This post contains information and facts about sailfish
The sailfish is a saltwater billfish. Members of this family are predatory fish with a distinctive physical characteristic. They have a spear-like bill, which extends from their upper jaw. They use this as a sword when hunting for fish and for self defense. Other billfish include
- Black Marlin
- Blue Marlin
- White Marlin
- Striped Marlin
- Spear Fish
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12 Facts About Sailfish
- The sailfish gets its name from the dramatic dorsal fin which runs along nearly the length of its body and it is taller than the thickness of the body. It looks like a sail. They are the fastest fish in the ocean and can reach speeds of up to 68 MPH.
- Sailfish are saltwater fish found in warm and temperate waters in the world’s oceans. They prefer waters ranging between 70 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit. They stay relatively close to the surface, but far from land.
- There are two main subspecies of sailfish, the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.
- In 1975, the Florida legislature adopted the Atlantic sailfish as the state’s official saltwater fish because of the popularity of this fish among fishermen in the state.
- They are blue to gray in color with white bellies.
- They weigh between 120 to 220 pounds and can measure anywhere between 6 to 11 feet.
- They are often seen in groups of two or more.
- They are carnivores and prey mostly on octopus, squid, and schools of fish. When hunting for small schools of fish such as sardines and anchovies, sailfish work together using their dorsal fin to create a barrier or a fence around them. Once they have their prey surrounded into a small area, they use their bill to stun and slash their prey.
- Dolphinfish or Mahi-Mahi and sharks are their main predators, but sailfish also use their sharp-pointed bill to pierce and slash an enemy, and the larger predator can become their next meal.
- Humans fish for sailfish as a sport but not to eat since they are tough and not very tasty. These fish are very hard to catch and put up a strong fight that can last for hours. Also, they are migratory fish and are always on the move chasing warmer waters and looking for prey, so to even try to catch one you first have to find them.
- A large female can release over 4 million eggs at a time. The eggs hatch within 36 hours. Hatchlings grow very quickly. Within a year, they grow to about 4 to 5 feet long.
- The average lifespan of a sailfish is 5 to 7 years.