The blue marlin is placed in the genus Makaira. This name is derived from the Greek word machaira, meaning “a short sword or bent dagger”, and the Latin machaera, “sword”. The specific epithet nigricans is Latin for “becoming black”.
- Common Name: Blue Marlin
- Scientific Name: Makaira nigricans
- Type: Fish
- Diet: Carnivores
- Group Name: School
- Life Span: 27 years (females); 18 years (males)
- Size: Up to 14 ft
- Weight: Up to 1,985 lbs
Blue marlin are found year-round in tropical oceanic waters of the Atlantic. The range expands into temperate waters of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during the warmer months and contracts towards the Equator during colder months. Warm currents such as the Gulf Stream in the western Atlantic have a major influence on their seasonal distribution.
Once blue marlin reach maturity, they have few predators, with the most important probably being large pelagic sharks such as the shortfin mako and great white shark.
The blue marlin is under intense pressure from longline fishing. In the Caribbean region alone, Japanese and Cuban fishermen annually take over a thousand tons. All vessels within 200 mi of the U.S. coastline are required to release any billfish caught. However, the survival rate of released fish is low because of damage during capture.