Selling your tuna under the radar or without the proper permits screws us all As we get into the thick of tuna season right now, and plenty of “large-medium” and “giant” class bluefin tuna are being caught by anglers around Cape Cod, and “small mediums” as well as good-sized yellowfin in the New York Bite,
Six species of tuna are present in the New England/Mid-Atlantic region, including the albacore, bigeye, blackfin, bluefin, skipjack and yellowfin. Most can be found throughout the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England, although the bluefin ranges north into Canadian waters, while the blackfin is a southern species that rarely ventures north of Delaware Bay. All six species support significant commercial and recreational fisheries.
Bluefin are by far the largest member of the complex, and can reach weights at least 1,500 pounds. Skipjack and blackfin, on the other hand, weigh less than 50 pounds, with the vast majority never reaching half of that size; New England/Mid-Atlantic skipjack seldom break the 10-pound mark. The other three species fall somewhere in between those extremes. Bigeye reach a maximum weight of about 400 pounds. The largest New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowfin grow to about 250 (they grow far larger in the Pacific), while albacore don’t quite reach 100.
All of the tunas are managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which acts in accord with the recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. While bigeye tuna are not overfished, they are subject to overfishing. The other five species are in better condition; none are overfished, and overfishing is not taking place.