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Broadbill Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Photographs and Information

Broadbill swordfish are blackish-brown on the upper body, fading to light brown on the belly, deep azure blue to bright metallic purple on the back when alive.  The eyes are very large and black.  Their fins are brown or blackish-brown.  Their upper jaw extends into a long bill which has a flattened oval cross section. The bill is approximately one third of the fish's total length.  Adults have no teeth or scales and they have a large keel on each side of the body in front of the tail  The dorsal fins are broadly separated and there are no pelvic fins.

The Broadbill Swordfish grows to over 4.5 metres and over 600kg.

Broadbill swordfish are oceanic fish distributed through tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans between 45N and 45S.  They inhabit all Australian waters beyond the edge of the continental shelf.

Broadbill swordfish tolerate a broad range of water temperatures from 5-27C, but normally inhabit waters with surface temperatures greater than 13C.

The distribution of larval broadbill swordfish in the Pacific Ocean indicates that spawning occurs mainly in waters with a temperature of 24C or more.  Spawning appears to occur in all seasons in equatorial waters, but is restricted to spring and summer at higher latitudes.  In Australian waters larvae are common in spring in the Coral Sea.  Broadbill swordfish with mature ovaries have also been caught in this area in October.

It is a highly prized commercial food fish with pink flesh,  and an exciting, challenging sport fish.

Habitat: Saltwater.  Inhabit the open ocean, usually offshore.

Swordfish are caught mainly in winter.

Broadbill Swordfish (Xiphias gladius)
French: Espadon
German: Schwertfisch
Italian: Pesce Spada
Spanish: Pez Espada
Japanese: Mekajiki
Hawaii names: A`u ku; A`u
Sri Lanka: Sappara

Did you know?
Broadbill Swordfish possess acute eyesight, with which they can locate prey, and their flesh consists primarily of white muscle which provides energy for sudden bursts of activity, such as when in pursuit of their quarry.

Broadbill Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Photo

Map showing areas in Australian waters where Broadbill Swordfish are found.



Did you know?
Female swordfish are thought to reach maturity at around 150 centimetres; whereas males are thought to mature at much smaller sizes, perhaps at around 100 centimetres

Scientific Name Xiphias gladius
Location Qld, NSW, Vic, Tas, SA, WA
Season All year round
Size To over 4.5 metres and over 600kg
Australian Species Code 37 442001
Taste, Texture medium taste, firm texture.  Highly prized.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Swordfish fillet.

Kilojoules 512 (122 Calories)
Cholesterol 180 mg
Sodium 102 mg
Total fat (oil) 7.7 g
Saturated fat 33% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 37% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 30% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 371 mg
Omega-3, DHA 541 mg
Omega-6, AA 423 mg

Fishing for Broadbill Swordfish:

Broadbill swordfish are rarely taken on rod and reel in Australia.  It is slightly more common in New Zealand, but still and extremely noteworthy and prestigious catch. The best method for taking broadbill in Australia, appears to involve the use of whole, fresh squid and chemical light sticks fished 40-100 metres (20-50 fathoms) below the surface far offshore at night.

Cooking Broadbill Swordfish:

Swordfish - High fat, Low moisture, medium to firm texture. Swordfish is often described as the most meat-like of all fishes. The steaks have very high oil content, with a dense, meaty texture and a slightly sweet taste. The flavour is not overpowering, allowing for stronger flavours to be used in its preparation. An interesting way to prepare swordfish is to poach steaks in a strong fish stock, infused with olives. Dress with dried red capsicum, dried tomatoes, olives and oven-roasted garlic, and serve on a bed of angel hair pasta with a mash of salsify. Swordfish is also suited to grilling, frying and baking.


Commercial Fishing for Broadbill Swordfish:

Swordfish are also known as Broadbills. Swordfish have no pelvic fins. There is one keel on each side of their caudal peduncle. The two dorsal fins are widely separated in adults but continuous in juveniles. There are no scales on the body of adult Swordfish. They have a long, flattened bill. Swordfish are too large for filleting and are instead usually sold as steaks or cutlets. Their flesh is pale to pinkish and the texture of the flesh is comparatively fine. Caught by tuna longliners but can be targeted by using light sticks attached to squid bait.

Buyers and sellers of Broadbill Swordfish are listed.

More links about Broadbill Swordfish

Billfish, including sailfish, swordfish and marlin, are among the most sought-after gamefish on the planet. Exceedingly beautiful and athletic, the largest of these species can reach lengths over 16 feet, and weights of nearly 2,000 pounds. Despite their popularity among sport anglers, however, much remains to be learned about the basic biology of these fishes. Tagging information.






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