Blue Marlin

Makaira Mazara
Blue Marlin - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Makaira Mazara
Other names Indo-Pacific Blue Marlin
Size Up to 5 m (16 ft)
Weight Up to 900 kg (1,984 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Deep oceanic waters
Depth Range
Blue Marlin Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Blue Marlin are a migratory species preferring warmer tropical waters and can be found in depths down to 1000 m (3280 ft) hunting for food. Generally they are found in depths of 40m (131 ft) or less.
  • They are a apex predator using their bill to stun, injure or kill prey prior to swallowing them. Diet consists of baitfish, smaller tunas, squid & mackerel.
  • The lifespan of Blue Marlin are estimated to 18 years for males and 27 for female.
  • The female Blue Marline can grow up to 4 times the size of males.
  • Blue Marline like many other billfish can change its colour based on levels of stress or excitement.
  • They are a highly prized sports fish for anglers around the world.
  • Main predators of Marlin include sharks, larger predatory fish when they are younger & anglers.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Blue Marlin are a highly prized and targeted sports fish, known for their speed, strength, leaping ability and overall fight. They also have a significant commercial value being highly regarded in Japan for sashimi. The numbers of Blue Marlin are in decline leading to multiple conservation efforts driven by anglers through catch and release tagging efforts globally.

The Australian distribution of Blue Marlin circum-Australia, often found in offshore waters closer to the equator.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Istiophoriformes

Family: Istiophoridae

Genus: Makaira

Species: Makaira nigricans

Conservation Status

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Blue Marlin is currently categorised as “Vulnerable”(VU).

VC is a high risk category on the scale for risk with “Extinct”(EX) being the highest.

Fish Taste Quality

Blue Marlin are an average table fish – known more for catch & release fishing. Although highly popular in parts of Asia & the Caribbean.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Blue Marlin

Catch Difficulty: Difficult

Tackle: Artificial Rig, Large circle hook rigged on leader with/without sinker with a crimp sleeve

Bait: Lures, Squid, Slimy Mackerel, Bonito, Tuna

Technique: Cast bait/jig/lure near schooling fish, Trolling