Swordfish Facts & Overview:
Key Swordfish Facts: Swordfish, also known as broadbill in some countries and named for its bill resembling a sword, are large, highly migratory, highly elusive and predatory fish.
They are elongated with large eyes, round-bodied, and lose all teeth and scales by adulthood. The first dorsal fin is tall and crescent-shaped while the second dorsal fin is small, both soft-rayed. Swordfish have no ventral fins and their tails are broad and crescent-shaped. The dorsal side can range from dark brown to grayish-blue while their undersides are silvery white.
These fish can live close to shore, but are not schooling fish. They feed daily, most often at night when they rise to surface and near-surface waters in search of smaller fish. They have been observed moving through schools of fish, thrashing their swords to kill or stun their prey and then quickly turning to consume their catch. In the western North Atlantic, squid is the most popular food item consumed. But fish, such as menhaden, mackerel, bluefish, silver hake, butterfish, and herring also contribute to the swordfish diet.
Though easily frightened by small boats, boaters report identifying swordfish when their dorsal fins surface. Swordfish are vigorous, powerful fighters and known for their jumping ability. Females generally grow larger than the males, yet mature one to two years later than males do.
Swordfish are typically found at depths of between 180 to 580 meters in temperate and tropical waters.
Oceanic regions worldwide, including the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. New England waters in summer/fall and Gulf Stream waters June through October. Spawning occurs off the coasts of Florida and the Caribbean.