What Do Tuna Fish Eat
Care & Breeding

What Do Tuna Fish Eat? A Guide to Their Diet

Tuna fish is very popular among humans as people love to eat grilled tuna, tuna sandwiches, tuna sushi, etc. But the question here is what do tuna fish eat!! So in this article, we will talk about the complete diet of Tuna fish and everything you need to know about it.

Introduction to Tuna fish

The scientific name of Tuna fish is Thunnini. It comes from the family of Scombridae. Tuna fish is a saltwater fish. They are able to live in the wild for up to 15 years. Tuna fish is a huge fish and can weigh more than a thousand pounds. It swims in the deep ocean, which also makes them pelagic fish. As mentioned above, tuna is a popular fish to eat so their meat is a bit expensive or overpriced due to huge demand. But since we are talking about the diet of Tuna fish so let’s move further in our article.

Fun Facts about Tuna Fish

  • Tuna fish are warm-blooded fish
  • They have two dorsal fins on their back. They basically flatten one of them so they can reduce resistance in the water.
  • The tails of Tuna fish are shaped like a crescent moon.
  • Tuna is a saltwater fish.
  • Tuna fish also eat other small Tuna
  • Tuna fish have strong muscles and they are powerful swimmers
  • Smaller tuna can only grow up to a few pounds
  • The biggest tuna like Atlantic Bluefin has a weight of over 500 lbs and length wise they can grow up to ten feet.

Main species of Tuna

  • Albacore Tuna (their scientific name is Thunnus alalunga, and are found in temperature and tropical waters)
  • Black skipjack Tuna (they are species of ray-finned bony fish. They come from the tribe Thunnini) 
  • Mackerel Tuna (their scientific name is Euthynnus affinis. They basically have broken diagonal lines on their upper sides)
  • Slender Tuna (their scientific name is Allothunnus fallai. They are the only species found in the Allothunnus genus)
  • Blackfin Tuna (they are often referred to as Bermuda Tuna. They have a dark bluish-blackish stripe on their back and a silver belly)
  • Bullet Tuna (their scientific name is Auxis rochei. They are saltwater fish)
  • Frigate Tuna (they are found in tropical oceans. They are basically smaller tuna species)
  • Longtail Tuna (they are also known as northern bluefin Tuna. Their scientific name is Thunnus toggle)
  • Bigeye Tuna (they belong to the mackerel family. They are basically migratory species)
  • Southern Bluefin Tuna (they are basically found in southern hemisphere waters)
  • Yellowfin Tuna (their scientific name is Thunnus Albacares. They are found in pelagic waters)
  • Skipjack Tuna (they are the tiny tuna species. They are mostly found in surface waters)

A Look at the Eating Habits of Tuna Fish

Tuna fishes are not very picky eaters and they easily adapt to the food which is available in the environment they are living in. Popular Tuna fishes are Bluefin, Yellowfin, Albacore, and Bigeye. These species employ sight instead of smell or hearing so they can successfully attack the fishes they want to eat.

It’s very important for them to have a good diet so they stay healthy and active.

What Do Tuna Fish Eat
What Do Tuna Fish Eat

Why is a good diet important for Tuna fish?

It’s very important for Tuna fish to have a good diet for their health and growth. Tuna fish mostly feed on other fishes. 

It’s important that they get enough food to eat because if they stay hungry for longer periods they can get sick or can even die. Or lack of food can make the weak and they can have a smaller body size. 

But also it’s risky if they overfeed. Since they like to eat a lot so if they overfeed they might grow more than their usual size, and they can become heavy. And because of this, they will find difficulty in swimming. So a good diet is very important for Tuna fish.

What Do Tuna Fish Eat
What Do Tuna Fish Eat

What Do Tuna Fish Eat?

Tuna fishes are carnivores so they like to eat shellfish, squid, octopus, Lantern Fish Saury Fish, and many other fishes. 

Below are some fishes that Tuna fish like to eat 


Mackerel is a fish which is high in nutrients and it has all the important fatty acids. It’s a great food for Tuna fish and Tuna fish definitely likes to eat Mackerel.


Jellyfish is another healthy food for Tuna fish as jellyfish provides all essential nutrients, proteins, and important minerals like selenium and choline. Jellyfish are also rich in antioxidants which is another plus point. Jellyfish can be easily found in oceans worldwide.


Octopus has vitamins B6 and B12. They also contain great levels of omega-3 oils, phosphorus, copper, and selenium which are good for Tuna fish health. So Tuna fish also like to eat Octopus.


This is another fish that has all the important nutrients. Herring has vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 oils. Herrings are basically found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They also serve as a great food option for Tuna fish.


Bluefish is a great source of selenium, niacin, vitamin B12, and omega-3. It also provides magnesium and potassium. Tuna fish mostly attack these fish to feed themselves. 


They are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, manganese, zinc, and iron. They are also a popular choice of food among tuna fish.


Lobsters have lots of zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, choline, and many other important vitamins and minerals which are good for Tuna fish health. Lobsters are basically found all over the world. They like to swim at the bottom of the ocean where they can easily hide between rocks and weeds. 

How do Tuna fish hunt for their food?

As mentioned above Tuna fish are omnivorous but they are not very picky eaters they do like to eat a lot and they are known for their appetite. They like to eat whenever they find any prey. They also cover long distances just to search for their food. Especially when Tuna fish are hunting for their food, they are able to travel over 65 miles per hour. 

Many tuna fishes use their sight instead of their sense of smell for searching for their food. Bluefin tuna are an example of Tuna fish that uses their sight to hunt for their food.

Do Tuna fish like to Eat Other Tuna?

Yes, this happens sometimes. Tuna fish will most likely eat other smaller tuna fish. Tuna fish almost eat any small fish that comes their way so if see a small size tuna fish, they will not hesitate to eat it. 

Since tuna is a big fish so most people are concerned tuna fish will attack humans. 

Then the answer is No!! They won’t attack humans because they prefer to swallow the whole thing they are eating because their mouths are round and they can’t bite onto their food so that’s why they eat fishes which they can easily swallow. So humans are totally safe from Tuna fish.

Do tuna fish eat algae?

Even though Tuna fish are carnivorous, they also eat algae. Tuna fishes that like to eat algae have the ability to extract nutrients from the algae which other fishes couldn’t. 

Some tuna fishes eat algae to survive in the ocean. Eating algae gives them the energy to swim actively and also gives them the power to avoid predators.

Which predators like to eat Tuna?

Since tuna is a huge fish so they don’t have many predators except killer whales, giant squid, sharks etc

If you ask me about the biggest predator of Tuna, I would say they are humans. Since tuna is a popular fish with lots of nutritional benefits and has a high demand. 

Let me explain this discovery, In the last fifty years, 74% of the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefins Tuna have vanished completely, this is occurring because of overfishing. 

The demand for Tuna is increasing day by day as people use tuna fish in sandwiches, rice, curry, salads, sushi, etc and because of all these reasons, the hunting of Tuna fish is increasing so yeah somehow Humans are the biggest predators of Tuna fish.


Tuna fish is definitely a popular food in the whole world. There is a huge supply of canned Tuna all over the world due to its delicious taste and nutritional benefits. But It’s also important for Tuna fish itself to have a balanced diet underwater. They mostly feed on other fishes and like to eat any small fish that comes their way.

On the other hand unfortunately Tuna fishes are in danger due to humans. This is because of the oversupply of Tuna fish and too much hunting of Tuna fish. 

What Do Tuna Fish Eat? A Guide to Their Diet
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