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Swordfish and Marlin

Marlin tail (top) and Swordfish Loin (bottom)

Standard Names: Swordfish, Striped Marlin, Blue Marlin, Black Marlin

Striped Marlin and Swordfish are on Greenpeace Australia Pacific's Seafood Redlist

AMCS lists Swordfish and Striped Marlin as SAY NO

The IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species lists Blue Marlin as "Vulnerable"

Forest & Bird (NZ) rank Swordfish and Striped Marlin E (RED - AVOID) in their Best Fish Guide

Overfishing has damaged stock numbers, and removal of top end predators such as these has effects throughout the ecosystem.




Swordfish and the various Marlin species are important recreational gamefish and were very popular on restaurant menus in the 90's.

They are highly migratory open ocean fish, prized for their firm, meaty flesh which is usually sold as steaks or cutlets. Both fish are taken by Tuna longliners on both the east and west coast of Australia.

Black and Blue Marlin cannot be taken commercially, with stocks being preserved for recreational catch. Striped Marlin is still landed.

Sustainable Alternatives:

ALTERNATIVE 1: Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi

MAHI MAHI is a large gamefish with similar 'meaty' flesh to that of Swordfish and Marlin. It is a more sustainable alternative, well suited to preparations including grilling, BBQ'ing, and use in soups or curries.

ALTERNATIVE 2: Mackerel

Blue Mackerel

Marlin flesh is slightly stronger flavoured than that of Swordfish, and has rosier, reddish flesh. MACKEREL, especially Spanish Mackerel, can make a good alternative when Grilling or BBQ'ing. The strong oily flesh can handle strong flavours to accompany, especially when charred on a BBQ. Popular accompainments include olives, roasted vegetables, garlic and herbs.

ALTERNATIVE 3: Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish

The firm, dense, oily flesh of both Swordfish and the Marlin's is some of the 'meatiest' of all fish. Popular in Australia for grilling and BBQ'ing as it holds up well to strong heat without breaking apart, however the meat can become dry when overcooked. YELLOWTAIL KINGFISH is a suitable alternative for these cooking methods, grill only to Medium Rare to retain moisture. Fresh Swordfish and Marlin are sometimes served raw, Yellowtail Kingfish is also a suitable alternative for these preparations.

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