When Caught

Swordfish are caught mainly in winter.

Important Features

Wild/Farmed Wild

Habitat Saltwater, Inhabit the open ocean, usually offshore

Recovery Rate Steaks: 60% from headed and gutted striped marlin and 70% from headed and gutted swordfish


Swordfish has a higher recovery rate than striped marlin because it is often sold skin on and the belly flap is kept.

Marlins are very popular target species for sport and recreational fishers.

Imports Nil

Common Size 1.5 – 3 m

Overseas Names

CDN: broadbill swordfish, espadon; D: Schwertfisch; DK: svÊrdfisk; GB: broadbill; J: dakuda, medara, meka, mekajiki; NZ: broadbill, broadbill swordfish, paea; RCH: albacora, pez espada; USA: broadbill, broadbill swordfish; ZA: broadbill, swaardvis; General: swordfish

Grading Rarely graded although swordfish are sometimes graded as below

Nutrition Facts

per 100g of raw product

Kilojoules 512 (122 Calories)
Cholesterol 180mg
Sodium 102mg
Total fat (oil) 7.7g
Saturated fat 33% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 37% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 30% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 371mg
Omega-3, DHA 541mg
Omega-6, AA 423mg

Cooking Ideas

Bake Deep Fry
Grill/barbecue Poach Raw
Shallow Fry Smoke Steam/microwave

Billfishes swordfish and striped marlin are becoming more popular foodfishes in Australia. While grouped together under the name billfish , they have distinctive textures and flavours.

Swordfish is often described as the most meat-like of all fishes. The steaks have very high oil content, with a dense, meaty texture and a slightly sweet taste. The flavour is not overpowering, allowing for stronger flavours to be used in its preparation. An interesting way to prepare swordfish is to poach steaks in a strong fish stock, infused with olives. Dress with dried red capsicum, dried tomatoes, olives and oven-roasted garlic, and serve on a bed of angel hair pasta with a mash of salsify. Swordfish is also suited to grilling, frying and baking.

Striped marlin flesh is darker and more strongly flavoured. It is firmly textured and quite low in moisture. Most suited to grilling, marlin can also be prepared by baking, poaching, shallow frying or smoking, or eaten raw as sashimi. Simply sear marlin on a hot grill and serve with a citrus and pecan salsa. Or you may wish to add spicier Thai flavours. Try char-grilling but keep the centre rare to avoid dryness. Marlin is delicious smoked and is a common entrÈe.

Flavour Medium

Oiliness Medium or extremely high, Swordfish has one of the highest oil contents of any finfish.

Moisture Dry to moist, Striped marlin is usually medium or dry; swordfish is moist or medium. Both quickly become dry when overcooked.

Texture Firm

Flesh Colour swordfish pink or off-white. Flesh white when cooked.

Thickness Rarely filleted due to their size, but thick

Bones Usually boned-out, occasionally with obvious backbone at centre of cutlet

Suggested Wines

Serve swordfish with a fuller style of wine such as a marsanne or an oaked chardonnay.

For something out of the ordinary, try marlin with a youthful shiraz with plenty of pepper and light on wood. Alternatively, a sparkling red made with single varietals shiraz, merlot, or malbec is excellent with Thai-spiced marlin.