This startling clip illustrates perfectly the dangers of landing a swordfish. This fish has hurled itself onto a small boat and thrashed around on the deck, causing absolute chaos. It sends men scattering overboard as well as equipment! We hope that everybody was safe after this violent encounter.
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What Exactly Are Swordfish?
The scientific name for swordfish is Xiphias gladius, and they are a member of the Xiphiidae family of fish. They get their name from their long, sword-shaped bill, and you may also see them called broadbills. These are some of the most recognizable fish in the world and weigh between 150 and 250 pounds. They can grow up to 15 feet long, but most are around 10 feet long. The scientific name for their ‘sword’ is rostrum. This takes up about a third of their body length and has a rough surface. It’s used as a weapon but also very useful for navigation and creates a slipstream that helps the fish cut through the water efficiently. Thanks to their bill, swordfish can swim up to 60 miles an hour, making them one of the fastest fish on the planet.
What Do Swordfish Normally Eat?
Swordfish are near the top of the food chain and will eat anything they can catch! They typically hunt at night and close to the surface and will target mackerel, herring, and lanternfish, to name just a few. However, they are also happy to eat squid and crustaceans. They do not pierce their prey using their ‘sword’ when they hunt. Instead, they slash at it, stunning it before they swallow the prey hole. They cannot chew because they do not have any teeth!
Can You Eat Swordfish?
Yes, swordfish are eaten by humans, but their popularity has declined recently. This has primarily been down to conservation campaigns, which have restricted where and how often you can catch them. Their flesh resembles meat and is typically served as a swordfish steak. It cooks well on grills and skewers because the meat can retain its texture even when thoroughly cooked. Swordfish can also be used in stews or baked in the oven. Most people think that it has a mild and slightly sweet taste. We don’t know if this swordfish ended up as a meal or if it made its way back into the ocean!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/bbevren
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