Tagging study sheds light on the elusive Swordfish

From Fish magazine, September 2017:

If there is a holy grail of recreational fishing, it’s the Swordfish. Anglers talk about it in almost mythical terms: the unicorn of the sea, the Mount Everest of angling, the ultimate test of man versus (marine) beast. Even its scientific name – Xiphias gladius – translates from ancient Greek and Latin as ‘sword sword’.

Until recently, the Swordfish was thought to be all but out of reach for recreational fishers in Australia. One or two may have been hooked through sheer luck, but no amount of persistence was able to coax this elusive creature out from the depths.

But anglers finally appear to have ‘cracked the code’, and a recreational Swordfish fishery is growing around Tasmania and off the south-east coast of Australia. The numbers are still minuscule compared with commercial catch of Swordfish, but it is putting Australia on the recreational fishing map for the species.

While apex predators such as Swordfish make an attractive hunting target, there is always the conundrum of whether these magnificent creatures are killed as part of the hunt or whether they should be released safely after capture. Read more.

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