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Swordfish Facts

Top 25 Swordfish Facts

Aside from the long sword-like beak that the species portrays, there are a multitude of very interesting swordfish facts that you may not be aware of.  These are by far some of the most intriguing fish that you will find in the ocean.

  1. One of the most confusing swordfish facts is how they actually use that extra long beak that travels out in front of them.  Many people assume that they spear their prey with it when in all actuality, they slice away at their prey to make it a bit easier to catch.  If they speared it, they would have no way to get it off to eat.
  1. The largest swordfish recorded being caught was in Chile in 1953, weighing 1,182 pounds.
  1. Males mature when they are between three to four years old while females take a year longer.
  1. One of the most fascinating swordfish facts is the way that they can select organs to heat.  They are cold-blooded yet they can heat only their brain and eyes which significantly improves their vision.  Out of 25,000 bony fish species, swordfish are one of the only 22 that have this ability.
  1. Swordfish are not social and do not swim in schools.  They prefer to swim completely alone or not closer than 10 meters to another one of their kind.
  1. Swordfish generally eat every night.  It is easier for them to rise to surface level in the dark to sneak up on smaller fish.
  1. Favorite foods of swordfish include squid, mackerel, menhaden, silver hake, bluefish, herring, butter fish, barracuda and tuna. 
  1. Swordfish are generally not alarmed by large ships which makes them easy to harpoon.  They are however, quite startled by small boats and have been known to put their swords right through the planking.
  1. Sperm whales, orcas and large sharks are the only real enemies to swordfish.
  1. One of the most interesting swordfish facts is that a female can carry anywhere from 1 to 29 million eggs.
  1. In warm waters, spawning can take place anytime of year but in cooler regions it occurs in the end of spring and early summer.
  1. Swordfish are known for eating their young if they are hungry or nutritionally deprived.
  1. While swordfish are found throughout many marine eco-systems in the world, they seem to prefer living where the currents from major oceans meet up which provides an abundance of food.
  1. Females are substantially larger than the males.
  1. Swordfish typically display their dorsal fin briefly before engaging in one of their famous jumps.
  1. These are extremely powerful and fierce fighters.
  1. Swordfish are labeled as being an oily fish and it is warned that they contain high and sometimes toxic levels of methyl-mercury.  Children and pregnant women are recommended not to eat it.
  1. In 1998, 750 chefs in the United States agreed to remove swordfish off of their menus to save them from becoming endangered.
  1. Swordfish are fished with various methods including harpoon, gill net and long line.
  1. These fish generally prefer water temperatures between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Juvenile fish really prefer the warmer waters because they do not have as high of a temperature tolerance as the adults do.
  1. The majority of the world’s swordfish are found in the Pacific Ocean.
  1. Swordfish is popular to eat.  Their meat is typically sold in steaks because of their larger size.  Most people prefer to grill them.
  1. It is actually quite difficult to chase down and kill a swordfish however, the mako shark seems to have the most success.
  1. Researchers suggest that swordfish jump violently from the water to either dislodge pests such as lampreys or to stun fish to make capturing them easier.