About This Fish

White Marlin


The White marlin (Tetrapturus albidus) is also known as Atlantic white marlin and skilligalee. It is a ray finned fish which belongs to the family Istiophoridae under order Perciformes of class Actinopterygii. It is an offshore pelagic and oceanic fish which is found in the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Argentina including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.



The white marlin migrates into subtropical waters to spawn. Body is moderately slender with long and rounded bill. The body is dark blue above and silvery white below with brown spots on the sides. The first dorsal fin runs almost the length of the body which is dark blue with many black spots. The second dorsal and pelvic fins are dark blue. First anal and pectoral fins are blunt or rounded at tips. The pectoral fin and caudal fin are blackish brown. The body is densely covered with bony scales each with a single acute spine. The lateral line is distinct which is arched over the origin of the dorsal fin and it runs straight along the body. Anterior lobe of first dorsal fin is rounded with 38-46 fin rays while second dorsal fin contains 5-6 fin rays. First anal fin consists of 12-17 fin rays while second with 5-6 fin rays. The white marlin feeds near the surface during daylight hours on a variety of fishes including mackerels, herrings, dolphin, flyingfish, squids and crabs. It is preyed upon by white shark, shortfin mako and the cookie-cutter shark. It becomes sexually mature when it reaches 125 cm in length. It spawns in the summer in deep oceanic waters with high surface temperatures which range from 20° to 29°C. It grows up to 300 cm in length and 83 kg in weight. The white marlin can live up to 30 years of age.