Blue Marlin

COMMON NAME: Blue Marlin

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Makaira nigricans

TYPE: Fish

DIET: Carnivore

GROUP NAME: School

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN: 27 years (females); 18 years (males)

SIZE: Up to 14 feet

WEIGHT: Up to 1,985 pounds

SIZE RELATIVE TO A 6-FT MAN:

White Marlin

Species name: Tetrapturus albidus (Poey 1860)
Synonyms for use: Kajikia albida (Poey, 1860)
ICCAT species code: WHM
ICCAT names: White needle (Spanish), Makaire Blanc (French), White Marlin (English)

Nakamura (1985) classified the white needle as follows:

  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Superclass: Gnathostomata
  • Class: Osteichthyes
  • Subclass: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Suborder: Xiphioidei
  • Family: Istiophoridae

Mahi-Mahi (Dorado)

The dolphin fish is not a dolphin. Unlike dolphins, which are mammals, dolphin fish are a type of rayfinned fish. The dolphin fish most likely got its confusing common name because it was previously classified in the genus Dolfyn. It also has a melon-shaped head, much like that of a true dolphin. In the modern classification system, the fish belongs to the genus Coryphaena.

 

Fast Facts: Dolphin Fish

  • Scientific NameCoryphaena hippurus (common dolphin fish); Coryphaena equiselis (pompano dolphin fish)
  • Other Names: Dolphinfish, dolphin, mahi-mahi, dorado, pompano
  • Distinguishing Features: Brilliantly colored fish with single dorsal fin spanning the length of the body; males have protruding foreheads
  • Average Size: 1 meter in length and up to 40 kilograms (88 lb) weight
  • Diet: Carnivorous
  • Life Span: Up to 5 years, but usually less than 2 years
  • Habitat: Temperate, subtropical, and tropical oceans worldwide
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Coryphaenidae
  • Fun Fact: The dolphin fish is a very fast swimmer, reaching speeds of nearly 60 mph.

Description

There are two species of dolphin fish. The common dolphin fish (also known as mahi-mahi or dorado) is C. hippurus. The other species of dolphin fish is C. equiselis, which is also known as the pompano dolphin fish.

 
Pompano dolphin fish are sometimes mistaken for juvenile common dolphin fish or mahi-mahi because they are small, reaching a maximum length of 127 centimeters (50 in). Pompano dolphin fish are bright blue-green with silver-gold sides. The fish fade in color to dull gray-green when they die.
 
Bonito
Bonito
Atlantic bonitoSarda sarda
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scombriformes
Family: Scombridae
Subfamily: Scombrinae
Tribe: Sardini
Jordan and Evermann, 1896

 

Bonitos are a tribe of medium-sized, ray-finned predatory fish in the family Scombridae – a family it shares with the mackerel, tuna, and Spanish mackerel tribes, and also the butterfly kingfish.Also called the Sardini tribe, it consists of eight species across four genera; three of those four genera are monotypic, having a single species each.

Etymology

Bonito means “pretty” in Portuguese and Spanish, but it is unclear whether the name of the fish is related to this. The Spanish Academy derives the name from Arabic bainīth, but that may be a borrowing from the Spanish.

Species

  • Genus Sarda (Cuvier, 1832)
  • Australian bonito, S. australis (Macleay, 1881)
  • Sarda chiliensis (Cuvier, 1832)
  • Eastern Pacific bonito, S. c. chiliensis (Cuvier, 1832)
  • Pacific bonito, S. c. lineolata (Girard, 1858)
  • Striped bonito, S. orientalis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844)
  • Atlantic bonito, S. sarda (Bloch, 1793)
  • Genus Cybiosarda (Whitley, 1935)
  • Leaping bonito, C. elegans (Whitley, 1935)
  • Genus Gymnosarda Gill, 1862
  • Dogtooth tuna, G. unicolor (Rüppell, 1836)
  • Genus Orcynopsis Gill, 1862
  • Plain bonito, O. unicolor (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

Food

Pacific and Atlantic bonito meat has a firm texture and a darkish color. The bonito has a moderate fat content. The meat of young or small bonito can be of lighter color, close to that of skipjack tuna, and is sometimes used as a cheaper substitute for skipjack, especially for canning purposes, and occasionally in the production of cheaper varieties of katsuobushi that are sold as bonito flakes. Bonito may not, however, be marketed as tuna in all countries.

The Atlantic bonito is also found in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, where it is a popular food fish, eaten grilled, pickled (lakerda), or baked.

Wahoo

Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) is a scombrid fish found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. It is best known to sports fishermen, as its speed and high-quality flesh makes it a prized game fish.

The flesh of the wahoo is white to grey, delicate to dense, and highly regarded by many cuisines. The taste has been said to be similar to mackerel. This has created some demand for the wahoo as a premium-priced commercial food fish. In many areas of its range, such as Hawaii, Bermuda, and many parts of the Caribbean, local demand for wahoo is met by artisanal commercial fishermen who take them primarily by trolling. Recreational sports fishermen also sell their catch. Wahoo, which is popularly called Hoo in the US, are successfully fished with live bait around deep-water oil and gas platforms in the Gulf during the winter months.

Description

Its body is elongated and covered with small, scarcely visible scales; the back is an iridescent blue, while the sides are silvery with a pattern of irregular vertical blue bars. These colors fade rapidly during death. The mouth is large, and the teeth of the wahoo are razor sharp. Both the upper and lower jaws have a somewhat sharper appearance than those of king or Spanish mackerel.

Specimens have been recorded at up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) in length, and weighing up to 83 kg (183 lb). Growth can be rapid. Wahoo can swim up to 60 mph (96.5606 km/h). They are some of the fastest fish in the sea.

The wahoo may be distinguished from the related Atlantic king mackerel and from the Indo-Pacific narrow-barred Spanish mackerel by a fold of skin which covers the mandible when its mouth is closed. In contrast, the mandible of the king mackerel is always visible as it is also the case for the smaller Spanish mackerel and Cero mackerel. The teeth of the wahoo are similar to those of king mackerel, but shorter and more closely set together.

The barracuda is sometimes confused with the mackerel and wahoo, but it is easy to distinguish from the latter two species. Barracuda have prominent scales, larger, dagger-like teeth, and lack the caudal keels and blade-like (forked) tail characteristic of the scombrids.

Amberjack

Amberjack is an Atlantic and Pacific fish of the Carangidae family (genus Seriola). They are a game fish, most often found in the warmer parts of ocean. There are many variations of Amberjack, including greater amberjack (Atlantic), lesser amberjack (Atlantic), Almaco jack (Pacific), yellowtail (Pacific), and the banded rudderfish (Atlantic).

Greater Amberjack

Greater amberjacks, Seriola dumerili, are the largest of the jacks. They usually have dark stripes extending from nose to in front of their dorsal fins. They have no scutes and soft dorsal bases less than twice the length of the anal fin bases. They are usually 18 kg (40 pounds) or less, and are found associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 20 to 75 m (10 to 40 fathoms). Greater amberjacks are also found in the Pacific.

Lesser Amberjacks

Lesser amberjacks, Seriola fasciata, have proportionately larger eyes and deeper bodies than greater amberjacks. They are olive green or brownish-black with silver sides, and usually have a dark band extending upward from their eyes. Juveniles have split or wavy bars on their sides. The adults are usually under 5 kg (10 lbs). They are found deeper than other jacks, commonly 50 to 130 m (30 to 70 fathoms).

Amberjacks are voracious predators, which feed on squid, fish, and crustaceans, and are thought to spawn offshore throughout most of the year.

Juveniles can be caught in about 25 feet (7.6 m) of water, near floating objects.

Yellow Tail Amberjack

Banded rudderfish, Seriola zonata, is the second-smallest amberjack. This jack can be distinguished from the pilot fish by the presence of a first dorsal fin. Juveniles are banded vertically like pilotfish, and follow large objects or animals. Large individuals (over 10 inches) have no bands. This fish, though commonly caught, is rarely identified. Large ones, with a raccoon-stripe on the eye and an iridescent gold stripe on the side, are usually called amberjacks when caught, and juveniles are called pilotfish. They are found as far north as Nova Scotia. They are less dependent on sharks, etc., than pilotfish. They can be caught on shrimp, silversides, lures (e.g. spoons), and flies.

Others

Other species exist in other parts of the world, such as: yellowtail amberjack (including the Asian yellowtail, the California yellowtail, and yellowtail kingfish or southern yellowtail), Almaco jack, and Japanese amberjack (five-ray yellowtail).

YellowFin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna are torpedo-shaped with dark metallic blue backs, yellow sides, and a silver belly. They have very long anal and dorsal fins and finlets that are bright yellow. Yellowfin can live up to six or seven years. They are highly migratory and are found throughout the Pacific, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. They form schools with other tunas like skipjack and bigeye, and are also known to associate with dolphins. Yellowfin are able to breed year-round.

Description

The yellowfin tuna is among the larger tuna species, reaching weights over 180 kg (400 lb), but is significantly smaller than the Atlantic and Pacific bluefin tunas, which can reach over 450 kg (990 lb), and slightly smaller than the bigeye tuna and the southern bluefin tuna.

The second dorsal fin and the anal fin, as well as the finlets between those fins and the tail, are bright yellow, giving this fish its common name. The second dorsal and anal fins can be very long in mature specimens, reaching almost as far back as the tail and giving the appearance of sickles or scimitars. The pectoral fins are also longer than the related bluefin tuna, but not as long as those of the albacore. The main body is a very dark metallic blue, changing to silver on the belly, which has about 20 vertical lines.

Reported sizes in the literature have ranged as high as 2.4 m (94 in) in length and 200 kg (440 lb) in weight. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record for this species stands at 176 kg (388 lb)for a fish caught in 1977 near San Benedicto Island in the Pacific waters of Mexico. In 2010, a 184-kg yellowfin was caught off the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, 2.2-metre (87 in) long with a girth of 1.5 m (59 in). The catch is still pending verification by the IGFA.[citation needed] In 2012, a fisherman in Baja California caught a 193-kg yellowfin. If the catch is confirmed by the IGFA, the fisherman will receive a prize of $1 million.

Sailfish

COMMON NAME: Sailfish

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Istiophorus

TYPE: Fish

DIET: Carnivore

GROUP NAME: School

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 4 years

SIZE: 5.7 to 11 feet

WEIGHT: 120 to 220 pounds

SIZE RELATIVE TO A 6-FT MAN:

ABOUT THE SAILFISH

The two main subspecies of sailfish, Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, range throughout the warm and temperate parts of the world’s oceans.

Unique Traits

They are blue to gray in color with white underbellies. They get their name from their spectacular dorsal fin that stretches nearly the length of their body and is much higher than their bodies are thick.

Feeding

They are members of the billfish family, and as such, have an upper jaw that juts out well beyond their lower jaw and forms a distinctive spear. They are found near the ocean surface usually far from land feeding on schools of smaller fish like sardines and anchovies, which they often shepherd with their sails, making them easy prey. They also feast on squid and octopus.

Game Fishing

Their meat is fairly tough and not widely eaten, but they are prized as game fish. These powerful, streamlined beasts can grow to more than 10 feet and weigh up to 220 pounds. When hooked, they will fight vigorously, leaping and diving repeatedly, and sometimes taking hours to land.

Population

Sailfish are fairly abundant throughout their range, and their population is considered stable. They are under no special status or protections.

Alternative Title: Sphyraenidae
 

Barracuda, any of about 20 species of predacious fishes of the family Sphyraenidae (order Perciformes). Barracudas are found in all warm and tropical regions; some also range into more temperate areas. Swift and powerful, they are slender in form, with small scales, two well-separated dorsal fins, a jutting lower jaw, and a large mouth with many large, sharp teeth. Size varies from rather small to 1.2–1.8 metres (4–6 feet) in the great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) of the Atlantic, Caribbean, and western Pacific.

Barracudas are primarily fish eaters, preying on such smaller fishes as mullets, anchovies, and grunts. They are esteemed as sport fishes, and the smaller forms are also valued as food. In certain seas, however, they may become impregnated with a toxic substance that produces a form of poisoning known as ciguatera. Barracudas are often regarded as bold and inquisitive, and large ones are regarded as fearsome fishes, potentially dangerous to humans. The threat, though probably exaggerated, is real; the great barracuda is known to have been involved in attacks on swimmers.