We will conclude our series of Kona Fish facts with ten awesome broadbill swordfish facts! “When you fish with us at Ihu Nui, you will see and experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahimahi fish. We knew our readers might enjoy 10 amazing facts about each of these spectacular Kona fish that you’ll see with us at Ihu Nui. Today’s blog article is dedicated to the Black Marlin, which you will hopefully see (and possibly even catch) when you fish with us at Ihu Nui!”
Awesome Broadbill Swordfish Facts
1. The bill of the broadbill swordfish is longer compared to other billfishes. The body of a broadbill swordfish is fairly cylindrical. They have two dorsal fins, although the second is quite small. It’s also separated from the first dorsal fin and set far back on the body. The first dorsal fin is high and rigid. Likewise, there are two anal fins, although again the second is considerably smaller than the first. The broadbill swordfish has no pelvic fins. Another cool fact about the appearance of a Broadbill Swordfish is that upon reaching adulthood, the broadbill swordfish loses their teeth in their jaws! Another thing that is lost as a broadbill swordfish grows older are scales!
2. The broadbill swordfish lives all across the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans no matter the climate and is a fairly migratory species. However, they often stick to Hawaii (so you should be able to catch one). They also primarily live in ocean depths of 650 to 1,970 feet, though it’s been observed swimming even deeper than that! How they do that is explained in fact five.
3. Swordfish feed at the surface mostly but they also tend to go deeper sometimes more than 2,100 feet! They, however, feed mostly upon pelagic fishes, and occasionally squids and other cephalopods. At lower depths they feed upon demersal fishes. The sword of the sworfish is not used to spear fish, but is still apparently used in obtaining prey, as squid and cuttlefishes commonly exhibit slashes to the body when taken from swordfish stomachs. It has been found the majority of large fish prey that swordfish feeds on had been slashed, while small prey items had been consumed whole. Baby (or larval) swordfish feed on other fish larvae and juvenile swordfish eat squid, fishes, and pelagic crustaceans.
4. Broadbill swordfish aren’t exempt from being preyed upon. The Predators of adult swordfish include marine mammals such as killer whales. Also younger broadbill swordfish are eaten by a variety of sharks and other large predatory fish including some of the fish we have covered previously: blue marlin, black marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and mahi mahi.
5. One of the reasons swordfish can go so deep in the ocean is because they have an adaptation which allows for swimming in such cold water. This adaption is the presence of a large bundle of tissue which insulates and warms the brain! This helps prevent rapid cooling and damage to the brain as a result of extreme vertical movements, allowing the swordfish to go much deeper into the ocean to escape predators or catch new prey.
6. Swordfish reach sexual maturity at 5-6 years of age, with a maximum lifespan of at least 9 years. Also, typically female swordfish grow larger and live longer than their male counterparts.
7. The IGFA all tackle record for broadbill swordfish is 1182 lb. and was caught by Louis Marron in Chile.
8. The broadbill swordfish has several names that it’s called by in Hawaii. It has TWO Hawaii Market Names which are mekajiki, shutome. Its Hawaiian Name is A`u and the Japanese Name it’s sometimes called by here is Mekajiki.
9. The broadbill swordfish is actually the sole member of their scientific family which is known as Xiphiidae.
10. All Hawaii broadbill swordfish are line-caught. And most of the time it’s the longline boats that are fishing fairly far away from any Hawaiian islands that are making the majority of the catches. Broadbill swordfish are only sometimes caught in other ways such as handlines and trollers.
The broadbill swordfish is truly an awesome fish that you should learn more about when you come fishing with us out on the beautiful Pacific at Ihu Nui.
And that concludes our spotlight series on Kona fish! We hope you enjoyed learning about all the fish you might see when you come out on the Pacific Ocean with us. We’ll always tell you some cool facts when you come out with us, no matter what you’re interested in. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to learn more about deep sea fishing on the Ihu Nui & book your fishing trip!