The South China Sea is an important distribution area of tuna, so it is important to carry out researches on potentially suitable areas for tuna aquaculture in that area. The main tuna species in the South China Sea are yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares
) and skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis
), according to whose locations of occurrence and seven kinds of environmental data in that area, we used the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) Model to quantitatively evaluate the potential suitability indexes for their aquaculture. The results show that: 1) The face value of receiver operating characteristic curve of the model was greater than 0.84, indicating that the model is accurate and can be used to simulate the distribution of potentially suitable habitats for tuna. 2) Sea surface dissolved oxygen, sea surface temperature and sea benthic salinity were important environmental factors which affected the distribution of suitable habitats for yellowfin tuna and skipjack tuna in the South China Sea. The optimal sea surface dissolved oxygen, sea surface temperature and sea benthic salinity of yellowfin tuna were 201.52–242.68 mol·m−3
, 1.96–32.61 ℃, 34.37‰–35.26‰, respectively, and those of skipjack tuna were 200.83–208.35 mol·m−3
, 19.71–28.96 ℃, 34.30‰–35.26‰, respectively. 3) The distribution areas of yellowfin tuna were mainly concentrated in the Dongsha fishing ground, the middle Nansha fishing ground, and the northeast of the western and central Nansha fishing ground, while those of skipjack tuna were mainly concentrated in the western and central of the south Taiwan fishing ground and the Dongsha fishing ground.