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Difference Between Swordfish and Marlin

Swordfish vs Marlin

Almost everybody loves eating fish, and so do I. If you are the type of person who just eats whatever is served on his plate like me, probably you won’t even ask what it is or what type of food you’re eating. For me, as long as the food tastes good, it doesn’t matter whatever it is. I don’t care if the food I’m eating is one of the weirdest foods people have been eating all over the world. Actually, I don’t have a habit of asking “What fish is this?” As long as they have fins and scales, they are the same fish species. Can you spot the difference between a swordfish and a marlin? At first glance, it is hard to differentiate both fishes especially when you are not an expert on fish or even when they are cooked! Yeah, you cannot recognize them when they are already cooked since they are sliced by the chefs. Read on and discover the differences between both fish when they are still alive.

Both fish are members of the billfish family. Their wonderful family also includes the sailfish. But our stars, or rather fish for the day, are the swordfish and the marlin. Let us talk about the swordfish first. It is a large, marine fish typically found in the tropical or temperate parts of the ocean. It has an elongated, rounded body. Its average length can grow up to 7 feet to 15 feet. The sword almost takes up one-third of the fish’s length. Its average weight is 68 to 113 kilograms, but it can weigh up to 450 kilograms. Large, isn’t it? A swordfish is also termed as a broadbill since it has a flat bill or sword. It has a small dorsal fin, or what we know as the sail-like part of the fish. It doesn’t have any scales or pelvic fins. Most swordfish have brownish to black bodies, but their underparts are whitish. This type of billfish is an awesomely fast swimmer that can make very powerful leaps from the water. Its main sources of nourishment are other smaller fishes and squids.

On the other hand, a marlin is a large ocean game fish which has a very great fighting ability. A marlin is also a fast swimmer, and it can reach a speed of 110 kilometers per hour. It has a long, tubular body. Its snout resembles a long spear. Its tail resembles that of a crescent moon. It has also a long, tapering back fin. Its bill is smooth and round. The Pacific black marlin is considered to be the largest marlin species since it can grow up to 14 feet or more in length. It can also weigh up to 680 kilograms. The blue-backed striped marlin is a smaller Pacific species. The famous blue marlin is of the Atlantic species which has an average length of 13 feet and an average weight of 360 kilograms, while the white marlin only weighs about 68 kilograms.


  1. The swordfish and marlin both belong to the billfish family.

  2. A swordfish has an elongated, more rounded body compared to that of a marlin which has a long, tubular body.

  3. The swordfish and marlin can both grow up to more than 14 feet long.

  4. A swordfish can weigh up to 450 kilograms, but the marlin can weigh up to 680 kilograms.

  5. The snout of a swordfish is long and flat while the marlin’s is smooth and round.

  6. The dorsal fin of a swordfish resembles that of a shark’s, but the dorsal fin of the marlin resembles more of a sail.

  7. The swordfish has visible pectoral fins, but the marlin’s is barely visible.

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