The Shortbill Spearfish

 

Peter Baio's Shortbill Spearfish May 2011

The Shortbill Spearfish, Tetrapturus angustirostris, is a species of marlin native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with occasional records from the Atlantic Ocean. This species occurs in open waters not far from the surface. This species can reach a length of 230 cm (91 in), though most do not exceed 190 cm (75 in). The maximum recorded weight for this species is 52 kg (115 lb). It is of minor importance to commercial fisheries and is also a game fish.

Although spearfish live in many oceans, they are not abundant anywhere, and rarely caught anywhere except Hawaii and the Mediterranean. Shortbill spearfish live in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Mediterranean spearfish live only in the Mediterranean. Roundscale spearfish live in the eastern Atlantic and the western Mediterranean, around Portugal and Spain, and closely resemble white marlin. Longbill spearfish live in the northwest, central and south Atlantic.

Spearfish are surface feeders, eating other small or medium fish and squid. They mature at two years old, and rarely live past three years old. The maximum age may be up to five years. Spearfish are not caught as gamefish in most parts of the world as their numbers are too low and being reduced by accidental bycatch. Most spearfish kill is incidental. They are caught by “sport” fisherman targeting other billfish, by commercial longliners fishing for tuna, and by troll fishers.

Featured in the top photo is Elaine and Johnny Vaughn from Huntington Beach, CA with Elaine’s Shortbill Spearfish caught here in Kona Hawaii

Featured in Lower photo is a prime species Shortbill Spearfish sucessfully released here in Kona Hawaii by First Mate Brett Lazenby aboard Fire Hatt.

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