Marlin Fish are representatives of the species Ray-finned fish belonging to the Marlin family. It is a popular fish for sport fishing.
First described two centuries ago by the French ichthyologist Bernard Laseped using a drawing. Subsequently, a variety of species and generic names were assigned many times to marlin fish. Currently, only the name Makaira nigriсns is valid. The generic name comes from the Greek word μαχαίρα, which means “Short dagger”.
The most popular is Blue Marlin, or Atlantic Blue Marlin (Makaira nigriсns). Adult females are approximately four times larger than the body sizes of males. A sexually mature male rarely reaches a weight of 140-160 kg. The mass of the female, as a rule, is 500-510 kg or more with a body length of 500 cm. The distance from the eye area to the tip of the spear is about twenty percent of the total length of the fish. At the same time, a fish weighing 636 kg had an officially recorded record weight.
The body structure of marlin fish
A feature of the first fin, similar in shape and size to the second fin on the back, is the presence of 13-16 rays.
The upper part of the body of the Atlantic blue marlin is dark blue in color, and the sides of such fish are distinguished by a silver color. On the body, there are about fifteen rows of strips of a pale greenish-blue color with round dots or thin stripes. Other fins, as a rule, have a bright dark brown color with a shade of dark blue.
A thin but dense skin covers the body of the fish. The spear is strong and long enough. For the jaws and palatine bones of the representatives of the class Ray-finned fish-strong, the presence of small, file-like teeth is characteristic.
Almost all types of marlin prefer to stay away from the coastline. Using surface layers of water for their movement. In the process of movement, the fish belonging to this family are able to develop significant speed and actively jump out of the water to a height of several meters. Marlin can quite easily and quickly accelerate to a speed of 100-110 kilometers per hour. So that representatives of the species are usually referred to as the fastest fish in the world.
Predatory fish leads mainly to a hermit lifestyle, swimming about 60-70 km during the day. Representatives of the family are characterized by seasonal migrations that cover distances of up to seven to eight thousand miles. As shown by numerous studies and observations, the image of moving marlin in the water column is very similar to the swimming style of an ordinary shark.
Males of blue marlin are able to live for about eighteen years, and females of this family can live up to a quarter-century or a little more. The average life span of marlin fish does not exceed fifteen years.
What does Marlin Fish eat?
Marlin fish feed on medium-sized fish that live in the upper layers of the water, including sardines, anchovies, and mackerel. Also, the diet of this species includes crustaceans and cephalopods. The larval stage of the Atlantic blue marlin, or blue marlin, feeds on zooplankton, including plankton caviar and larvae of other fish species. Adults prey on fish, including mackerel, as well as squid. Near the coral reefs and ocean islands, blue marlin feeds on juveniles from various coastal fish.