Tuna

Tuna fish

TunaTuna is a popular type of fish which is consumed in many different parts of the world. Not only is it loaded with nutrients and with vitamins, but it is also low in saturated fat. Moreover, tuna is a great source of protein. Many people have, however, turned away from tuna due to the debate on mercury. This article will address this topic as well as the many health benefits tuna can bring.

Description

The family of tuna fish is considered to be a diverse family of fish. There are some types of tuna which are classified as being “pelagic” fish. These fish actually live rather closer to the surface. They can also live in water columns which extend downwards. Other types of tuna are categorized as being “midwater” fish. This fish can be found in the ocean up to 600 meters deep. Tuna can be found in the majority of the world’s oceans. For example, there are a total of six major types of albacore tuna. These can be found in the North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The family of tuna also ranges in size. For example, bullet tuna is usually around one foot long. Other types of tuna, such as the Atlantic tuna, usually have an average length of about 6 feet. However, there have been instances where this type of tuna can reached a size of 15 feet. Most tuna fish usually migrate for many miles over water. Studies have suggested that there are types of tuna which can travelled more than thousands of miles. The life span of tuna fish is also dependent on the type of tuna. Smaller species, for example, usually live between three to five years. Tuna fish which belong to the larger species, such as the bluefin for example, can live up to twenty years. The scientific name of the tuna family is called Scrombridea. Other types of fish which also belong to this family include bonito and mackerel. The next section will outline some of the most commercial types of tuna which can be found in the world.

Types of tuna

One of the most popular types of tuna fish is albacore tuna. Albacore tuna is considered to be a moderate size type of fish. This type of fish usually has a length between three to four feet. Moreover, albacore tuna weight somewhere between 15 to 45 pound. Also, this type of fish has an average life span of about 20 years. This is relatively long for fish, since many fish die after a couple of year. Albacore tuna is usually labelled as “white meat” in the supermarkets. You will find the label of it being white meat when you purchase canned tuna. Another type of tuna is bigeye. This type of fish is considered to belong to the large species and it is the long-lives species of tuna. The size of the feet usually ranges between six to eight feet. Bigeye are often also sold under their Hawaiian name “ahi”. Bigeye is commonly used in sushi and is also used to make sashimi. When used in the Japanese kitchen it is referred to a “maguro”. The blackfin is another type of tuna. However, this type is not as popular as the albacore or bluefin. Blackfin tuna belong to the subgroup of yellowfin. Blackfin is not a type of tuna which is commercially sold. They are often small in size and will not become bigger than three feet. The most commercially sold tuna is bluefin tuna. This type of fish can reach a length of 15 feet and can become heavier than a thousand pounds. It is also not surprising for bluefin to become older than 20 years. There have even been cases where bluefin tuna reach double this age. If is common for bluefin tuna to be found in the Gulf of Mexico. They often swim across the Atlantic Ocean but usually go back to the Gulf of Mexico to reproduce. When swimming, the fish can reach a speed of 45 miles an hour. When bluefin is used in sushi and in the preparation of sashimi, it is usually referred to as “hon maguro”. It is also common to find bluefin tuna sold under the name “toro”. Moreover, due to its size, bluefin tuna usually also has higher concentrations of mercury compared to other types of tuna. The topic of mercury in fish will be addressed later in this article. Unfortunately, bluefin tuna are considered to be one of the most endangered tuna species in the world. This is mainly due to the high demand of tuna.

History

Tracing back the evolution of ocean fish, it can be concluded that more than 45 million years ago was the first time tuna was found. This means that this was way before humans were around. As mentioned, tuna are not limited to a specific region or a specific ocean. They can be found in almost all ocean in the world. For most of human history, going fishing for tuna was practiced on a rather small scale and only during certain seasons. However this practice changed around the 1940s and the 1950s. During this time was when the industrial fishing for tuna become more widespread. This happened with expanded tonnage and offshore distances. It is therefore no surprise that scientists and researchers are concerned about the ecologic impacts of overfishing. Especially particular types of tuna, such as bluefin, have been overfished. This is particularly the case in the Philippines, Spain, Mauritius and Indonesia. These countries are considered to be the largest exporters of processed and canned tuna. Other types of tuna which are also being overfished are skipjack and yellowfin. However, it is not only these countries which are responsible. It is estimated that more than 50 countries participate in the commercial production of tuna. The majority of this production takes place in the Indian Oceans, in the Atlantic and in the Pacific Ocean. Compared to salmon, tuna is not yet extensively farmed. However, there are different regions in the world which are experimenting with tuna farming. For example, in the Mediterranean, various tuna farming projects have been set up. However, scientist are not optimistic about tuna farming. They believe that this will not help to compensate for the long-term effects of overfishing. This is especially true since there are many communities who are dependent on tuna, for both trading as well as consumption.


Health benefits of tuna

Tuna is known for having various health benefits. One of the most commonly known health benefits of tuna is that is can contribute to heart health. It does not only contribute to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, but it also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are important since they help to reduce the levels of omega-6 fatty acids in the blood. Also, these acids contribute to reducing cholesterol in blood vessels and arteries. By keeping these healthy it reduces the risk of various health diseases. Moreover, it tuna also helps to reduce blood pressure. For example, the combination of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, with potassium can help to reduce blood pressure. By reducing hypertension, you can boost your health and thereby put less strain on your cardiovascular organ. This in turn will also help to prevent strokes or other heart diseases. Additionally, when people decide to become vegetarian or consume less red meat, one of the challenged they often face is the lack of protein. Fish, luckily, is packed with protein. For example, people who decide to eat fish can get their protein intake from fish such as tuna. For example, a portion of 165 grams of tuna contains more than eighty percent of your required daily intake of protein. The human needs proteins since they are considered to be the building blocks of the body. By having enough protein in our body, we are ensured that we can recover quickly from illnesses or wounds. Also, proteins help to improve growth and development. Moreover, it plays a role in boosting our energy levels.

Mercury

Many people do not eat much fish because they are worried about the levels of mercury which can be found in fish. Mercury is emitted from environmental sources. For example, these include industrial facilities, chemical manufacturing plants and power plants. The mercury which is emitted by these facilities settles in our waterways. Once it reaches the waterways it is then converted into methyl mercury by bacteria found in the waterways. This mercury is then easily absorbed by adults. Various studies have also suggested that particularly adults are most vulnerable for the health effects of this type of mercury. Mercury is often also considered to be dangerous for pregnant women since it can have an influence on their pregnancy. The fish in the waterways also become “polluted” with this type of mercury. The types of fish which often contain high levels of mercury are swordfish, tuna, shark and mackerel. These types of fish have in common that they are all relatively big in size. Thus, in this case it is not recommended to eat these types of fish on a regular basis but only a few times a year. Light canned tuna, on the other hand, is low in mercury. Thus, if you want to consume tuna more often it is recommended to eat light canned tuna instead of fresh tuna.

How to select and store

Most supermarkets sell tuna. You can find it in the supermarket either in a fresh form or canned. Tuna is probably best known in its canned form. This is also the tuna which is used to make tuna salad. As with other types of sea food, it is recommended to buy fresh fish from a place which is known for having a good reputation when it comes to selling fresh fish. If you do not feel comfortable buying fresh tuna at the supermarket, you can also go to a fishmonger. When buying fish from this place you will be guaranteed that the fish is fresh. When storing fish, it is important to keep them cold. This is due to the fact that fresh fish is incredibly sensitive to temperature. Thus, once you have bought tuna make sure that you put it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. It is also possible to store tuna in the freezer. When storing it in the freezer, it will last longer compared to when you store it in the refrigerator. In the freezer you will be able to store tuna up to three weeks. If you want to store tuna in your refrigerator, it is important to know whether the tuna was fresh when you bought it from the store. Usually it is not recommended to store tuna for longer than two days in the refrigerator. After two days, the level of bacteria increases.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1754x
Added: 10-02-2017 15:34
Last modified: 27-04-2017 23:57

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