Home ] Patron.htm ] Mission.htm ] History.htm ] Enrollment.htm ]



National Symbols


The Commonwealth of The Bahamas


The data below are from a collection of sources, some of the composers, designers, and publishers etc have been forgotten and or not recorded properly.  Therefore, my apology to any person and or "entity" etc who / which are not properly acknowledged for the appropriate design, composition, and or published data below. 


The National Fish

Texts below are clipped from:

http://webserv.bahamaseducation.com/index.html on 11 Nov 2003.



via ESPN and Peter - see texts below

Blue Marlin
(Teraturus Augstirostris)

"The Blue Marlin is the National Fish of the Bahamas and the pride of the Bahamian Fishing Banks. It is awe-inspiring when hooked and one of the main tourist attractions on the island of Bimini. The heaviest recorded Marlin caught off Bimini for a 130 pound line is 742 pounds. For a long time most fishermen thought that the eastern edge of the gulf stream off Bimini, Cat Cay, Grand Bahama and Walker's Cay was the only area in Bahamian waters where Blue Marlins abound. "


"However, they have been recently caught in the Tongue of the Ocean off Andros Town, in the northwest Providence Channel beside Chub Cay in the Berry Islands, off Abaco, near Harbour Island and off the coast of the lower side of Eleuthera.

In beauty and flight, the Big Blue Marlin is the ace of all game fish. It takes skill, strength and the right equipment to hook and boat them. The peak season is June through August. This beautiful fish can be seen on the Bahamas’ National Coat of Arms, the back of the one hundred dollar note as well as on the ten cent coin."


Texts below are clipped from:

http://www.wetings.com/home.htm on 11 Nov 2003.


"The blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) is the majestic fish that is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with reports of the largest sizes found in the latter. However, many persons first encounter the fish in Ernest Hemingway's book "Old Man and the Sea." Mr. Hemingway was a frequent visitor to The Bahamas, especially the island of Bimini, where the blue marlin is highly prized among the strong game-fishing community."


"The blue marlin, a relative of the sailfish and swordfish, is easily recognizable for the long "sword" or spike of its upper jaw, its high and pointed dorsal fin, and pointed anal fin. It is said that the fish uses its "sword" to club other fish on which it feeds."


"The marlin's back is cobalt blue and its flanks and underbelly are silvery white. There may be light-blue or lavender vertical stripes on the sides as well.

A powerful and aggressive fighter, the blue marlin can run hard and long, sound or dive deep, and leap high into the air in a display of strength."



Texts below are clipped from:

http://www.westhoek.demon.nl/ on 11 Nov 2003.


Atlantic Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans) and Indo-Pacific Blue Marlin (Makaira Mazara)


RANGE: Atlantic: Puerto Rico, Bimini, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Azores, Cape Verde, Canary Islands. Indo-Pacific: Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Guam, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, East Africa, Mozambique.

HABITAT: A free-roamer that is best fished where bait is most plentiful ­­- along weed lines; around schools of small tuna and other pelagic baitfishes; in areas where seamounts or other sub-surface structure creates up wellings and current; sharp bottom contours; temperature changes.

DESCRIPTION: Coloration varies a great deal. Most common phase is dark blue, almost black on the dorsal surface, shading to whitish. Usually, several vertical stripes are noticeable. Early in the 20th century, these variations led anglers to believe several species were involved. Science eventually determined that the Black and Striped Marlins are strictly Pacific species and that a Silver Marlin is non-existent. The Blue, however, is found in both hemispheres. The feature that distinguishes the Blue from others is the pointed dorsal fin that curves sharply downward. The anal fin and pectoral fins also are pointed.

SIZE: From about 150 pounds to over 1000 pounds (a so called Grander). World record 1,402 pounds.

FOOD VALUE: Good, but normally released by sportsmen; protected from sale in North Atlantic.

GAME QUALITIES: Best of all for speed, power and spectecular jumping ability. The big ones can spool the reel at the first run.

TACKLE AND BAITS: While many Blues have been caught on lighter outfits, the standard is a good balanced ocean trolling outfit in the 50-pound or even 80-pound line class. Marlin baits fall into three categories: 1. Artificial trolling  lures; 2. Live, fairly large baitfish, such as school Dolphin or Bonito; and 3. Rigged natural baits, such as Mullet, Mackerel, Bonito, Barracuda, extra-large Ballyhoo ("Horse Ballyhoo"). Lures are used most often, because they allow more ocean to be covered. In somewhat limited areas, such as along weedlines or around seamounts and other well-established grounds, live bait is usually preferred. Baitcasting when a Marlin has been spotted or just playing with the lures.

FISHING SYSTEMS: Trolling; sometimes Drifting. ................."


Texts below are clipped from:

ESPN Outdoors (maybe "Outdoors-espn.go.com")

Blue Marlin: Makaira Nigricans

Other Names
Atlantic blue marlin, Pacific blue marlin, Cuban black marlin

A blue marlin has retractable fins that can be folded flat against the body even after death. The dorsal fin stands high (although it is not as tall as the fish's body-depth) and is pointed anteriorly, rather than curved. It has a large anal fin and lavender stripes that appear when excited but fade after death. The lateral line is not visible in adults without removing scales. The back is dark blue and the belly is a silver/white.

Typical Habitat
Like the black marlin, blues are known wanderers with little scientific history. They are a highly migratory, pelagic species that can be found between 48 degrees South to 48 degrees North. They roam deep waters and congregate near baitfish-producing bottom structures such as continental shelves, canyons and reefs.

Feeding Habits
Blues are voracious and not very selective eaters. They will consume most any baitfish presented to them but their preferences are mackerel, squid, dolphin, and tuna.

Age and Growth
It is difficult to find a blue marlin over 10 years old, however they are believed to live up to 15 years. Like black marlin, the largest blues will always be females. Males rarely grow above 300 pounds. A commercially-caught blue marlin weighed about 2,200 pounds.

Sporting Qualities
Like the black marlin, the blue's enormous size and legendary fighting ability make it one of the most highly-targeted gamefish in the world. Anglers commonly troll natural baits such as mackerel, tuna, bonito, ballyhoo and dolphin in hopes of enticing one of these giants. Brightly colored lures and teasers are also commonly used. Blue marlin anglers will look for temperature breaks in the water and follow large concentrations of baitfish.

Food Quality
Blue marlin flesh is highly prized by the Orient's sushi and fish sausage market. Conversely, these fish are rarely eaten in the United States. Many anglers tag and release their catch after capture.

World Record
1402 lbs. 2 ounces Vitoria, Brazil (Atlantic blue) and 1376 lbs. Kona, Hawaii (Pacific blue)

Preferred Temps
70 to 86



Texts and images below are clipped from:




Order: Perciformes
Family: Istiophoridae
Genus: Makaira
Species: Nigricans



The blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, was first described by Lacepede in 1802. The taxonomic status of the blue marlin is a matter of some debate. Certain authors consider the blue marlin a species with a worldwide distribution in tropical and warm-temperate waters, while other authors consider the blue marlin of the Pacific and Indian oceans a distinct species, Makaira mazara, a conclusion based largely on differences in lateral line structure. Other names which have previously been used for the blue marlin include Tetrapturus herschelii Gray 1838, Histiophorus herschelii Gray 1838, Tetrapturus amplus Poey 1860, Tetrapturus herschelii Gray 1838, Makaira bermudae Mowbray 1931, Makaira nigricans ampla Poey 1860, Makaira ampla ampla Poey 1860, Makaira perezi Buen 1950, and Orthocraeros bermudae Mowbray 1931.

Common Names

English language common names include blue marlin, Atlantic blue marlin, billfish, cuban black marlin, marlin, ocean gar, and ocean guard. European common names include abanico (Spanish), aguja (Spanish), castero (Spanish), prieta (Spanish), voladora (Spanish), blauer marlin (German), espadarte-sombra (Portuguese), espadon (French) and makaire bleu (French). In Japan this fish is often referred to as nishikuro and in Africa the common names of the blue marlin include blou marlyn and sulisuli.

Geographical Distribution

The blue marlin is found primarily in the temperate and tropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean. Based on commercial fishing observations, the blue marlin occurs from about 44° N to 30°S.

World distribution map for the blue marlin



Occurring offshore in blue oceanic waters, the blue marlin prefers to stay in the warm waters near the surface, above the thermocline. They follow the seasonal water temperature changes, being closely tied to these warm waters. They are found in ocean waters great distances from the continents as well as coastal regions near deep waters, such as near the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico.


· Distinctive Features

The blue marlin is the largest billfish. The upper jaw forms a large bill. The body is cylindrical from anal fin forward. Two dorsal fins are present; the first dorsal fin is high and slopes steeply posteriorly, while the second is small. The caudal peduncle has keels. The lateral line forms a large net-like pattern of hexagons canvasing the sides of the fish. The pelvic fins are slender. The lateral keels on the caudal peduncle assist in making this fish a powerful swimmer of great speed and stamina. Grooves for the pelvic fins improve hydrodynamics.


· Coloration

The body is dark blue dorsally, shading to a silvery white ventrally. On the body there are 15 vertical rows of blue spots on the side, on a background of blue to silvery white.


Bringing in a black marlin (Makaira indica),
a close relative of the blue marlin

courtesy NOAA

·Size, Age, and Growth

The blue marlin can reach a length of 14 feet (4.3 m) and a weight of one ton (910 kg). Females are generally much larger than males. IGFA lists separate records for Atlantic and Pacific blue marlin. The all-tackle record for the Atlantic is 1402 lb 2 oz (636 kg); the all-tackle record for the Pacific is 1376 lb (624.14 kg).




· Food Habits

Primarily near-surface pelagic fishes such as mackerels, tunas, and dolphin fishes are preyed upon by the blue marlin. Squids, and the occasional deep sea fish have been noted in the stomachs of blue marlin. Considerable disagreement among researchers exists over whether or not the bill is used during feeding. It is believed by some to be used to stun prey with a swift lateral strike or strikes. The blue marlin is capable of consuming prey of relatively large proportions. Blue marlin are not known to feed at night.

· Reproduction

Spawning is known to occur near Cuba between May and November. Egg hatching is dependent upon temperature, but likely occurs well within a week. A single spawning produces millions of eggs each 1 mm in diameter, opaque white or yellow in color. Larvae are blue-black on the sides and dorsal surface, white ventrally. The caudal peduncle and caudal fin are clear. The head has two iridescent blue patches. Some individuals have darker spots along the back. The first dorsal fin in juveniles is very large and concave, gradually reducing in proportion to body size as growth continues.


· Predators

Predators of the blue marlin include the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrhinchus). The cookie-cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis) has also been known to take bites out of the flesh of marlins.


· Parasites

Tristomella laevis, a monogean trematode, and Penella makaira, a copepod, are two known parasites of the blue marlin.

Importance to Humans

The blue marlin is an important game fish. Blue marlin are greatly coveted by sportsfishers and trophy hunters. The presence of this species in the waters offshore of a number of developing countries provides important economic benefit to such areas. The blue marlin's flesh is served raw and is a popular sushi fish in Japan, and is popular table fare in some Pacific islands such as Hawaii.


This species has been under intense fishing pressure in recent years from longline fishing. The Japanese and Cubans harvest over a thousand tons of blue marlin annually from the Caribbean region alone. Within 200 miles of the U.S. coastline, vessels are required to release all billfish captured, although survival rate is low due to death or damage during capture by these vessels. The blue marlin is currently not listed as a threatened species with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Prepared by:

Susie Gardieff  ....................."




C. I. Gibson Senior High School, Marathon Estates, Marathon Road, Nassau, N. P., Bahamas

  Voice 1: (242) 393-0743; Voice 2: (242) 393-3623; Fax: (242) 393-3534

© 2004-2013


Site designed by Adrian S. Johnson