Spearfish (Shortbill)


The Shortbill Spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris) is a species of billfish belonging to the family Istiophoridae.⁣

Conservation Status

As of the majority of marlinesque species, the Shortbill⁤ Spearfish is labelled as a ‘Data Deficient’ species by the⁣ International⁣ Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Conservation efforts from many organizations worldwide aim at collecting more data and implementing protective measures to secure the species’ survival.


Average Length Range Length Average Weight Range Weight Average Lifespan
200 cm 180 cm ⁣- 250 cm 38 kg 30 kg – 50 kg 5-8 years


The Shortbill Spearfish can be found in tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, including the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. They display complex migration patterns linking to water temperature changes and food availability.


Shortbill Spearfish can adjust to a ‍variety of marine environments, ⁤yet they seem⁤ to prefer warm surface ‌waters (between ​22-28°C). The species can also be observed in depths ranging from 0 to 200 meters.

When and Where to See

These species are more frequently sighted‍ during the summer months, and often during the middle hours of the day when the⁤ sunlight is most intense.

Best Fishing Locations

Some of the top locations for Shortbill ⁣Spearfish includes:

  • Florida Keys, Florida, USA
  • Cabo San ‍Lucas, Mexico
  • Canary Islands, Spain
  • Madeira, Portugal
  • Hawaii, USA

How to Catch

Shortbill Spearfish are typically caught by sport ⁤fishermen using ‌trolling methods with either live or artificial baits. The best fishing ‌times are in the summer months during the midday hours.

Identification Guide

Shortbill Spearfish have a slim, ​dark blue body with a silver-white belly. ⁢Their ​dorsal fin is tall, dark blue, and their pectoral fins are relatively short and bright blue. They can be distinguished from other similar species by their shorter ⁢bill⁢ and ‍a broader, less ⁢curved lateral line.

Culinary Information

Shortbill Spearfish are considered a ⁣delicacy in some parts of the world. The flesh is firm and flavorful,‍ making it suitable for a variety⁢ of cooking methods including ⁤grilling and baking. Due to their size, they’re often cut into steaks or fillets.

Additional Information

Shortbill ⁤Spearfish are active predators, primarily feeding on smaller fishes and squids. There ‌are no specific human-induced threats, however, these ⁢fish are still vulnerable to overfishing and habitat degradation. In cultural terms, the Shortbill Spearfish plays​ a significant role in many fishing communities,⁤ contributing ​to local tourism and sport fishing industries.

References and Further Reading