What is Blackfin tuna (Taiseiyou maguro) sushi?

An illustration of Blackfin tuna
An illustration of Blackfin tuna (Image credit: Duane Raver Jr.)

What is Blackfin tuna (Taiseiyou maguro)?

Blackfin tuna is one of the smallest members of the species of Tuna belonging to the genus called Thunnus and family of Scombridae. The English name blackfin tuna comes from its black pectoral fins and other fins. It is known by various interesting names like Blackfinned Albacore, Bermuda and football due to its typical football like appearance.

The Japanese name is Taiseiyou maguro (大西洋鮪). There is also a species called Taiseiyou Kuro-maguro (Atlantic bluefin tuna), which is very confusing. It is not distributed in the Japanese market.

The range of distribution of these tuna is restricted as they can only be spotted in the West Atlantic Ocean, encompassing the Gulf of Mexico, southern Brazil and the Caribbean Sea. This is unique for a species of Tuna to have a limited range but it probably has something to do with the Blackfin Tuna’s preference to migrate to temperate waters above 20℃. It is especially common in the Gulf of Mexico, where it is a favorite target of sports fishermen.

It can be identified by a dark-blue to black stripe across its back usually with a golden hue under it and a silver belly. It is the smallest in the Tuna family reaching lengths of about 1 m and weight of 20 kg. It is at its peak during autumn, winter, and spring in Florida Keys. Only 0.4 tons per year of blackfin tuna is caught in the world.

What does Blackfin tuna (Taiseiyou maguro) sushi taste like?

Though it doesn’t quite measure up to world-class bluefin, yellowfin or bigeye tuna in food value, it is very good in its own right. The top preparation method with fresh blackfin is undoubtedly sushi or sashimi, as it yields an incredible flavor and texture when raw, but it also excels on the grill or is seared over high heat. It also makes a delectable tuna salad.

Its scientific name is Thunnus atlanticus (Lesson, 1831).

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We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: February 2, 2023

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