The Swift and Agile Swordfish
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The Swift and Agile Swordfish

Swordfish are large strong predatory fish that can be found throughout both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

Swordfish are large strong predatory fish that travel vast distances during migration. They can be found throughout both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Although there are a few fish who share a similar appearance with the swordfish, they are not of the same family; swordfish are the only member of Xiphiidae family.

As adults, swordfish usually measure 8-12 feet long and weigh 300-600 pounds. The largest swordfish ever caught was 14.2 feet long, and weighed around 1,114 pounds. Like many fish, the females are larger than the males. Swordfish are built for speed; they can reach speeds of 80 kilometres per-hour and possess great agility and dexterity. Although swordfish more commonly use their “swords” for slashing than stabbing there has been a few cases of them impaling boats and even people. Most swordfish give small boats a very wide berth, but are commonly seen swimming around large boats.

Swordfish are aggressive carnivores that use their innate speed and nimbleness to hunt and catch prey. They eat an assortment of sea life such as small tuna, barracudas, mackerel, rockfish, and squid. Although swordfish are tenacious predators, they are not at the top of the food chain; orcas, sharks, sperm whales and humans hunt and eat them. Swordfish are not easy prey and will fight back if their lives are in danger, and they cannot flee. In defence of their lives, swordfish have been known to wound whales and wound and possibly kill sharks and humans; they are especially dangerous when they are hooked or harpooned.

Due to their large size and tenacious temperaments, swordfish are a favourite amongst sport fishermen. Swordfish can take hours to reel in and most sportsmen find them an exhilarating challenge. Unfortunately, due to the swordfish’ large size and the fact that they are carnivores, swordfish contain high levels of mercury making them unsafe to eat regularly. Many sports fishermen release the swordfish after they have had the thrill of catching it.

Due to their large migratory patterns and their vast range, swordfish are very elusive, making it difficult for scientists to get an accurate idea of their population. It is believed that the swordfish population is somewhat holding steady, but due to over fishing and pollution may be slightly threatened. Unfortunately, as the pollution increases in the Earth’s oceans so does the pollution in the fish that live there. At the moment, swordfish contain enough mercury that it is only safe to eat occasionally, if things continue as they have, swordfish and many of the other ocean fish may be completely unsafe for consumption.

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