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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Atlantic Sailfish Istiophorus albicans

Like swordfish and marlin, the Atlantic sailfish has its upper jaw extended into a long spear. This is used to slash through shoals of fish, stunning and maiming them. It has a huge sail-like dorsal fin, which is used in displays, but is folded away for fast swimming. A similar sailfish occurs in the Pacific and may be the same species.

Atlantic Sailfish habitat mapzoom image
  • Order Perciformes
  • Length Up to 10 ft (3.2 m)
  • Weight Up to 130 lb (60 kg)
  • Depth 0–650 ft (0–200 m)
  • Distribution Temperate and tropical waters of Atlantic and Mediterranean