The swordfish gets its name from its long, flattened upper jaw that resembles a sword. It is a large fish. The females are larger than the males some reaching lengths of nearly 5 metres and weighing as much as 540 kg.
The ‘sword’ is strong. It is used as a defensive weapon and also to stun prey. It cuts through the water and enables the fish to swim at great speeds.
Swordfish have been known to ram boats and even submarines, perhaps mistaking them for prey.
It has high mercury content and in some countries the governments issue periodic warnings about eating this fish. However, the mercury in the fish’s body occurs naturally and is not a result of pollution.
The swordfish is prized as a sport fish, being much sought after by anglers.