On Exhibit: Open Sea
fishes, squid, krill
3.3 feet (1 meter)
other mackerels and tunas; family: Scombridae
worldwide in tropical and temperate waters
At the Aquarium
Life is good on exhibit for our Pacific bonito and many other fish—sometimes too good! Our aquarists take care not to allow some fishes to overeat and grow too large. As a result, our bonito are fed a special gel, prepared in our kitchen, that's nutritious but low in fat.
Bonito are one of the smallest tunas—their size and striped surface distinguish them from their larger cousins. They avoid predators by gathering in large schools, usually close to the surface. Like other tunas, they can travel great distances.
Bonito favor warm waters—in the winter, they follow warm-water currents south. They're big eaters, dining on fishes (especially anchovies) and squid. They grow quickly, consuming about six percent of their body weight each day.