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    ALSO KNOWN AS:
    Broadbilled swordfish,
    Broadbill,
    Espada,
    Emperado


    LOCATION & HABITAT
    Swordfish are found around the world in tropical, temperate, and sometimes cold waters of the
    Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. North Atlantic swordfish are found in the Gulf Stream of the
    western North Atlantic Ocean, extending north into the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. North Atlantic
    swordfish are also found in the eastern Atlantic along the coast of Africa and Europe. North Atlantic
    swordfish annually migrate thousands of miles along the eastern seaboard of the United States
    and Canada and also in the eastern Atlantic along Africa and Europe. Swordfish live in surface to
    mid-water but feed throughout the water column. They move from spawning grounds in warm
    waters to feeding grounds in colder waters. The Gulf of Mexico is an important nursery area for
    North Atlantic swordfish.

    BIOLOGY
    Atlantic swordfish are one of the fastest and largest predators in the ocean. They have a
    streamlined body that allows them to swim at high speeds, up to 50 mph. They grow rapidly,
    reaching a maximum size of about 1,165 pounds (although the average size caught in the fishery is
    50-200 pounds).

    Females are able to reproduce between 4 and 5 years of age. Depending on their size, females
    can produce anywhere from 1 million to 29 million eggs. Swordfish spawn numerous times
    throughout the year in warm tropical and sub-tropical waters. In the western North Atlantic they
    spawn south of the Sargasso Sea and in the upper Caribbean from December to March and off the
    southeast coast of the United States from April through August.Swordfish can live to about 9 years.

    Swordfish feed on a variety of fish and invertebrates such as squid. They capture their prey by
    slashing their bill back and forth, stunning or injuring the prey in the process. They have developed
    unique characteristics, such as special eye muscles and a heat exchange system, that allow them
    to swim in deep cold water in search of prey. Swordfish feed at the top of the food chain and are
    rarely preyed upon by other animals. Sharks and larger predatory fishes sometimes eat juvenile
    swordfish.

    PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
    Swordfish have a long, flattened bill that looks like a sword, as their name implies. They have a
    stout, rounded body and large eyes. Their first dorsal (back) fin is tall and crescent shaped; the
    second is much smaller. Their anal fins (on their belly) are similar in shape to the dorsal fins but
    are smaller. They have a broad, crescent shaped tail. Their color is darkest on top, generally black
    or brown, and fades to a lighter color below.

    More about the Swordfish
    More about the Swordfish species
    Swordfish Fishery
    Swordfish - the Seafood






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