Fastest Fish

The fastest fish in the world is the sailfish. It can reach a top speed of 110 km/h or 68 mph. By comparison, the marlin has a maximum speed of 80 km/h or 50 mph.

Sailfish Types and Location

The sailfish is found throughout tropical and temperate oceans. There are two types: the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific sailfish. They are similar in appearance, size and behavior. They belong to the Istiophorus genus. The Istiophorus genus is part of the Istiophoridae fish family.


The sailfish is a large species. The Indo-Pacific sailfish can reach a length of 9 feet (2.7 meters). The adult sailfish can weigh as much as 220 lbs (100 kg). The Atlantic sailfish is smaller. It has a maximum length of 8 feet (2.4 meters). The adult will weigh at least 130 lbs (60 kg).

Physical Characteristics

The fastest fish in the world has a long bill, similar to that of the swordfish. Its dorsal fin bears strong resemblance to a sail, hence the name. The fin goes back along the fish’s back.

However, the fin is typically folded by the side. The fin stands up when the fish gets excited or senses danger. When the fin is erect, it makes the sailfish look even larger. Therefore, it functions as a defense mechanism.


The sail is also used when the fish is hunting. The fish’s diet consists of squid and smaller fish. What the sail does is pack big clusters of prey into more management clusters. This makes it simpler for the sailfish to pick off its prey. As a rule, the sailfish hunts in packs.

Sailfish prefer swimming in the upper parts of the ocean to catch prey. However, some species have been spotted as deep as 200 meters (220 yards).

It has been observed that the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific sailfish’s habitat overlap. In fact, the overlap is to such an extent that some researchers think the two species are the same.

Commercial and Game Fish

Anglers love the sailfish because it presents a lot of challenges owing to its speed and power. The fish is also sought after as food. It can be served as sushi, sashimi or broiled. The sailfish can also be baked or broiled. The fish can also be smoked.

The fastest fish in the world is well known, but many aspects are still being studied. It is also possible that some specimens may reach higher speeds.

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