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Blue Marlin Makaira nigricans


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Blue Marlin
credit: NOAA

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Family: Istiophoridae, Billfishes view all from this family

Description The Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) is a species of marlin endemic to the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic blue marlin (hereafter, marlin) feeds on a wide variety of organisms near the surface. By using its bill, it can stun, injure, or kill while knifing through a school of prey and then return later at its leisure to eat. Marlin is a popular game fish and has commercial value because its meat has a relatively high fat content.

Marlin are distributed throughout the Atlantic's tropical and temperate waters; they are more populous in the western parts. It is a blue water fish that spends the majority of its life in the open sea, far away from land. Females can grow up to four times the weight of males, reaching 540–1,800 kilograms (1,200–4,000 lb). Marlin have few predators apart from man; the World Conservation Union does not currently consider it a threatened species.

Some other historic English names for the Atlantic blue marlin are the Cuban black marlin, ocean gar, and ocean guard.

Dimensions Up to 14'8" (4.5 m); 1,805 lbs (818 kg).

Habitat Open ocean.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas, California.