The blue marlin is an easily identified fish. This magnificent creature can be found in the temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Blue marlin can swim close to the surface of the water or dive to great depths in search of food. Increased boat traffic (which leads to accidental collisions), overfishing, and accidental capture are all major threats to blue marlin survival (bycatch with other fish species, especially tuna). Blue marlins are not on the endangered species list, but they may become so in the near future due to uncontrolled fishing and ocean pollution.
Blue marlin is a massive fish. Females are approximately three to four times larger than males. Larger specimens can grow to be 14 feet long and weigh nearly 2000 pounds. Blue marlins typically grow to be 11 feet long and weigh between 200 and 400 pounds.
The dorsal (back) side of the blue marlin is dark blue, while the belly is silver white.
The blue marlin has a long, elongated body, a prominent dorsal fin, and a sharp, spear-shaped upper jaw.
To catch prey, blue marlins use their spear-shaped jaws. Crustaceans, fish (mackerel, tuna), dolphins, and squids are among its favorite foods.
During the hunt, the blue marlin will pass through a dense school of fish, injuring them with its spear. Blue marlin will easily scoop up dead or injured fish that float around.
To find food, blue marlins rely on their vision. During the day, it hunts (diurnal animal).
The blue marlin has 24 vertebrae, which allows it to move quickly through the water. It can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
Blue marlins have only a few predators due to their large size and sharp spear-shaped jaw: white sharks, mako sharks, and humans.
Blue marlins are extremely active and powerful animals. They enjoy jumping out of the water. They will also perform powerful and acrobatic movements while attempting to free themselves from the hook.
Blue marlins are solitary animals. They sometimes swim in pairs. They rarely congregate in larger groups (schools).
Blue marlins are migratory in nature. They will move from one location to another to avoid the cold water (they prefer life in warm waters).
The mating season for blue marlins occurs in late summer or early autumn.
Females reach sexual maturity when they weigh 265 pounds. At the age of three, males reach sexual maturity.
Females can spawn four times in a single mating season, releasing up to seven million eggs. Only a small percentage of released eggs (less than 1%) will survive to adulthood. The vast majority of eggs will be consumed by other marine creatures.
In the wild, female blue marlins have an average lifespan of 27 years. Males have a much shorter lifespan, lasting only 18 years.