The Safina Center

Coho salmon.Coho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Tuna, Bigeye (Maguro) – U.S. Atlantic, Greenstick These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Bigeye Tuna are a large fish, growing to over 200 kg (440 lbs), and are found throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They grow reasonably fast, can release millions of eggs each year, and can live to 10 years. In the Atlantic Ocean, Bigeye Tuna have a medium abundance.

Greenstick gear was developed to reduce bycatch of vulnerable species that is typical in tuna longline fisheries. The “greenstick” is a large fiberglass pole (which is green – hence the name) with a 500-800 ft. fishing line with 10 squid lures to attract tuna species. This fishing method is highly selective, resulting in little bycatch. However, Bigeye Tuna are caught along with depleted Yellowfin Tuna in the U.S. Atlantic greenstick fishery. Greenstick gear does not contact bottom habitats.

Full species report here.

This fish may have high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury in tuna. Check out our mercury in seafood section.