How Much Does Yellowfin Tuna Cost?

Written by: Staff

Yellowfin tuna, a species of tuna found in tropical and subtropical oceans, is often marketed as ahi and can weigh up to 400 pounds.

This fish is a wonderful source of protein, vitamins, minerals and is full of Omega-3 oil.

The yellowfin gets its name from the second dorsal fin and anal fin that is bright yellow in color.

Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare - Red Ochre, Cai by avlxyz, on Flickr
Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare – Red Ochre, Cai” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  avlxyz

How much does yellowfin tuna cost per pound?

The cost of yellowfin tuna will depend on the grade, your geographical location and where you live.

If it is caught locally and is deemed non-sushi, you can expect to pay $8 to $15 per pound.

On the other hand,  fresh, sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna steak can cost $17 to $30 per pound.

The highest rated sushi grade yellowfin tuna on, for example, retails for close to $30 per pound, excluding shipping.

Yellowfin tuna overview

Yellowfin tuna is either going to be packaged fresh, frozen or even in cans, either in chunks, loins, portions or as steaks.  When fresh, most markets will cut it into one to three-pound filets, including the date the fish was caught on the packaging label and the date you should eat the fish by.

There are two kinds of yellowfin grades: sashimi and other.  The quality of the “other” grades is sometimes questionable, so be careful how you eat it.

It has a mild flavor that is dense and similar to beef.  Unlike tuna from the can, this fish is sold in a loin form, similar to most meats you find in the meat department.

What are the extra costs?

If purchasing online, most reputable retailers will want to ship the fish overnight, and depending on the billing policy, a shipping fee may be charged, often around $10 to $25, or it could be waived if you meet the minimum spending requirement.

Tips to know

When buying yellowfin tuna steaks,  look for cuts that are neatly trimmed with little or no fat.  The flesh should be firm and dark red.  A premium, straight filet should have no bones, tales, or belly.

If purchasing online, make sure the store has a guarantee.  If the product doesn’t meat your expectations, then the company should be able to give you a refund with no questions asked, backing up their product.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting your consumption of fish with higher amounts of mercury, such as the yellowfin, to six ounces or less per week.  Children and pregnant women should avoid eating yellowfin tuna.

This type of fish tastes great grilled, broiled, pan-seared, smoked or even raw with a nice dipping sauce.

This fish peaks from April to September; however, it is available year-round.

This type of tuna has a dark metallic body, blue body, and a silverish belly with yellow fins.

Store loins in the coldest part of your refrigerator for long-term storage.

The Number 2 quality is adequate for the U.S. market and is ideal for restaurants and retail, while Number 1 quality is exported to Japan and is known for sushi/sashimi.

MarxFoods recommends removing the skin from the loin prior to cooking or serving it raw.

The world record yellowfin tuna was set in 2012, weighing 427 pounds.

Bluefin tuna vs yellowfin tuna

The main difference is the size.  A yellowfin tuna is the smallest, followed by the bluefin tuna in this case.

Next, the taste can be a difference as well.  Bluefin tuna has been said to have more of a “tuna” flavor, while a yellowfin tuna steak, due to the fat content, can lack the tuna flavor.

Touched upon, the fat content found in the meat can be noticeable when you pay close attention to the filets.  Since the yellowfin tuna is native to tropical and sub-tropical waters, the cuts are much leaner than the bluefin tuna.  Due to this, the bluefin can tend to command a much higher price tag.

Lastly, the appearance, overall, can be different.  As explained by, the yellowfin tuna’s pectoral fin reaches beyond the beginning of the second dorsal fin, which is yellow in color.  The tail fin, unlike the bluefin, will be yellow and gray in color.  The bluefin, on the other hand, has a darker blue tail fin color, and the second dorsal fin is a mix of gray and yellow.

How to cook yellowfin tuna

How can I save money?

If purchasing from a local fish market or retailer, keep your eyes peeled for special sales and/or promotions.  If the promotion is too good to pass up, don’t be afraid to stock your freezer as this fish does freeze well.

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