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Blue Marlin

(Makaira nigricans)



Maturity at: 50 cm in length

Max Published Size: 500 cm and 1400 pounds

TnT Record: 1006 pounds (official)

TnT Season: Year round with peaks from Feb to June

IUCN status: Vulnerable



General Information: Is an oceanic species that can migrate thousands of miles, travelling between Caribbean islands and across the Atlantic to West Africa. Water color affects its occurrence, at least in the northern Gulf of Mexico, where the fish seems to have a preference for blue water. Rarely gathers in schools and usually found as scattered single individuals. Feeds mainly on fishes but also preys on octopods and squids. Feeding takes place during daytime. Maturity reached at about 80 cm in males and 50 cm in females. Females grow way larger than males, as much as four times their weigh and size. Scientists and fishermen have long debated wether blue marlin and other billfish use their elongated upper jaw in feeding. A 2007 Japanese study of stomach contents of fish captured in a commercial trolling fishery found that undigested prey items obtained from 227 blue marlin had spearing, slashing, and other injuries that were judged to have been inflicted by the bill.


Photo courtesy Scott Portelli

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