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Family Istiophoridae


Istiophorus platypterus

South Kona, Hawaii, 35 feet

SAILFISH    a‘u lepe    Bashokajiki

Rarely seen by divers along steep dropoffs or hooked while trolling offshore in Hawaiian waters but abundant in Central America.  Easily identified by the large sail-like dorsal fin, when fully extended is nearly 1/3 as tall as the body length, with the tallest point roughly in the middle.  The sword-like bill is slashed left and right to maim prey so they can be swallowed with ease.  Attains length of about 11 feet and weight of 221 pounds.  Hawai‘i, the Indo-Pacific, and Tropical Eastern Pacific.