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common name for a marine game and food fish, genus Istiophorus, belonging to the family Istiophoridae and related to the marlinmarlin,
common name for open-sea fish related to the sailfish (family Istiophoridae) and prized in sport fishing. The best known is the Atlantic blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, found in the Gulf Stream as far north as Long Island. It may reach 1,000 lb (454 kg) in weight.
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. It is named for its high, wide dorsal fin (or "sail"), colored deep blue with black spots. Like the marlin it has a pikelike upper jaw and small scales embedded in its skin. The average length is 6 ft (180 cm), though it may reach 10 ft (305 cm). The Pacific, or Indo-Pacific, sailfish (I. platypterus) grows to 100 lb (45 kg). The Atlantic sailfish, found north to Cape Cod in summer and sometimes classified as a separate species (I. albicans), averages 60 lb (27 kg) in weight. The dorsal fin is not normally erect while swimming but is raised when the sailfish is excited or threatened; it also is used to herd the small fish that the sailfish preys on. The bill is used to swat and confuse, stun, or injure prey. Sailfish are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Istiophoridae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Istiophorus platypterus,) a fish of the family Xi-phiidae of the order Perciformes. The sailfish reaches a length of 3.3 m and a weight of 100 kg. The upper jaw is spearlike, and the dorsal fin is high and resembles a sail. The ventral fins are long. When the sailfish moves rapidly, all the fins fold into special cavities. To make sharp turns, the fish raises it dorsal fin upright. The sailfish inhabits tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans. It is most commonly encountered in coastal waters and is an object of commercial and sport fishing. The sailfish feeds on other fishes and squid.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several large fishes of the genus Istiophorus characterized by a very large dorsal fin that is highest behind its middle.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any of several large scombroid game fishes of the genus Istiophorus, such as I. albicans (Atlantic sailfish), of warm and tropical seas: family Istiophoridae. They have an elongated upper jaw and a long sail-like dorsal fin
2. another name for basking shark
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, the outstanding options of Terraco have been adjusted in accordance with their terms and the Exchange Ratio such that 1,626,120 outstanding options of Sailfish have been reserved for exercise.
Analysts predict that Sailfish is going to face a tough challenge in a market dominated by smartphones running Android software or Apple's iOS.
Within the ETA, no blue marlin and only one sailfish descended below 200m while in the WNA 25% of the sailfish and 83% of blue marlin descended below 200m.
Known as the "Sailfish Run" the incredible natural spectacle was captured by Brazilian photographer Daniel Botelho.
The United States National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) manages the recreational billfish fishery with relatively large minimum sizes released to ensure that the majority of billfishes are released: 251 cm (99 in) lower jaw fork length (LJFL) for blue marlin (Makaira nigricans), 168 cm (66 in) LJFL for white marlin (Kajikia albida), and 152 cm (60 in) LJFL for sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus).
Mike had had charter boats on the coast for nearly two decades and was working at the Mississippi Convention and Visitors Bureau when he was approached about buying the Sailfish. Brandy owned a deli nearby.
With 70[degrees] temperatures and nearly completely calm water, ten of the disabled anglers caught sailfish. In addition to sailfish, others caught were cobia, mackerel, and dolphin fish.
For instance, blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, and sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus, extend to tropical and subtropical waters worldwide, while white marlin, Tetrapturus albidus, range throughout the Atlantic Ocean.
There's the club's own fishing boat for anglers who want to try for what's known locally as a Grand Slam: a blue marlin, a white marlin and a sailfish in a single day, not to mention tuna and wahoo (which the Clubhouse staff will cook for your dinner).
FPL Group Resources and affiliates of TNA will be equal owners of an LNG receiving terminal in the Bahamas and a marketing company based in Florida called Sailfish Natural Gas Company.