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Spearfish Long Billed Mediterranean (TETRAPTURUS BELONE)

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SPEARFISH, LONG BILLED MEDITERRANEAN) / TETRAPTURUS BELONE
8 16 17.80 39.4 Catania Italy 181098 S. Mincella
10 20 19.20 42.5 Catania Italy 270701 G. Barbagallo
15 30 21.00 46.5 Saline Jonica Italy 200998 S. Cunsolo
24 50 39.40 86.14 Stintino Italy 170805 M. Marzaduri
37 80 7.65 16.14 Le Bruse France 080607 B Francois
AT AT 39.40 86.14 Stintino Italy 170805 M. Marzaduri

The Long Billed Mediterranean Spearfish (TETRAPTURUS BELONE)

is found in the Mediterranean Sea and it is considerably abundant around Italy. No confirmed report from the Black Sea. No adults have been reported east of the Ionean Sea. Highly migratory species.

This species is the most common istiophorid in the central basin of the Mediterranean and completes its life cycle inside this sea as far as is known to date.

Probably swims in the upper 200 m water layer, generally above or within the thermocline. Travels in pairs, possibly corresponding to a feeding behavior. Feeds on fishes. Probably more widespread in the Mediterranean Sea and may have been identified as T. albidus by anglers and fishermen.

long billed mediterranean spearfish (TETRAPTURUS BELONE)

The Mediterranean Spearfish has two very close relatives – the Longbill Spearfish and the Shortbill Spearfish and although the Longbill does occur in Portugal and the Azores, the Mediterranean Spearfish is classified as a separate species. The Med species does venture outside the Straits of Gibraltar and indeed, the IGFA World Record – a specimen weighing 90lbs 13-oz was caught off Madeira in 1980.

The long billed Mediterranean spearfish is not a common fish although several are caught every year in the Med. This frisky billfish rarely grows to more than 40kg (90lbs). It is targeted by Mediterranean sportfishermen using light tackle and can give a good account for itself. When caught accidentally, while targeting Bluefin on heavy tackle – the event is a serious mismatch.

The long billed Mediterranean spearfish is said by eminent Marine Biologists that this species matures at 2-years and has a lifespan of only 5-years.

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