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White marlin (Kajikia albidus) are large, elongated fish with a large upper jaw that forms a spear which is round in cross-section. They are dark blue to chocolate-brown in color. Although generally considered to be a rare and solitary species relative to other similar fish, white marlin occur in small groups consisting of several individuals.
Average size is 45 to 65 lbs (20–30 kg) roughly the size of an Indo-Pacific sailfish, with females reaching relatively larger sizes. The White Marlin's preferred habitat is deep blue water over 100m (330 feet). The species usually migrates to high latitudes in the warm season. They reproduce while in the subtropics; spawning in early summer in deep, oceanic waters. Prey items include a variety of fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods.
In 2006, White marlin are mostly caught as bycatch in international longline fisheries. However, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) reports indicate that recent international management recommendations have started stabilizing the stock biomass.
In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the white marlin to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries."
No conservation designations exist for the species.
Ocean City, Maryland is known as the White Marlin Capital of the World. The city hosts the annual White Marlin Open, a big game tournament which attracts anglers from all over the world and which frequently pays out over a million dollars to the winning team. The tournament encourages tag and release (non lethal) of the fish, although winning marlins are often brought back to the marina for verification of the size and weight. The 2010 White Marlin Open was held at Harbour Island Marina on 14th Street & the Bay.
- Collette, B., Amorim, A.F., Bizsel, K., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Die, D., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Hinton, M., Juan Jorda, M., Masuti, E., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Restrepo, V., Schratwieser, J., Teixeira Lessa, R.P. & Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E. 2011. Kajikia albidus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 October 2013.
- Greenpeace International Seafood Red list
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ICCAT 2006. Report of the 2006 ICCAT Billfish stock assessment. SCI-012 2006. http://www.iccat.int/Documents/SCRS/DetRep/DET_whm.pdf
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