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Synonyms
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  • Thunnus rarus  Kishinouye, 1915
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  • Neothunnus rarus  Kishinouye, 1923
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  • Kishinoella rara  Jordan & Hubbs, 1925
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  • Neothunnus tonggol  Jordan & Evermann, 1926
    FAO Names
    En - Longtail tuna, Fr - Thon mignon, Sp - Atún tongol.
    3Alpha Code: LOT     Taxonomic Code: 1750102603
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Thynnus tonggol  Bleeker, 1851a, Natur.Tidschr.Ned.Ind., 1:356-357 (Batavia Sea).
    Diagnostic Features
    A small species, deepest near middle of first dorsal fin base.  Gillrakers few, 19 to 27 on first arch.  Second dorsal fin higher than first dorsal; pectoral fins short to moderately long, 22 to 31% of fork length in smaller specimens (under 60 cm fork length) and 16 to 22% in larger individuals;  ventral surface of liver not striated. Swimbladder absent or rudimentary.  Vertebrae 18 precaudal plus 21 caudal.  Colour: lower sides and belly silvery white with colourless elongate oval spots arranged in horizontally oriented rows; dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins blackish, tip of second dorsal and anal fins washed with yellow; anal fin silvery; dorsal and anal liver finlets yellow with greyish margins; caudal fin blackish, with streaks of yellowish green. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Indo-West Pacific Ocean from Japan south through the Philippines to Papua New Guinea, New Britain, the northern three quarters of Australia (Twofold Bay, New South Wales to Freemantle, Western Australia) west through the East Indies to both coasts of India, southern Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea and the Somalia coast.
    Habitat and Biology
    An epipelagic, predominantly neriticspecies avoiding very turbid waters and areas with reduced salinity such as estuaries.  Longtail tuna may form schools of varying size.Being an opportunistic feeder, its diet includes many species of crustaceans, cephalopods and fishes, at varying percentages.
    Size
    Maximum fork length is about 130 cm. In the Indian Ocean, common fork lengths range between 40 and 70 cm (Silas & Pillai, 1982). The all-tackle angling record is a 35.9 kg fish of 136 cm fork length taken at Montagne Island, New South Wales, Australia, in 1982.
    Interest to Fisheries
    This species is known to be fished off Japan (but is very rare), the Philippines, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and India, but catch statistics were only reported for Australia and Papua New Guinea, ranging between only 9 and 59 t per year in the period from 1975 to 1980. In 1981, catches of 350 t were for the first time reported by the United Arab Emirates bringing the total to 368 t in this year (FAO, 1983). This is doubtlessly a still gross underestimate of the actual landings of this species. Fishing gear comprise trolls, driftnets, and longlines. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 103 851 t. The countries with the largest catches were Thailand (46 361 t) and Iran (Islamic Rep. of) (23 465 t).
    Local Names
    AUSTRALIA : Northern bluefin tuna .
    JAPAN : Koshinaga .
    former USSR : Dlinnokhvostyj tunets .
    Remarks
    Juveniles of this species, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna are very similar. Some of the records from Japanese waters may therefore be ascribed to misidentification.
    Source of Information
    FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of Tunas, Mackerels, Bonitos and related species known to date.Collette, B.B.  &  C.E. Nauen 1983..  FAO Fish. Synop., (125)Vol.2:137 p.
    Bibliography
    Fischer & Whitehead, eds 1974 (Species identification Sheets, Eastern Indian Ocean/Western Central Pacific)
    Jones, 1936 (Indian Ocean)
    Serventy, 1956a (Australia)
     
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