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Spanish scientists found the main spawning areas of Mediterranean bluefin tuna are clearly related to the location of specific ocean currents.
The team of researchers analyzed five years’ worth of data from biological, hydrographic, and oceanographic surveys and found that the main spawning areas of Mediterranean bluefin are related to the position of ocean currents moving from the Atlantic Ocean, into the Strait of Gibraltar and up to the Balearic Islands, located off the coast of Spain.
According to their study, bluefin tuna largely choose spawning habitats based on environment conditions, whereas albacore tuna are more influenced by geography.
The difference in the spawning grounds between the two species also helps explain their possible migration routes. Bluefin tuna move from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea, while albacore migrate across the Mediterranean.
The team also managed to better define the spawning season of the Mediterranean tuna, with bluefin spawning primarily between mid-June and July, and albacore tuna laying eggs in late July and early August.
The research was conducted by scientists from the Balearic Oceanography Centre of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), in collaboration with the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (ICTS SOCIB) and the University of Corvallis, Oregon (US).