Southern Bluefin Tuna

Thunnus maccoyii

Other names: Bluefin tuna, bluefin, SBT, tuna, tunny.

Family: Scombridae (mackerels).


This marine-dwelling fish lives in open waters and is wild-caught as well as being ranched in sea pens off Port Lincoln (SA). It is found around the coast from the top of WA’s western coast southeast to Eden (NSW) and north to Rockhampton (Queensland) and caught by pole-and-line, purse seining and drift longlining in the Great Australian Bight and off Tasmania.

Season: Available year round, with peaks from SA in December to March, from Tasmania in April to June and from NSW in May to September, but always in limited supply as most is exported.

Size and Weight: Commonly up to 100kg and 180cm, but can grow to 260kg and 245cm.

Price: High priced (the highest priced Tuna).


Albacore, Bigeye Tuna, Bonito, Longtail Tuna, Mackerels (Atlantic, Blue, Chub, Frigate, Grey, School, Shark, Spanish, Spotted), Mackerel Tuna, Northern Bluefin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Slender Tuna, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna.

To Buy:

Usually sold as sashimi. Look for pinkish to red flesh (colour varies with cut) that is firm, lustrous and moist without any dull brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. Always buy sashimi-grade fish if it is to be served raw or rare.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap steaks and cutlets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC. Sashimi-grade fish should be eaten within 24 hours of purchase, or else cooked.

To Cook:

Average yield is 70-75%. Has a medium flavour, medium oiliness and moist, firm flesh, which quickly becomes dry if overcooked. The cooked flesh is creamy brown in colour and breaks into large flakes; there are very few bones to worry about.

Cooking Methods:

Poach, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (most highly prized Tuna for sashimi), pickle. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs. Due to its high price however, it is rarely cooked and usually consumed as sashimi.

Goes well with:

Anchovies, balsamic vinegar, capers, capsicum, eggplant, garlic, ginger, lemon, lime, mayonnaise, olive oil, soy sauce, tomato, wasabi.


Atlantic Salmon, Swordfish, other Tunas, Yellowtail Kingfish.


Sashimi-quality Tunas are imported from New Zealand and other South Pacific countries.


Barbecued Tuna Steaks with Walnut Sauce >  
Basque Tuna Casserole (Marmitako) >
Char-grilled Tuna with Anchovy Mayonnaise >
Fish Satay >
Hand Moulded Sushi (Nigiri-zushi) >
Mixed Thin & Thick Sushi Rolls (Norimaki) > 
Salade Nicoise >
Seared Tuna with Rocket & Potato Salad >
Seared Tuna with Salsa Verde > 
Smoked Tuna Salad > 
Spanish Tuna 'Meatballs' > 
Tuna Baked in Paper Parcels >
Tuna Tartare >