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Difference Between Ahi and Yellowfin tuna

tunaAhi vs Yellowfin tuna

Tuna is a type of open water marine fish, with about nine species. Commercially, it is the most widely harvested fish family and tuna meat is among a wide range of traditional foods as well as canned in big producing countries like Japan, France, and US.

Ahi is a type of tuna mainly derived from the Yellowfin tuna. Generally speaking, there are two species of Ahi namely bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna also known as shibi in Hawaii. The dorsal fins, anal as well as the finlets on the yellowfin are yellow in color hence its name. The yellowfin tuna can be found in any part of the world, except in the Mediterranean Sea. Their habitat is in tropical and subtropical waters. It is epipelagic and an oceanic fish.

Yellowfin can be caught anytime of the year but during the summers they are most abundant. However, factors like surface temperatures of the ocean and other oceanic conditions cause fluctuations in the catch of yellowfin tuna because they affect the migration of yellowfin schools to waters within the fishing ranges. In Hawaii, sport fishermen as well as commercial fishermen can land yellowfin tuna. Long line boats do much of the commercial harvest of yellowfin tuna by going up to 800 nautical miles off the sea port and setting up hooks in the deep waters. The majority of the ahi tuna harvested is sold fresh but during peak summer seasons, any surplus harvest may be dried and smoked.

For raw fish preparations, the yellowfin and bigeye tuna may be interchanged for sashimi. Among many tunas, yellowfin perishes faster than the rest and its flesh loses the red pigmentation faster too but it is slightly firmer. The quality of yellowfin varies greatly due to method of fishing and handling. Yellowfin is usually sold fresh and prepared as sashimi or seasoned raw pieces or strips that are smoked.

In smaller yellowfin, the flesh has a pinkish coloration but it turns to red as size increases and a higher fat content will be found in larger fish than smaller fish. When exposed to air, fresh yellowfin flesh will darken from red to brown within days due to oxidation of pigmented protein therefore it will only be filleted when it’s going to be used. Yellowfin is popular in raw fish dishes but can also be grilled as its flesh easily adapts to different types of preparation.

1. Yellowfin tuna is a subtype of the Ahi tuna species.
2. Yellowfin tuna isn’t preferred well for raw fish dishes (sashimi) as other Ahi species are for sashimi.
3. Yellowfin tuna is relatively larger with deep red meat while most other Ahi tunas are smaller with pinkish flesh.

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