Bonito populations fluctuate in accordance with the warm/cold water periods associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
- Head is pointed and conical with a large mouth.
- Has a compressed body with slanted dark stripes on their backs and upper sides.
- Lower jaw has 14-25 teeth, and is moderately large.
- Reaches 79-102 cm (31-40 in) in length and can weigh up to 11 kg (24 pounds). 
- Characterized by a large spleen and lack of swim bladder. 
- Was formerly considered subspecies of Sarda chiliensis. 
- Ranges from the Pacific Ocean from the coast of Alaska all the way down to the tip of Baja California, Mexico. 
- Reaches sexual maturity at the age of 2 and have a maximum lifespan of 6 years. 
- Spawning generally occurs from late January until May. 
- Bonito is a pelagic fish that lives 80-200 meters (262-328 ft.) deep, migrating farther offshore as it grows older.
- Eats fish (such as sardines and anchovies) as well as squid. 
- Predators of bonito are larger fish such as tuna, bonito also prey on each other as well. 
Fishing for bonito occurs offshore in 300-600 feet of water.
- Fishing is allowed year-round, but most catch is landed from June-November. 
Regulatory and managing authority
- As established by the Marine Life Management Act, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) collects data on and manages this fishery. [2,15]
- Mostly taken by purse seine, but are also caught by gill nets, trawl, and hook and line. [2,8]
Status of the fishery
- Currently, bonito is placed in the category of least concern because the catch per year has decreased significantly since the 1990s due to increased regulation and decreased market demand.
- Catch peaked in 1966 with 4.6 million fish declining with a loss of 659,000 in the 1990s. 
- In 2014, 70,982 pounds (32,196 kg.) of Pacific Bonito were caught in California. 
Potential ecosystem impacts
- Purse seines are non-selective, which poses risks to non-target species. 
Bonito is sometimes dried, fermented, and smoked to make bonito flakes, or Katsuobushi, in Japanese cuisin
- Can be eaten whole. 
Description of meat
- Meat is deep red to pink, soft with a fishy smell but a bold and flavorful taste. 
- Available whole, as filets, or steaks.
- Should be bled and put on ice immediately after catching, and bloodlines should be removed. 
- Generally brined prior to cooking. 
- For a Japanese simmered bonito recipe, visit Recipe Tin Japan. 
- For recipe for grilled bonito, visit Greedy Gourmet. 
- For fresh Bonito, there are 5 calories per 129 serving (100 g) and 28 grams of protein. 
- As with other top predators, may contain high mercury levels; follow consumer guidelines especially for pregnant women and children. 
- Available year round.