Xiphias gladius – Swordfish | The most famous Red Sea Fishes | Best Diving In Egypt
Feeding and life for the largest deep sea fish that divers and fishermen are looking for
The swordfish, also known as the broad-billed fish in some of its ranges, is a group of large predatory and migratory fish.
The swordfish is characterized by having a relatively long beak, as well as being somewhat flat in addition to being thick and pointed. This fish is also sometimes distinguished as a sporty fish and is almost famous in that store, and it is from the category of billfish, but despite that, it is difficult to obtain.
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Swordfish is characterized as a long and elongated fish, and its body is slightly rounded, and it can lose all its teeth and all its shells when it reaches sexual maturity.
This type of fish can be found widely distributed in the waters of both tropical and temperate oceans, where its range extends from the Atlantic Ocean through the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
It is also easy for you to find individuals of these fish present near the surface, that is, at medium depths that may sometimes reach about 550 meters, which is equivalent to (1,800 feet), but rarely observe individuals found exceptionally in larger necks, sometimes reaching nearly 2234 meters.
Swordfish reach a length of about 3 meters (10 feet), the maximum of those individuals observed so far is approximately 4.55 meters (14 ft 11 in) in length and can be estimated at approximately 650 kg (1,430 lb) in weight.
Category – Xiphias gladius
In fact, the swordfish or the broad-beaked fish was called by this name due to what it possesses and physically distinguishes it from the presence of a long beak that appears flat and pointed, meaning that it resembles a sword to a large extent.
The name of the fish, Xiphias gladius, is actually a Greek name meaning sword.
This makes this fish very similar to other billfish such as marlin, but when scientists did research and dissected a sample of both species, it was found that the physiology and internal anatomy are completely different, meaning that each of them belong to different families.
Description life Xiphias gladius
In fact, these Xiphias gladius fish are about 3 meters (10 feet) long, and this is the average of the samples that were studied, and the maximum that was spotted was about 4.55 meters (14 feet 11 inches) in length.
The swordfish weighed approximately 650 kg (1,430 lb) in weight.
The International Federation of Fishing Societies recorded limited samples of swordfish weighing approximately 536 kg (1,182 lb) from Chilean waters in 1953.
Females are larger than males in these fish, and swordfish found in the waters of the Pacific Ocean can reach a larger size than the same type of fish found in the northwest Atlantic and Mediterranean. They reach full sexual maturity at approximately 4-5 years of age. The maximum lifespan of swordfish was thought to be approximately 9 years at least.
Scientists were able to find the oldest individual of the swordfish, which is the largest among those individuals and is still living until now. It was monitored in a recent study. Its gender was female, and it was able to live up to the age of 16 years, and another monitored that lived up to 12 years.
Swordfish is an aquatic animal outside of heat. But like some types of sharks, it has special organs on its body located right next to their eyes whose purpose is to heat their eyes and brains.
Where temperatures were measured at approximately 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (18 to 27 degrees Fahrenheit) when the water temperature was measured from the top of the surface.
The heating of the eyes by those organs that they possess greatly improves their vision, and thus enhances their ability and the success of prey catching operations.
Of the approximately 25,000 species of fish, I find that only 22 of these fish have a heat preservation mechanism. These species include some specimens such as: swordfish, marlin, tuna, and some sharks.
behavior and environment
In fact, Xiphias gladius is a prevalent belief among people that the “sword” of these swordfish can be used as a spear in carob or fishing, but in fact it is a misleading belief.
Where it is expected and the vanguard for them to use their noses in order to injure the prey and thus make it easier for them to injure and catch the prey, to facilitate the hunting process.
The use of this spear can contribute to the ease of subduing the prey and can be used in case of any threat or danger against large sharks or predators.
The swordfish also depends in its daily life to a large extent, which is characterized by its great speed and its agility in the water, which greatly helps and facilitates it to hunt its prey.
So we can not deny now that it is one of the fastest fish, as its super speed that has been observed so far repeatedly reached almost 100 km/h (60 mph).
Also, swordfish does not prefer in its daily life to teach and teach fish of the same species. Most of the time you will find them swimming alone or in very large loose aggregations, with each fish approximately 10 meters (35 ft) separated from the neighboring swordfish.
You can often find swordfish basking on the surface of the water, ventilating the first dorsal fin.
The researchers believe that this is a beautiful sight to enjoy looking at, as is the spectacle of strong jumping that these species of fish are famous for doing from time to time.
This jumping activity, also sometimes called penetration, is an extra effort that these fish take to get rid of pests, such as remora or lampreys.
In fact, swordfish like to survive in water temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius (64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit).
It is also, however, considered the most flexible species, especially with regard to temperatures among the billfish, where despite its preferences, you can find it at temperatures from 5 to 27 degrees Celsius (41 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit).
Also, the swordfish, which are known to be highly migratory, like to always go to the cooler regions in order to obtain adequate food during the summer months. Swordfish also like to feed on their prey at night, when the temperature rises in the surface waters and near the surface in an attempt to search for fish. The presence of individuals of small fish.
During the day, these fish reach great depths, sometimes as close to 550 meters (1,800 feet; 300 fathoms), but some individuals have been recorded individually at much greater depths, sometimes reaching 2878 meters (9442 feet; 1574 fathoms).
The adults of these fish feed on a wide variety of surface fish, such as mackerel and barracuda, in addition to sometimes feeding on silver hake, or rockfish, and found in the stomach of one of them by herring and lantern fish, but this does not prevent that they They may feed on demersal fish, squid and crustaceans if necessary.
Where a recent study conducted in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean on a large number of swordfish filtered the stomachs of 168 of them, this study proved that approximately 82% of them ate squid throughout their lives and 53% ate small fish, including species Different of them like thickness:
- Sand lance.
They usually resort to cutting large prey with a sword, while small fish are swallowed whole
Threats and parasites – Xiphias gladius
Nearly 50 species of different types of parasites have been discovered in swordfish.
In addition to a major threat to those species of sharks, lamprey fish.
They can also grow on and within a wide variety of invertebrate species, such as having tapeworms, or even those known as roundworms, and Myxozoa, copepods.
In fact, due to the physical structure of the swordfish we can say that in its history it possessed few meat from natural predators.
But among different species of marine mammals, killer whales may occasionally attack and prey on adult swordfish.
Like the mako fish, which is characterized by its short fins, it is the fastest and fiercest type of shark, and it can sometimes catch swordfish; But a few times, aquatic animals of the Mako shark family were found dead and dead or some species of them dying, with the remains of swords cut in their heads that belonged to the swordfish, and this of course indicates the extent of the danger of this type of prey.
The younger, younger generation of swordfish is also more susceptible to predation as a result of which a large group of predatory fish prey on them ferociously.
The world’s largest and giant fisheries may put swordfish and sharks into fierce competition due to the provision of very little prey, thus pushing these two fierce species into a fierce battle for food.
reproduction – Xiphias gladius
Spawning occurs in batches and is significantly more successful in warmer waters around 24°C (75°F) during spring and summer, and spawning can occur year-round in the waters of the tropical Pacific. .
Large females of swordfish or Xiphias gladius can also lay eggs in greater numbers than small females, as so far it has been recorded from approximately one million to 29 million eggs laid by large females in size and age.
Newborn young, or bordered swordfish larvae that often live near the surface and have a unique appearance, are approximately 4 mm (5-32 in) long at hatching. Their beak or swordfish is conspicuous when they reach length Larvae are approximately 1 cm (3⁄8 in) long.
In fact, large groups of swordfish were harvested using a variety of methods that were applied on a small scale of fish (particularly those known as spearfishing) until the global catch of swordfish was reached by methods dedicated to it only, especially those that depend on it. On longline fishing.
Where swordfish has been fishing on a large scale since ancient times in many famous places such as the Strait of Messina, but still, despite all the different methods of fishing that have been invented, it is caught using very old wooden boats called flocas as They constitute the most important food of seafood in that region mentioned.
Swordfish is considered one of the fish that is characterized by being warriors, strong fighters and active.
However, so far, no unprovoked attacks have been reported from them on any groups of people, but swordfish can sometimes become very dangerous if attacked or caught.
Where they start running their swords on any kind of wooden boards made of small boats in which fishermen try to attack them, meaning that they do not show that ferocity until they are hurt. In 2015, a Hawaiian fisherman was killed by a member of the swordfish family after trying to stab the fish with a spear.
Recreational fishing – Xiphias gladius
Did you know that as a result of the wide popularity of the swordfish, a new type of recreational fishing has been developed, specializing only in their fishing, rightly as swordfishing.
Also, as a result of a ban on all longliners along many parts of the seashore, researchers found that communities of swordfish appearing to show signs of recovery as a result of the overfishing that was occurring as a natural consequence of the longliners along the coast.
Fishermen use very different methods in order to catch swordfish, but the most common method that fishermen rely on is to experience deep fishing, as swordfish people like to spend most of the daytime in the depths of the water, especially in the deep dissipation layer.
The boat is also sometimes allowed to drift for the great purpose of providing a more natural bait that facilitates fishing operations.
Swordfish fishing requires the use of all but strong fishing rods and reels, since swordfish are very large, so it is normal to use 2.5 kg (5 lb) or more so that you can supply the baits that are lowered to the swordfish very deeply during During the day, they are descended at depths of up to 460 meters (1,500 feet) which is common.
Normally the night fishing lures are placed less deeply than the daytime ones, and this small depth is often less than 90 meters (300 feet, 50 fathoms).
The favorite bait for these fish is fish
- Whole mackerel
- and herring,
- mullet fish
- The bonito
- The squid.
Fishermen also sometimes prefer to use live bait. Mimic squid or any other imitation bait can also be used to catch swordfish, and specialized tools designed specifically for swordfish fishing are often limited to battery-powered lamps that glow underwater incandescent lights, and have a large capacity Water resistant at the rear.
Swordfish comes under the category of oily fish. Many societies, especially those known to the US Food and Drug Administration, also warn of the potential toxicity risk that swordfish may cause due to the presence of high levels of a gas known as methylmercury inside the body of swordfish. Therefore, the US Food and Drug Administration recommends that young children, pregnant women, and women, especially those of childbearing age, abstain and ban any, even small pieces of swordfish.
As the flesh of some individuals of swordfish can contain something resembling an orange hue, they are said to have acquired it from their diet which relies heavily on both shrimp or other prey. Those fish that have acquired the orange hue are also sold as “squash swordfish” and are sold more widely and more expensively until they outperformed the same type, but which is still white.
In fact, swordfish is a popular fish that has a wide reputation in the carpentry world, especially for cooking.
Due to the large size of swordfish, you would usually find it sold in the market in the form of steaks from it that are often grilled or fried.
Swordfish meat is considered a solid fish, and it is easy to cook in many ways, but it can not be cooked like other types of fish that are more fragile, that is, it is not solid (such as grilling on skewers).
The color of the flesh of the swordfish varies depending on the diet it was accustomed to, where you find individuals of fish obtained or caught on the east coast of North America is a wonderful pink color.
In fact, many years ago, especially in 1998, the Natural Resources Defense Council in the United States had hired a company known at the time as Fenton Communications, but the purpose was to try to create an advertising campaign whose purpose was to promote the knowledge of people that swordfish are endangered, especially after It has grown in popularity as a food in many countries.
This promotion was titled “Give Swordfish a Break” and it was a huge success, as nearly 750 American chefs who were at the time so famous and so they stopped cooking it completely, acknowledged and announced that they had removed North Atlantic swordfish from Their menus in their restaurants, and the exciting response from supermarkets and even individual consumers across the country have also convinced them to stop using it in food.
Also, the performance of that advertising campaign was repeated by the national media, and hundreds and thousands of printed and audio stories were created, in addition to doing regional coverage that had a reputation and a wide scope and spread very much.
Also, in 2010, Greenpeace International announced that it had added swordfish to its red list of types of seafood.
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