Latin Name: Istiophorus
General Size: 96”
The Atlantic sailfish is a well-known billfish found
in the western and eastern Atlantic ocean. These fish
are one member out of 11 specimens in the Istiophoridae
family. Sailfish are typically found in the warmer upper
regions of the water column however they can make dives
to the cold depths of 200m and have special physiological
adaptations in order to keep the eyes and brain at an
elevated temperature. These fish are highly mobile and
make migrations from the western Atlantic to the Mediterranean
and are known as one of the fastest fish in the sea.
Sailfish are widely sought after by offshore fishermen
because of their dramatic breaching displays as hooked
fish vigorously attempt to shake out the fishing hook.
Their enlarged dorsal fins can be raised nearly two
feet above its back to create a “sail” that acts to
confuse and frighten their fish and squid prey. Sailfish
are fast growers and can get up to 127 pounds and live
up to 12 years.
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