Blue Marlins: Characteristics, habitat, reproduction and more…

Actually, there are few people who know everything about the blue marlins, but don’t worry today you will learn everything you have to know about this beautiful species

The Blue marlin is a species of marlin (Istiophoridae family,) that lives in cold waters of the Atlantic and other adjacent seas.

It’s located in the north (Canada) and in the south (Argentina), as well as in the west and east (from the Azores to South Africa).

The Kajikis (as they are called in Japan) are characterized by being lonely and quite aggressive so they are quite coveted as trophies for sport fishing.


Phylum: Chordata  Class: Actinopterygii (Bony fish) Order: Perciforms  Family: Istiophoridae Genre: Makaira Species: M. nigricans

The Blue Marlins’ Main Characteristics

The Blue marlin is a species of marlin (Istiophoridae family) that lives in cold waters of the Atlantic and other adjacent seas.

It’s located both in the north (Canada) and in the south (Argentina), as well as in the west and east (from the Azores to South Africa).

The Kajikis (as they are called Japan) are characterized by being lonely and quite aggressive fish so they are quite coveted as trophies for sport fishing.

This species outstands because of its large size, its thick beak and its rough skin. It’s important to point out that Marlins are highly migratory fish that live at the top of the food chain in tropical and subtropical regions of the world’s oceans.


They are members of a larger family known as Marlins, which receives its name due to its upper jaw that extends like a spear.

It’s a fish, which has a very strong body, a lower part  silver in color, and the upper part in a very striking blue color, which in some cases, can be confused a little with black.

Blue marlins have two dorsal and anal fins; the first pair of fins is a very striking and beautiful color, which sometimes can be confused with the sea since it’s a dark blue.

Of course, what attracts the attention of this beautiful fish, is its elongated jaw, which as mentioned above has a curious sword or needle shape. Their teeth are really small, and they form tiny rows in each jaw.

Other Interesting Traits

Makaira Nigrican is one of the largest bone fish in the world, and can be confused with a small shark, since it reaches up to 16 feet (~ 5 m) reaching weights of at least 1800 pounds (~ 820 kg)

Like many open ocean bony fishes, blue marlins start out as extremely tiny larvae, no more than a few millimeters long and weighing only a few hundredths of a gram. Soon after hatching, they already have a visible bill.

However, Blue marlins grow very fast and in the course of their lives they may increase their body weight by at least one million times.

Because blue marlin undergo such an amazing transformation in size (from being nearly microscopic to being one of the largest open ocean predators), they eat a wide variety of prey, throughout their lifetimes.

At a young age, they eat tiny zooplankton, and their prey increases in size as they do. As adults, they eat fairly large bony fishes and squids.

Let’s meet them

The Blue Marlins’ Habitat and Distribution

Blue Marlins are present in tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean at temperatures that range between 22 and 31ºC. They inhabit warm and deep waters although they are usually seen swimming near the surface.

The Blue Marlins’ Behavior

Blue Marlins are usually diurnal, solitary and migratory creatures.  During night they usually swim closer to the surface than during the day.

They are propelled with their dorsal fin and move in undulating movements; when swimming blue marlins follow a slightly curved line.

They can swim up to 70 kilometers in one night but at low speeds.

Their migratory movements are carried out widely in the Atlantic Ocean and make transecuatorial and interoceanic journeys.

The greatest distance traveled by a blue marlin fish that is recorded corresponds to a specimen released in the North Atlantic, in Delaware, United States, and captured in the Indian Ocean off the Mauritius Islands.  The Distance? 14,893 kilometers in 1,108 days.

What Do Blue Marlins Feed On?

Blue Marlins feed on meat and mollusks in waters near the surface. To catch their prey, they approach, stun and kill them with their long «beak.»

When they manage to leave their potential food vulnerable, they approach and ingest them.

How Do Blue Marlins Reproduce?

Blue marlins are oviparous fish that reach sexual maturity between 2 and 4 years of age. An interesting fact of this species is that the heavier a female is, the more fertile it’s.

For example, if it weighs 124 kilograms it’s capable of depositing about 7 million eggs, and if it weighs 147 kilograms it can spawn up to 10.9 million eggs.

The male reproduces throughout the year and the female 4 times during the reproductive season. After fertilization, the latter spawns during the summer in the southern hemisphere.  Eggs float in the water without parental care and hatching occurs 1 week after spawning.

The Blue Marlins’ Main Threats

Their main threat is indiscriminate hunting. In fact, they are an overexploited species due to the delicious taste of their meat, which makes them quite vulnerable to fishing for their trade.

Between the last 14 and 18 years their population has been reduced more than 30 percent; therefore, the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies this species as «Vulnerable».

Fishing Blue Marlins

The marlins are part of a group of pelagic («open sea») tropical and subtropical pelagic species that are characterized by having an extremely long upper jaw

In Mexico, these species are reserved for sport fishing within a 50-mile coastal strip.

Generally sport fishing activities are carried out through daily excursions, which for logistical reasons are limited to an action range of 25 to 30 nautical miles.

The tourist centers of Los Cabos and Buenavista, BCS, and Mazatlan, Sin., Located on both sides of the mouth of the Gulf of California, concentrate the greatest activity of offshore sport fishing in the Mexican Pacific.

In Ensenada and San Felipe, Baja California, larger vessels operate that make trips of up to 15 days (combining sport fishing with other ecotourism activities), and serve as nurses for several smaller vessels, and up to 25 sport fishers.

Let’s watch


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