(G. Cuvier, 1832)
The black marlin (Istiompax indica) is a species of marlin found in tropical and subtropical areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. With a maximum published length of 4.65 m (15.3 ft) and weight of 750 kg (1,650 lb), it is one of the largest marlins and also one of the largest bony fish. Marlin are among the fastest fish, but speeds are often wildly exaggerated in popular media, such as reports of 82 mph (120 ft/s). Recent research suggests a burst speed of 22 mph (36 km/hr) is near the maximum rate. Black marlin are fished commercially and are also a highly prized game fish.
Compared to striped or white marlins and sailfish, black marlins are more solid than their blue counterparts. They have a shorter bill and a rounder and lower dorsal fin. Black marlin may be distinguished from all other marlin species by their rigid pectoral fins, which, especially from a weight of around 150 lb (68 kg) or so, are unable to be pressed flat against their sides.
Diet mostly consists of various fish and cephalopods. They may eat tuna, mackarel, snake mackarel, flying fish, squid, crustaceans, octopus, etc.
Many people see the black marlin as the premier game fish for sport fisherman. Because of their size and physique, these marlins are popularly fished. Research off the coast of Australia suggests the large creature is much easier to catch around the full moon and the week afterwards due to its prey moving to the surface layers, which in turn forces the marlin to hunt in a wider area. In addition to the Australian coast, black marlin can also be found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific waters. They can also be found from Southern California to the Gulf of California to Chile, including the coast of all oceanic islands in between. They tend to stay in warmer waters and hunt the surface. In addition to warmer waters, they also are found close to land masses as opposed to wide-open water.
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- Collette, B.; Acero, A.; Canales Ramirez, C.; et al. (2011). "Istiompax indica". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T170312A6742465. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T170312A6742465.en.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Istiompax indica" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
- BBC Worldwide (27-05-2008). Black marlin - the fastest fish on the planet. Ultimate Killers - BBC wildlife.
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