Family: Istiophoridae (Billfishes)
Order: Perciformes (perch-likes)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
FishBase name: Atlantic blue marlin
Max. size: 500 cm TL (male/unsexed; Ref. 11441); 500.0 cm TL (female); max. published weight: 636.0 kg (Ref. 40637); max. published weight: 820 kg
Environment: pelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); marine
Climate: subtropical; 22 - 31°C; 45°N - 40°S
Importance: fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Distribution: Atlantic Ocean: in tropical and temperate waters. We follow Nakamura 1985 (Ref. 43) in recognizing Makaira mazara and Makaira nigricans as two distinct species chiefly because of differences in the pattern of the lateral line system. Many scientists, however, do not recognize this character as specifically diagnostic and consider the latter species as a single pantropical species occurring in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).
Biology: Oceanic species. Water color affects its occurrence, at least in the northern Gulf of Mexico, where the fish show 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. Marketed fresh or frozen (Ref. 43). Feeding takes place during daytime. Maturity reached at about 80 cm in males (40 kg) and 50 cm in females (55 kg) (Ref. 36731).