Istiompax indica (Cuvier, 1832)
Black marlin
Black marlin,  Dol-lakak,  Dugho,  Malakay,  Malasugi,  Marlin,  Malasugue,  Tandalayang
Istiompax indica
photo by JJPhoto

Family:  Istiophoridae (Billfishes)
Max. size:  465 cm FL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 750 kg
Environment:  pelagic-oceanic; marine; depth range 0 - 915 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: tropical and subtropical waters, occasionally entering temperate waters. Stray individuals migrate into the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Cape of Good Hope, but the existence of Atlantic breeding stocks is unlikely. Highly migratory species.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 39-50; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 16-21. Body elongate and not very compressed; upper jaw produced into a robust but not very long beak; two dorsal fins, the height of the first less then the greatest body depth, becoming shorter posteriorly; pectoral fins falcate and rigid, with 19 to 20 rays; body densely covered with small, embedded scales with 1 or 2 sharp points; back dark blue; belly silvery white; membrane of first dorsal fin blue black, without spots; flanks without spots (Ref. 55763). Dark blue above, silvery white below; sometimes with light blue vertical stripes; 1st dorsal fin blackish to dark blue, other fins dark brown with tinges of dark blue in some specimens.
Biology:  Oceanic, usually found in surface waters above the thermocline, often near shore close to land masses, islands and coral reefs. Feed on fishes, squids, cuttlefishes, octopods, large decapod crustaceans and mostly on small tunas when abundant (Ref. 9668). The flesh is of good quality; marketed refrigerated or frozen and prepared as sashimi in Japan (Ref. 9308). Also Ref. 9692.
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 01 May 2021 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Commercially caught in the Sulu Sea.

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