Posted by Brad on June 24, 2004 at 16:36:02:
In Reply to: Tuna posted by stephen clark on June 23, 2004 at 23:35:23:
Here is some info on the BFT:
"In captivity, bluefin tuna have reached sexual maturity at 3 years, however others have suggested that bluefin become sexually mature at an age 4 to 5 years. Average females produce up to 10 million eggs per year. Their eggs are buoyant, and are distributed a considerable distance by the surface currents. The larvae hatch at a size of 3.0mm. They have large heads and large jaws, and lack body pigmentation. Larvae of Thunnus species are very difficult to distinguish from one another, however bluefin are the only Thunnus species to have dorsal tail pigment. The larvae grow at 1 mm per day. In spawning areas, larval abundance ranges from 0.1 to 1.0 per square yard. The young, up to a size of 90 to 130 lbs. (40 to 80 kg), will separate into schools based upon size. These schools often consist of multiple species, possibly containing albacore, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, frigate tuna, bonito, and yellowtail."
In the mid 80's, bluefin used to come into our waters and reside for weeks at a time in the late summer and fall. Small fish btwn 8 and 20lbs used to frequent the massive (gone now...) kelp beds on the back side of Santa Barbara Island and at Castle Rock, west end of San Clemente. The last local 'resident' bluefin bite in Southern California occured in aug-sept of '86 at the west end of Catalina.
There was one school of bluefin that was wrapped in the 80's off the Santa Rosa flats that contained one fish over a thousand pounds. That was the only school of fish that size ever known to inhabit the eastern Pacific. (-GONE!)
In the 20's and 30's 200-300lb bluefin were common around Catalina.
Due to excessive commercial pressure, the bluefin numbers are so depressed that they have not been able to reestablished their historical northern migratory pattern of residing at our local islands since the mid 80's...
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