Difference Between Ahi and Mahi (With Table)

Marine life never fails to fascinate. It has the deepest secrets and spellbinding beauty. Out of all the aquatic species, fish comes first. There is plenty of variety available. Different species are further divided into categories basis on color, shape and size. They are a great source of protein and vitamin- D. Two of them are Ahi and Mahi.

Ahi vs Mahi

The main difference between Ahi and Mahi is that Ahi belongs to the tuna species of fish. It is divided into two types, namely, yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna. It is tasty and nutritious but less fleshy. On the other hand, Mahi is a dolphin fish. It is brightly coloured and has a mild taste.

Ahi is a type of tuna and is popularly known by this name in Hawaii. It has two subdivisions, yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna. It is nutrient-rich and is a good source of protein. It has a tender, sober and juicy taste. Typically found in tropical and subtropical oceans.

Mahi, also known as dorado, is a dolphin fish. It can be classified into 2 subcategories i.e. Coryphaena hippurus and Coryphaena equiselis. It has a rich flesh content with a mild taste. It has a bright range of colours with a flat shaped skull.

Comparison Table Between Ahi and Mahi

Parameters of comparisonAhiMahi
TasteJuicy and flavorfulMild
Weight56-180 kg7-22 kg
Lifespan5-10 years5-7 years
ColourMetallic blue and white/ silvery
Yellow fins
Blue-green and golden
SubdivisionsYellowfin and bigeyeCoryphaena hippurus and Coryphaena equiselis
LocationTropical and subtropical oceansGulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic coast.
Flesh colourLight to dark redPink to light beige

What is Ahi?

“Ahi” is the name given by Hawaiians. It is a type of tuna fish found in tropical and subtropical blues. It is available in two varieties, scilicet, yellowfin and bigeye. This fish is commercially very important for them. It is used for raw materials and can be canned.

It has a fishy taste and is full of flavors. It has a meaty texture and is less oily as compared to other oily categories. It can grow up to 2.4 m long and weighs 56-180 kgs. Its meat is light to dark red depending on the size of the fish, the bigger the fish, the darker is the color.

It lives in the moderate depth of seas. It is a predator that consumes smaller fish and is difficult to catch. Yellowfin tuna has a similar structure to that of other fish but its yellow dorsal and anal fins are distinguishing features. It also has a yellow lateral line along the side. Bigeye tuna is the same as yellowfin but it has a plump body and is dark metallic with silver highlights.

It can be eaten raw or roasted slightly. It takes two years to start reproduction. It is delicious and has health benefits too. Some of the nutrients it provides are Vitamin C, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, fatty acids, proteins etc.

What is Mahi?

Mahi is also known as a dorado which falls under the category of ray-finned fish. It is a dolphin fish with a flat-shaped head and distinguished looks. It has a long extended dorsal Furthermore, it is divided into two categories, Coryphaena hippurus and Coryphaena equiselis. It has no connection to the mammal dolphin.

Typically found in the Caribbean sea, the Pacific waterfront, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. It is a predator that sustains its life by munching on small fish. It is bony and has a mild taste. It is light in weight and has a short lifetime of approximately 5 years has a great market value.

It is consumed raw in sushi and its steaks can be grilled or barbequed. It doesn’t have a fishy smell and has a slightly firm texture. It dwells on the surface of deeps. It keeps on migrating and grows mature quick. It starts spawning at the age of 4-6 months due to its short lifespan.

Multiple benefits of eating mahi-mahi include high proteins at negligible calories, a rich source of iron, potassium and vitamin B, controlling cholesterol, maintaining healthy skin and a lot more.

Main Differences Between Ahi and Mahi

  1. Ahi belongs to tuna species whereas Mahi is a dolphin fish.
  2. Ahi has long dorsal and anal fins. Yellowfin tuna has a yellow lateral line and bigeye tuna has a metallic blue appearance with a silver touch. On the other hand, Mahi is a multicolor fish with bright blue-green and golden shades.
  3. The meat of Ahi is light to dark red whereas that of Mahi is pink to light beige.
  4. The former has a longer lifespan( 5-10 years) as compared to the latter.
  5. Ahi is fishier in taste in comparison to Mahi.
  6. Ahi can weigh up to 180 kgs, unlike Mahi which goes up to only 22 kgs.
  7. Ahi is found in tropical and subtropical waters. On the other hand, Mahi is found in the Caribbean Sea, Indian ocean and many more places.
  8. The taste of Ahi is flavourful as compared to Mahi which is faintly sweet with an average taste.


Fish are very important for the ecosystem. They are pleasing to the eye and are a good option to be added to the diet. They are a rich source of nutrients. Ahi and Mahi dominate the commercial fisheries. They are famous worldwide but most important for the seafood-rich culture of Hawaii.

Two of them have distinguishing features. Their taste and nutrition may vary. Both are equally loved by the fish consumers. They add a different spice to the cuisines. They are a perfect blend of taste and a healthy lifestyle.


  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0514266
  2. https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.01217