content.
Southern bluefin tuna has superb eating qualities when eaten as sashimi (raw).
Grilled or barbecued, tunas are best seared and left rare centrally. Highlight with intense flavours such as charred capsicum, eggplant, balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressings on a bed of bitter greens and aioli, roasted garlic, and Japanese wasabi, soy and pickled ginger.
Sashimi, carpaccio, or tartare blended with Atlantic salmon is ideal for tuna, married with dill, garlic, lemon and pepper.
Tuna is also an excellent dish sliced thinly and briefly dropped into simmering “fish stock” or cooked as an Asian “hot-pot” to each diner’s preference.