The Fastest Moving Fish


Many sources list sailfish as the fastest fish in the ocean. These fish are definitely fast leapers and are likely one of the fastest fish at swimming short distances. The upper jaw of sailfish is modified into a long bill which is circular in cross section. This upper jaw is approximately twice the length of the lower jaw. Two dorsal and anal fins are present. 

The first dorsal fin is large, much taller than the width of the body. This large fin runs most of the length of the body, with the longest ray being the 20th. The first anal fin is set far back on the body. Second dorsal and anal fins approximately mirror one another in size and shape. Both are short and concave. The pectoral and pelvic fins are long with the pelvic fins almost twice as long and nearly reaching the origin of the first anal fin. The pelvic fins have one spine and multiple soft rays fused together. A pair of grooves run along the ventral side of the body, into which the pelvic fins can be depressed.


The caudal peduncle has double keels and caudal notchs on the upper and lower surfaces. The lateral line is readily visible. Body color is variable depending upon level of excitement. The body is dark blue dorsally and white with brown spots ventrally. About 20 bars, each consisting of many light blue dots, are present on each side. The fins are all generally blackish blue. The anal fin base is white. The first dorsal fin contains many small black dots, which are more common towards the anterior end of the fin.

Sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2–1.5 m (3 ft 11 in–4 ft 11 in) in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at middle depths on smaller pelagic forage fish and squid. The sail is normally kept folded down and to the side when swimming, but it may be raised when the sailfish feels threatened or excited, making the fish appear much larger than it actually is. This tactic has also been observed during feeding, when a group of sailfish use their sails to "herd" a school of fish or squid.


Sailfish take their name from the large dorsal fin that stretches almost the full length of their bodies. While their sail-like fins are impressive, as is the fight they're known for putting up when they encounter fishermen, the sailfish's real claim to fame is that it's the fastest swimmer in the ocean: these fish reach up to 68 miles per hour. Sailfish are abundant and not considered endangered or under any protections for conservation purposes

Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) have Maximum speed 110 km/hr (68 mph) They are found in the Indian and Pacific oceans and they have a distinctive sail-like dorsal fin that gives them their name. They have a long, sharp bill that they use for hunting and they feed on tuna, mackerel and other fish

They can swim 100 m in 4.8 sec. They can appear in a startling array of colours, from subdued browns and grays to vibrant purples and even silver. Their body colours are often highlighted by stripes of iridescent blue and silver dots. Sailfish can change their colours almost instantly a change controlled by their nervous system. The sailfish can rapidly turn its body light blue with yellowish stripes when excited, confusing its prey and making capture easier, while signalling its intentions to fellow sailfish.

Sailfish can grow to about 10 feet long. These slim fish can weigh up to about 128 pounds. Their most noticeable characteristics are their large first dorsal fin (which resembles a sail) and their upper jaw, which is long and spear-like. Sailfish have blue-gray backs and white undersides.


They are blue to gray in color with white underbellies. They get their name from their spectacular dorsal fin that stretches nearly the length of their body and is much higher than their bodies are thick.

They are members of the billfish family, and as such, have an upper jaw that juts out well beyond their lower jaw and forms a distinctive spear. They are found near the ocean surface usually far from land feeding on schools of smaller fish like sardines and anchovies, which they often shepherd with their sails, making them easy prey. They also feed on squid and octopus.


Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo 

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