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Marlins (lat.: Istiophoridae) are a family of billfish in the order of Perciformes. They are very similar to but not closely related with swordfish, which is another type of billfish. Marlins have long and rigid dorsal fins. In contrast to swordfish, they also have ventral fins. Their bill or snout is spear-like but rounded. The elongated, torpedo-shaped body is up to 4.5 m long and weighs up to 900 kg. Marlins are fast predatory fish feeding mainly on schooling fish, such as herring and mackerel or on squid.


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Marlin species

There are several species of Marlin. Some are called sailfish or spearfish. The Indo-Pacific sailfish (lat.: Istiophorus platypterus) and the Atlantic sailfish (lat.: Istiophorus albicans, Istiophorus americanus) belong to the genus Istiophorus, the rest falls under the genus Makaira. The Indo-Pacific sailfish is one of the fastest fish in the ocean. Its habitat is a wide belt around the equator. Its close relative the Atlantic sailfish can be found everywhere in the Atlantic ocean. Important as game-fish is the striped marlin.


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