Description & Behavior
The black marlin, Makaira indica (Cuvier in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1832), is a strong, fast pelagic species highly prized by sport fishermen. It has a dark blue dorsal side, a silvery white belly, and faint blue vertical stripes running down the sides. The first dorsal fin is blackish to dark blue, while the other fins are dark brown, occasionally with blue tinges. A specimen may have anywhere between 39 and 50 dorsal softrays. Males may reach a length of 4.65 m and weight of 750 kgs, but females are generally much larger. The black marlin is the only marlin with non-retractable fins. Like all billfish, the species has a distinctive elongated sword-like upper jaw. The black marlin’s dorsal fin is proportionately the lowest of any billfish, standing less than 50 percent of the fish’s body height. Scientists do not yet know how long a member of this species lives.