In the global fisheries market, tuna is an important commercial fish. It is widely distributed throughout the oceans of the world. They are grouped taxonomically in the family of Scrombridae, which consists about 50 species. The main tuna species that are significant for commercial and recreational fisheries are blue-fin, yellow-fin, skipjack, albacore and bigeye.
Between the 1940 and mid 1960’s, the annual world catch of the five principal market species of tuna rose from about 300,000 tons to about 1,000,000 tons, most of it taken by the sustainable fishing method of hook and line. With the development of purse-seine nets, now the predominant gear, catches have risen to more than 4,000,000 tons annually during the last few years. This has raised a global issue of sustainability.
Indonesia is the biggest tuna-producing country in the world, contributing approximately 15% of global tuna production in the 2000’s.
Skipjack are the smallest of the commercially important tuna species. Canned light tuna consists primarily of skipjack. It can also be sold fresh and in frozen form. This small tuna species is resilient to fishing pressure because of their short life spans, rapid growth and reproduction rates.