- 2 keels on either side of caudal peduncle
- First dorsal fin not sail-like and anterior part taller than maximum body depth
- Pelvic fins narrow and long, but not reaching to near anus
- Pectoral fins leaf shaped and flexible, able to be folded against body
- Second dorsal fin slightly posterior to second anal fin
- Flesh distinctively orange
- Lateral line mostly straight with a curve above base of pectoral fin (not always visible in fish >80 kg)
Upper surfaces bluish black, silver below; about 15–20 conspicuous bright blue vertical stripes, each consisting of narrow bands and/or dots. First dorsal fin bluish black, other fins usually dark brown. Colours fade after death and as condition is lost.
To 420 cm TL and up to 224.1 kg.1
Circumglobal in tropical and temperate waters.
Epi- and mesopelagic, oceanic. Recorded from surface to nearly 300 m depth. Inhabits cooler water than black marlin or blue marlin.
Highly migratory, mostly solitary, only forming small schools during spawning season. Feeds on a variety of fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Size at 50% maturity is estimated at 210 cm LJFL for females and 167 cm LJFL for males in the South-west Pacific.2 Maximum age estimates range from 6 to 12 years.3,4,5
Caught predominantly by longlining and set netting, but also by gill netting.