About the life of a swordfish in the Medditerrean - Research Paper Example

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Due to its sword-like bill it has earned for itself the name, Xiphias gladius (Wikipedia), from the Latin word gladius, which means sword. It has a life span of about nine years, with the female’s life span always a year or two longer than the male,…
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Research paper about the life of a swordfish in the Medditerrean
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One of the truly magnificent and fascinating sea animals is the swordfish or the broadbill – with a jumping ability and agility, specially at the water-surface, it has never ceased to impress
boaters and anglers alike. Due to its sword-like bill it has earned for itself the name, Xiphias gladius (Wikipedia), from the Latin word gladius, which means sword. It has a life span of about nine years, with the female’s life span always a year or two longer than the male, can grow to as long as almost 15 feet and can weigh as much as 650 kg (1, 400 lb). The female swordfish also matures faster and weighs heavier than the male.
Though the swordfish is cold-blooded, it prefers near the water surface where the temperature is above 15°C (Schwartz). Due to feeding and reproductive needs, it moves from one environment to another. It uses its jumping skill to stun targeted preys such as the barracuda, the flying fish, small tuna and the squid. It usually hunts its food at night. It also uses its sword-like snout to injure or kill preys and, if needed, to defend itself. While the greatest known predator of the swordfish is the shortfin mako shark, there are also the killer whale or the orca, larger sharks and the sperm whale.
A very powerful fish, which can defend itself well against predators, the swordfish always keeps distance from its own kind and, though very agile, it has become a favorite catch among fish catchers. It also distances itself from small boats, though it has become an easy harpoon target to bigger ones and, though there has never been any news of attacks to humans, it remains to be a dangerous fish due to its pointed snout.
Until the use of fishnets in catching the swordfish, as well as other fish, there has been a great decrease in its number. In fact, in 1999, a restaurant owner wrote to urge her peers to stop or put a strict control over the serving of this healthy and delicious fish meat. She claimed that in the North Atlantic alone, “ nearly 2/3 of swordfish caught . . . are too young to breed, . . . the average size . . . is just 90 pounds, . . .” and the “North Atlantic swordfish are now at the lowest levels ever recorded (Pouillon).
Up until now, the swordfish is a favourite cuisine across the East Coast of the United States. This popular fish can be served in a variety of ways. Its meat, which is more tough than other fish, is usually grilled and served as steak. At present, the swordfish is no longer included in the list of endangered species.
Works Cited
Schwartz, Malia et al. “Swordfish”. Fact Sheet. Rhode Island Sea Grant.
. (June 1, 2011).
Pouillon, Nora. “Give Swordfish a Break Campaign.” January 15, 1999.
(June 1, 2011).
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. “Swordfish.” . (June 1, 2011) Read More
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