What kind of fish is the swordfish?

A swordfish is a long, scaleless fish with a sword-shaped bill and a large dorsal fin. Its bill is flatter as compared to the marlin and the sailfish and is thus also called ‘broadbill’. It can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh as much as 650 kg! It is a highly elusive, migratory and solitary fish.

It reaches a top speed of about 120 km/h and preys on other fish such as lantern fish, cuttlefish, squid and herring. It has special organs near its eyes that heat up its eyes and brain in the cold water. This helps it to see better and hunt more effectively.

The swordfish prefers to hunt alone at night and likes to swim around in deep waters. It is an apex predator with very few threats except sharks and humans. The swordfish, like all billfish, can have high levels of mercury in their bodies as they hunt on smaller fish. The mercury from these small fish gets deposited over the years in the swordfish.

Although swordfish is considered a delicacy and many restaurants serve it on their menu as a special dish, eating it should be avoided by children, pregnant women and sick people.

Swordfish populations were declining at one point due to overfishing but since then have recovered. They are now listed under ‘Least Concern’ in the IUCN List.

Picture Credit : Google

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