The swordfish Xiphias gladius is a fast swimming fish, swimming up to 60 miles per hour. It is found worldwide in all tropical, subtropical, and temperate seas. It is a large fish naturally, but overfishing in many areas has led to the decline in size of the swordfish. In the 1960s, the average swordfish caught in the North Atlantic region averaged 250 pounds. Today the average fish in that area is only 90 pounds. 58% of the swordfish caught are juveniles, which means they haven't had a chance to reproduce yet. The swordfish is heavily fished commercially, due to the great demand for swordfish steaks, and also recreationally, as swordfish are known as great fighters, sometimes taking up to 4 hours to be landed.
The swordfish is a beautiful fish, with a metallic grey/blue body above, fading to whitish yellow below. The upper jaw is elongated, forming the flat sword. This fish uses this sword for feeding at times, slashing its way through a school of fish, then returning to feed on the dead and wounded fish. They are carnivorous, eating smaller fish and squid. The average swordfish is about 4 feet long, but they can reach lengths of over 15 feet. The heaviest swordfish ever reported weighed over 1000 pounds, but most are around 100-200 pounds. They are believed to live 9 years, and reach sexual maturity at 4 years. When Reproducing, the female releases tens of millions of eggs and fertilization is external. A ripe female harpooned off of California was found to be carrying over 50 million eggs.