Striped Marlin, or Nairagi in Japanese, can be distinguished from its cousin, the blue marlin, by its distinct blue bands across the width of its body. It is also lighter and has a more slender bill. Marlins are a highly migratory fish living at the top of the food chain in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is a member of a larger family known as billfish, which get their name from their upper jaw that extends to form a spear. Because of its immense size, marlin is prized as a sports fish.
Striped marlin have distinctive stripes on their back, a slender bill and a lighter blue color compared to the blue marlin. Its flesh ranges from light pink or orange-red and has a lacquered look because of its high oil content. Marlin is marketed in a variety of forms including high quality sushi and sashimi.
Marlin are highly migratory and, therefore, not a lot is known about their spawning periods and behaviors. However, they are highly fecund producing up to 500,000 eggs in a single spawning event. They can live up to 20 years. In the Pacific, adult marlin are found in the north and south-central Pacific. They spawn in the central Pacific and central Mexico. They favor water temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees Celcius and spend most of their time near the surface of the water. Marlin are solitary fishes and are known to make regular seasonal migrations, moving toward the equator in winter and away in summer. They feed on epipelagic fishes including mackerel, sardines and anchovies. They will also feed on squid and small crustaceans when given the chance. Marlin use their large bills to stun their prey by thrash through schools of fish.
This fishery uses a longline to catch a variety of pelagic fish on the high seas such as tuna and swordfish. A deep-set longline is used to primarily target tuna and a shallow-set longline is used to target swordfish or mixed species including bigeye, Albacore and yellowfin tuna. Baited hooks are attached to a line that floats in the ocean using buoys and flagpoles.
This fishery uses a variety of artisanal hook-and-line methods to catch coastal pelagic fish such as tuna, marlin, swordfish, mahi mahi, wahoo (ono) and others. A pole and line with live bait scattered into the water is used to catch feeding skipjack tuna. Trolling with lures and lines, and handlines with lures, lines and bait bags are used to target larger fish such as bigeye tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi and wahoo.