The Pacific sailfish or istiophorus platypterus is a small member of the billfish family and is related to the larger marlin. It has a distinctively large, colorful, sail-like dorsal fin. They are blue to gray in color and the dorsal fin often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of a swordfish.
Its ability to make impressive leaps out of the water, and its amazing speed gives it the means to prey on the faster fish in the sea. Top speed has been clocked at 68 mph, making them the fastest fish in the ocean.
The Pacific version of this fish will reach 8-12 feet in length and can reach nearly 200 pounds. Their favored food is other fish, such as mackerel, tuna, herring, ballyhoo, needlefish, mullet and, when necessary, sardines and anchovies. They also eat squid and octopus. They have a large, sharp bill, that they use for hunting.
This fish is a species that roams the vast ocean waters at mid-level and surface depths and are found above the thermocline, the level at which there is a rapid change from warm to cool water temperatures.
Go back to Fish Species