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     Billfish/Atlantic Sailfish  

  Family: Istiophoridae (Billfishes)
  Order: Perciformes (perch-likes)
  Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
  FishBase name: Atlantic sailfish
  Max. size: 315 cm TL (male/unsexed; Ref. 43); max. published weight: 58.1 kg (Ref. 43)
  Environment: pelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); marine ; depth range - 40 m
  Climate: subtropical; 21 - 28C; 50N - 40S
  Importance: fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
  Distribution: Atlantic Ocean: in tropical and temperate waters approximately 40N in the northwest Atlantic, 50N in the northeast Atlantic, 40S in the southwest Atlantic, and 32S in the southeast Atlantic. Migrating to Mediterranean Sea, mostly based on juvenile specimens. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139). Some authors recognize a single worldwide species, Istiophorus platypterus (Shaw 1792) but we follow Nakamura 1990 (Ref. 10820) retaining the usage of Istiophorus platypterus for the Indo-Pacific sailfish and Istiophorus albicans for the Atlantic sailfish in recognition of differences between them.
  Biology: Usually found in the upper layers of warm water above the thermocline, but also capable of descending to rather deep water. Often migrates into near-shore waters. Occasionally forms schools or smaller groups of 3 to 30 individuals, but often occurs in loose aggregations over a wide area. Feeds mainly on small pelagic fishes but also takes bottom-dwelling organisms. Utilized fresh, canned and frozen; eaten steamed (Ref. 9987).

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