Fun White Marlin Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Apr 28, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
White marlin facts about the Atlantic Ocean's migratory species.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

Have you ever wondered and noticed what it’s like in the life of fishes in the sea? Whales, sharks, and dolphins are the marine creatures that suddenly come to your mind, right? But there is a whole range of other fishes too.

One such fish is the Marlin which is a species of billfish. There are four types of marlins.

One among them is the white marlin or Atlantic white marlin. Tetrapturus albidus is one of the fastest-swimming fish species in the world. Along with the blue marlin, the white marlin is regarded as a prized catch for anglers amongst the ocean-dwelling species

Here are some interesting and fun facts about white marlins which will make you keener about the white marlin fish from the same family as the blue marlin. Afterward, do check our other articles on black marlin and striped marlin as well.

White Marlin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white marlin?

The white marlin is a fish that is a species of billfish that lives in the tropical and temperate portions of the Atlantic Ocean, like the blue marlin. They are also called Atlantic marlin, marlin, and skilligalee.

Their body is designed for fast, continual swimming. The upper body is deep blue and the lower body is silvery-white with spots on the side. It has a rounded dorsal fin as well as a sharp-pointed bill.

What class of animal does a white marlin belong to?

White marlin, like the blue marlin, is a fish that belongs to the Istiophoridae family. They are a species of billfish. They are much smaller than black and blue marlins. Sometimes they are misidentified as round-scale spearfish. Most white marlins are 51-96 in (129.5-243.8 cm) long.

How many white marlins are there in the world?

There are no accurate estimates and reports of the number of white marlins in the world. The number of white marlins is decreasing by 3% every year due to fishing and consumption of it. They have been listed as vulnerable species.

Where does a white marlin live?

The white marlin is a migratory species like the blue marlin. They live in the open ocean usually in the tropical and temperate portion of the Atlantic Ocean.

They prefer warm surfaces greater than 71.6° F (22° C) degrees. They are also seen near the water's surface. They migrate seasonally from their summer habitat in the Gulf of Mexico to their winter habitat in the southern Caribbean.

What is a white marlin's habitat?

White marlins are usually seen throughout the tropical and temperate portions of the Atlantic Ocean. They live in the deep areas of the open ocean with temperatures above 70 degrees F. They can be seen near water surfaces like banks and canyons. They migrate within the seas.

Who do white marlins live with?

Like blue marlins, white marlins are also solitary creatures. Sometimes they swim in pairs. They gather in groups very rarely. They migrate from time to time.

How long does a white marlin live?

The white marlin is a medium-sized fish and much smaller than other billfishes. The average lifespan of white marlin is 25-30 years which may vary slightly.

How do they reproduce?

Female fish can lay 190,000-600,000 eggs. To spawn, they migrate to subtropical waters to spawn where peak spawning occurs in early summer in deep oceanic waters.

The main spawning grounds of white marlin include the Gulf of Mexico, Mona Passage, and Southwest Bermuda. The growth of white marlin is very rapid where the males reach sexual maturity faster than females.

What is their conservation status?

The Atlantic white marlin’s population has reduced to less than 10% of its population size in the Atlantic Ocean. The species of Marlin's conservation status is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN.

The vast majority of white marlin is killed by tuna longliners using nonselective fishing gear. The population of these fishes is at risk as almost 90% of the annual catch is caught accidentally as bycatch.

White Marlin Fun Facts

What do white marlins look like?

The white marlin is a deep blue on the upper part of the body and silvery-white underneath the body with brown spots on the side of the white portion. The white marlin is designed for fast continual swimming. It has a rounded dorsal fin and a long, sharp-pointed bill. The Marlin’s body has a dense covering of bony scales.

The tail fin is large and stiff. Its upper jaw is twice as long as its lower jaw. The white marlin is much smaller than other marlins.

Along with the first dorsal and anal fins, the white marlin has round pectoral fins with a straight line.

How cute are they?

White marlins are beautiful with dark blue above and silvery-white below on their body. The movement of this fish is very fast. They are not as cute as goldfish but are cute to see when it is swimming in the sea.

How do they communicate?

Even though fishes are in the water, they also communicate like other animals. A marlin communicates through certain motions, gestures, and sometimes sounds.

How big is a white marlin?

An adult marlin has an average length of 51-96 in (130-244 cm) and hence is a medium-sized fish. It’s 10 times bigger than a goldfish and much smaller than a whale.

How fast can a white marlin swim?

The body of the white marlin is designed for fast, continual swimming. On an average scale, a white marlin swims at 50 mph (80.5 kph). It is one of the fastest swimming fish in the world.

How much does a white marlin weigh?

Usually, the white marlin is smaller than other billfishes. On an average scale, the white marlin weight ranges between 180-190 lb (81.6-86.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

As the marlin is a fish, both the male and female of the species are just called fish.

What would you call a baby white marlin?

A baby white marlin is a fish that is a type of billfish. They are called juvenile white marlin or sometimes small billfish.

What do they eat?

White marlins are large-sized fishes that are predatory. They are carnivores that feed on other fishes. Their diet consists of Schooling Flying fish, small tuna, squid, and mahi-mahi. They do have predators. Swordfish, great white sharks, and humans are the main predators.

Are they poisonous?

This fish species is not poisonous or dangerous. It is a popular game fish that is consumed by humans.

Would they make a good pet?

The white marlin is a strong type of predator and is not suitable for keeping as a pet. These fish species are caught using fishing and used as food by humans.

Did you know...

While swimming they exhibit a behavior called tailing where the dorsal lobe of the caudal fin is visible above the surface of the water.

Due to their similarity in appearance, the white marlin and Longbill Spearfish were often confused to be from the same family.

A white marlin leaps into the air and whips its tail when it gets hooked. The species of sea fish always fight before getting caught. This makes them the favorite gamefish among the fishermen.

There is an annual U.S. landings limit of 250 Atlantic blue marlins, Longbill Spearfish, and white marlins.

In 1980, a white marlin weighing 135 lb was the largest white marlin to be caught.

What are other names for white marlin?

The white marlin fish is a species of billfish that is also known as the Atlantic white marlin, marlin, or skilligalee.

Do sharks eat Marlin?

Marlins, both white and blue, are attacked by sharks especially Mako and great white sharks. Other predators include swordfish, pilot whales, and humans. Humans are one of the major threats they face. Overfishing leads to a decline in the number of them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes from our vendace fish facts and great hammerhead shark fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Marlin coloring pages.

tropical and subtropical portions of the atlantic ocean

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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