Southern bluefin tuna (SBT, Thunnus maccoyii) aquaculture is a highly valuable industry, but research on these fish is hampered by strict catch quotas and the limited success of captive breeding. To address these limitations, we have developed a SBT cell line (SBT-E1) and here we report on fatty acid metabolism in this cell line. The SBT-E1 cells proliferated well in standard Leibovitz's L-15 cell culture medium containing fetal bovine serum (FBS) as the source of fatty acids. Decreasing the FBS concentration decreased the cell proliferation. Addition of the C18 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3) or linoleic acid (LNA, 18:2n-6) to the cell culture medium had little effect on the proliferation of the cells, whereas addition of the long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4n-6), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) significantly reduced the proliferation of the cells, especially at higher concentrations and especially for DHA. Addition of vitamin E to the culture medium overcame this effect, suggesting that it was due to oxidative stress. The fatty acid profiles of the total lipid from the cells reflected those of the respective culture media with little evidence for desaturation or elongation of any of the fatty acids. The only exceptions were EPA and ARA, which showed substantial elongation to 22:5n-3 and 22:4n-6, respectively, and DHA, which was significantly enriched in the cells compared with the culture medium. The results are discussed in light of the dietary PUFA requirements of SBT in the wild and in aquaculture.