What Is Wild Caught Tuna Fish?

The simplest method is to check the label for the words “pole-and-line caught” or “troll caught.” This indicates that the tuna was not swept up in mass with other marine life but rather was taken one fish at a time.

The MSC-certified mark is another excellent indicator. According to Brownstein, the Marine Stewardship Council is the most respected certifying organization because it evaluates the management of fisheries, as well as individual fish populations and catch methods.

Disregard the terms “wild-caught” and “dolphin-safe.” The term “wild-caught” just denotes the absence of farming, which is typically the case with canned tuna. When dolphin bycatch was an issue decades ago, the term “dolphin-safe” was popular, but that is no longer the case. Hocevar claims that nowadays, repercussions on other species are more significant.


According to Kimura, farmed tuna has a pinkish appearance and is “slightly whiter than wild tuna,” whereas wild tuna is more vividly red, especially when exposed to the air.

The contrast between the two is much clearer on the palate. According to Kimura, who likens the mouth feel of eating farmed tuna to adding mayonnaise to one’s dish, the flesh of farmed tuna tastes fishy with no flavor or umami. This is because farmed tuna is fed a diet that is high in fat and protein and includes non-seafood. Even the slimmer cut of tuna feels fatty due to the watery quality of the fat.

As opposed to farmed tuna, which consumes fish like sardines and squid, wild tuna has a distinctive flavor that Kimura compares to “rich wine flavor” that is “not fishy” and “refined fat.”

Fishing Techniques

It is our responsibility to choose canned tuna that has been caught using sustainable fishing techniques because the tuna population is declining every year. The phrase “wild caught” indicates that the tuna was not cultivated but rather caught in the ocean. Dolphin-safe/friendly tuna were not targeted, however this does not imply that other marine life is secure from harm from this manner of fishing.

The majority of tuna are caught using “purse seines.” A school of fish is encircled by a wide net, which increases the likelihood that other fish species will be caught in addition to the tuna. Fish aggregating devices (FADs), which are frequently employed to attract skipjack, also attract a variety of other fish, therefore tuna obtained without a FAD is designated as “FAD-Free.” Bycatch, or the accidental capture and killing of marine life that is not intended to be caught, is less often when fishing with a pole and line or a troll. Bycatch is bad for the ocean. A certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is provided to wild fisheries that satisfy different sustainability standards.

The Four to Avoid and the Best Canned Tunas Available

There are many factors that set tuna species apart from the competition, including mercury content and sustainable fishing methods.

Each item Eat This, Not That! features has undergone independent testing and is backed by our readers.

by the editors here. We may receive a commission when you make a purchase using links on our website.

When you need a quick lunch or dinner, you may rely on canned or jarred tuna from your cupboard. However, the quality of products on the market varies greatly. Before stocking up on tuna, there are many factors to take into account, including sustainability, nutrition, and health.

Making better informed decisions about canned fish can be started by consulting resources like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Site or Greenpeace’s canned tuna report, which assesses 20 well-known companies for their sustainability as well as ethical and fair trade policies.

There are a few main commercial types of tuna used in canning: albacore tuna, which is frequently harvested in the Pacific and is frequently sold as “white tuna meat” (although it can be caught in the Atlantic). Tuna marketed as “light” is skipjack. The western and central Pacific oceans are where the majority of the Pacific skipjack tuna is found. Skipjack and yellowfin tuna can be combined to make light tuna in cans.

It’s quite irritating since many tuna brands appear to have decent nutrition at first appearance, and the verbiage on their websites gives the impression that they are participating in ethical fishing and environmental policies. However, a brief check of news stories reveals the opposite, and regrettably, many popular tuna brands aren’t taking the necessary steps to be responsible.

Fish Caught Wild

Because they eat smaller fish and algae in their natural diet and come into contact with fewer bacteria and parasites, wild-caught fish are frequently healthier and have lower contamination from man-made poisons. The drawbacks include the high mercury content of many larger wild fish, as well as the possibility of overfishing and habitat damage from improper fishing techniques.

The main way that mercury enters streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans is by rainfall and surface water runoff. Mercury is a naturally occurring hazardous metal that is present at low quantities in air, land, and water. Bacteria transform it into methylmercury, a hazardous form of mercury for people.

Avoiding larger fish that have consumed smaller mercury-containing fish is the only approach to reduce the amount of mercury in wild-caught fish. Avoid orange roughy, marlin, swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel.

Wild vs. farmed tuna

living for little longer than a year in circular floating cages in coastal places

Very changeable and natural, depending on migratory patterns, local prey availability, and eco-system factors.

based on sardines, squid, and mackerels that are wild fish. This entails that these ships go out and catch these wild species, transporting them frozen to farms to serve as feed for putting on weight bluefin tuna.

Pole and line, Hand line, Long liners, Purse seiners on Free Schools (Unassociated), Purse seiners Associated.

Wild bluefin tuna are caught by purse seiner boats and kept alive in the net before being carefully moved into cages or pens for fattening in the ocean. There are now 2 facilities in Japan and Spain for rearing bluefin tuna in captivity from fertilization through maturity (the closed cycle). experimental study at a Panamanian yellowfin hatchery.

* In coastal locations, solid trash (debris and uneaten food) that settles on the sea floor and dissolved nutrients that enter the water column are the main sources of pollution.

* The use of drugs to treat illness and parasitism, as well as antifoulants to keep animals and colonial algae out of cages.

*Purse seiner (368 liters of fuel per live weight ton of landing) (Skipjack and Yellowfin).

*1485 liters of gasoline per live weight ton of landing for pole and line (Skipjack and Yellowfin)

Purse seiner (Bluefin) established, 400 liters of fuel per live weight ton plus fuel used to catch bait (sardines, mackerel and squid)

Is all tuna taken in the wild?

A: Is canned tuna wild caught or farm raised? A: Tuna is a saltwater fish that can be found in all of the world’s oceans. The majority of canned or pouch tuna sold commercially is wild fished. Few tuna farms exist, and farm-raised tuna is a relatively recent development.

How is tuna obtained in the wild?

Hand-held poles are used in tuna pole and line fishing to capture the fish. It is a sturdy reel-free pole with a short line and a baited or lured hook attached to the end that may quickly release the fish.

What distinguishes conventional tuna from tuna that has been taken in the wild?

However, in most cases, the choice between farmed and fished simply boils down to the quality of each product. All of these facts are fascinating and significant. Flavor is supreme. According to Chef Kimura of Fine Dining Lovers, farmed tuna tastes too rich and lacking in umami, and the quality of the fat on the meat is lower than that of wild tuna. On the other hand, wild tuna, according to Chef Kimura, is fuller in its umami and has a more evenly distributed and refined fat content. He ascribes these variations to the fishes’ nutrition. While in the wild, tuna eat squid and other fish, which results in varied flavor profiles, the tuna in farms are fed lipids and proteins to boost their weight gain.

Although these characteristics may be apparent to sushi chefs who have worked diligently to hone their skills and palates even before taking a bite, Chef Yamada Kenshi of Noshi Sushi tells the LA Times that, aside from the added fat content, most people can’t tell which sushi is made from farmed tuna and which is made from wild tuna. Which raises the question of which to eat and why it matters.

Is fish taken in the wild healthier?

Fish raised on farms typically receive additional nutrients in their feed, resulting in larger concentrations of heart-healthy omega-3s, the beneficial fats that give fish its delicious flavor and keep it moist when cooked. On the other hand, fish that has been caught wild is typically leaner and fattier. MYTH: Fish from farms is not healthy

Which tuna is the healthiest to eat?

Even though tuna is highly nutrient-dense and full of protein, good fats, and vitamins, it shouldn’t be ingested every day.

Adults should consume 3-5 ounces (85-140 grams) of fish twice a week to receive adequate omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy nutrients, according to the FDA (10).

However, studies suggest that routinely consuming fish with a mercury content more than 0.3 ppm may raise blood mercury levels and cause health problems. Most tuna species weigh more than this (1, 11).

As a result, most adults should consume tuna in moderation and think about going with another fish that has a low mercury content.

When purchasing tuna, choose skipjack or canned light kinds over albacore or bigeye because they do not contain as much mercury.

As part of the suggested 2-3 servings of fish per week, you can eat skipjack and canned light tuna along with other low-mercury species including cod, crab, salmon, and scallops (10).

Eat albacore or yellowfin tuna no more frequently than once a week. Avoid bigeye tuna as much as you can (10).

You can consume skipjack and canned light tuna as parts of a balanced diet because they contain relatively little mercury. Bigeye, yellowfin, and albacore tuna should be consumed in moderation or avoided due to their high mercury content.

Contains wild fish mercury?

There is a widespread misperception that wild seafood is preferable to farm-raised seafood. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut solution. What’s the distinction? Simply said, farmed seafood is raised in huge tanks, whereas wild-caught seafood is taken directly from a natural setting (lake, ocean, river). The two may appear the same in the store or on your plate, but this is not a guarantee.

Nutrition: The diet of the fish has a significant impact on the nutritional value of the seafood. Since wild fish follow a natural diet, they often contain less saturated fat than farm-raised fish. Due to the enriched feed used by the farms, farmed fish may contain somewhat more omega-3 fatty acids.

Contaminants: According to certain studies, farm-raised cultivars may have more of these. Additionally, because of the farming practices, illness incidence tends to be higher in fish raised in farms. The presence of mercury in both farm-raised and wild-caught seafood is a result of industrial pollution that contaminates lakes, rivers, and oceans. The greatest mercury is found in large predatory fish. Pregnant women and kids are advised to stay away from fish that could contain the most mercury (shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish).

Sustainability: The answer is “it depends on the fish” because some seafood is regarded as unsustainable and some is regarded as environmentally friendly.

Cost: Seafood that is harvested wild usually costs more than seafood that is farmed. Wild seafood that has been caught may be more affordable in frozen or tinned form.

Compared to farmed fish, is wild-caught fish healthier?

In addition to kelp, algae, seaweed, and other smaller fish found in their native habitat, wild-caught fish have a more diversified diet. Therefore, compared to farmed fish, wild fish has slightly larger concentrations of a number of vitamins and minerals, however these variations are probably not very important.