Skipjack Tuna

Fact File:

Common Name(s):
Skipjack Tuna

Scientific Name:
Katsuwonus pelamis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Usual Size:
To 108cm which is equated to a weight of 32/34kg - common to 80cm

UK Record Weights from rod/line:



MAFF Minimum Size: Shore: Boat:

Typical tunny shape. Colour: Back dark purplish blue, lower sides and belly silver. In live specimens longitudinal dark bands may appear as discontinuous lines of dark blotches. 4 or 5 long broad stripes on the belly

Egg dispersal. Spawning takes place in batches in equatorial waters and in sub-tropical waters from early spring to autumn, although the season shortens the further the distance from the equator. A female of between 41/87cm can disperse between 80,000 and 2,000,000 eggs per season

Tending to be an offshore species with occasional migrations into inshore waters also a surface schooling tuna. Preferred water temperature ranges are 15 to 30ºC, with mature fish being within the 18 to 20ºC band.

Fish, squid, crustaceans and known to be cannibalistic

In most tropical and warm temperate waters. For the UK the southern coast line in summers of high sea water temperatures.

Additional Notes:

One positively identified Skipjack Tuna was taken in an inshore net in Lyme Bay in October 1989. Often confused with another tuna species - Atlantic Bonito.

REFERENCES: FAO Species Catalogue 2 - Scombrids of The World - Collette/Nauen

Fishes of the North-Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean - Whitehead, Bauchot, Hureau, Nielsen, Tortonese

Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe - Wheeler

 Return to the