New Study Helps Explain Why Tuna and Porpoise Hang Out Together

 

 

 

” For decades, recreational and commercial fishermen have exploited the unique relationship between yellowfin tuna and certain species of porpoise (aka dolphin) in the Eastern Pacific. Schools of yellowfin swim with pods of spotted dolphin and spinner dolphin in the tropics, as well as Pacific common dolphin and white-sided dolphin as far north as Southern California in warmer months. Commercial fishermen look for the dolphin and then wrap up the pod with purse seines to capture the schooling tuna below, sometimes killing dolphin in the process. Recreational fishermen troll lures or put baits in front of the pod to catch yellowfin.

Most anglers, including me, have always believed that the relationship was born out of the search for food, though no one knew if the porpoise were leading the tuna to food or vice versa. However, recently published research indicates that the tuna follow the dolphin, but food is not the primary reason. “