The Billfish Story: Swordfish, Sailfish, Marlin, and Other Gladiators of the Sea

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University of Georgia Press, 2013 - Nature - 196 pages
The billfish is fixed at the apex of the oceanic food chain. Composed of sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and swordfish, they roam the pelagic waters of the Atlantic and are easily recognized by their long, spear-like beaks. Noted for their speed, size, and acrobatic jumps, billfish have for centuries inspired a broad spectrum of society. Even in antiquity, Aristotle, who assiduously studied the swordfish, named this gladiator of the sea xiphias--the sword.

The Billfish Story tells the saga of this unique group of fish and those who have formed bonds with them--relationships forged by anglers, biologists, charter-boat captains, and conservationists through their pursuit, study, and protection of these species. More than simply reciting important discoveries, Stan Ulanski argues passionately that billfish occupy a position of unique importance in our culture as a nexus linking natural and human history. Ulanski, both a scientist and an angler, brings a rich background to the subject in a multifaceted approach that will enrich not only readers' appreciation of billfish but the whole of the natural world.
 

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The Billfish Story: Swordfish, Sailfish, Marlin, and Other Gladiators of the Sea

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Ulanski (meteorology, oceanography & marine resources, James Madison Univ.; Fishing North Carolina's Outer Banks) writes with both a scientific and an angler's perspective. Billfish are known for long ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
CHAPTER 1 The Rise of Billfish
5
From Plankton to Billfish
21
CHAPTER 3 Billfish through the Ages
36
CHAPTER 4 Anatomy of Tournaments
61
Blue Marlin
89
Swordfish
111
Spearfish White Marlin and Sailfish
133
CHAPTER 8 The Fate of Billfish
157
Bibliography
183
Index
193
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About the author (2013)

Stan Ulanski is a professor of meteorology, oceanography, and marine resources in the Geology and Environmental Science Department at James Madison University. He is the author of The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic and The Science of Fly-Fishing.

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