Ahi Tuna Habitat

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Ahi Habitat

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Habitat and Behavior

Yellowfin tuna are found in epipelagic waters of tropical and subtropical regions.  This water layer is from the surface to a depth of 200 metres, although some yellowfin have been recorded as diving to depth twice as deep.

Like most tunas, yellowfin are highly migratory, capable of swimming across an entire ocean and International borders.  Juvenille yellowfin tend to travel in schools of smaller, tunas such as skipjack or juvenille bigeye tunas.

They also tend to swim with dolphin as well as whales and whale sharks.  Further they are fascinated by objects floating on the water, which also interest some of the ocean's protected species.  These have led to stricter regulations in fishing, geared to help protect the associated species.

An interesting aspect of the yellowfin -- tunas are warm-blooded, unlike most fish.  Their muscles make them incredibly strong swimmers and they can easily reach speeds up to 50mph. 


Yellowfin tuna are near the top of the oceanic food chain and feed off of smaller fish, squid, and crustaceans.  Since their bodies are designed for speed, they are capable of capturing fast prey like mackeral or flying fish.  As with most fish, large tunas will also feed off smaller tunas (big fish eat little fish).

But in turn, yellowfin are also prey to the larger predator fish in pelagic waters, such as sharks, wahoo, and billfish (swordfish, marlins, sailfish, etc.)  Small yellowfins can also be prey for seabirds.

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