Swordfish on English beach

This video is called Deep water camera catches swordfish 1500 ft down.

From Wildlife Extra:

Swordfish reported on a beach in Somerset

Swordfish in the Bristol Channel

July 2013. Wildlife Extra has found a few very small reports that a dead swordfish washed ashore on Berrow Beach in north Somerset at the end of June. The fish measured approximately 6-7 feet long, plus its sword, and apparently washed away on the next tide.

Second swordfish

Despite the rarity of this event, it is actually the second swordfish to have been found in this area. Another swordfish washed ashore on Barry Island, just across the Bristol Channel, in 2008. Amazingly, just a few weeks later, a Blue marlin was found washed ashore on another Welsh beach.

Grow up to 16 feet – One of the fastest fish

Swordfish can grow to 4.6 metres (16 feet) and weigh over 600 kg, so this one was small in global terms. They are often called a Broad-billed Swordfish, but there is only one species in the world. They are found throughout the tropical and temperate waters of the world but appear to prefer sea temperatures of 18°C to 22°C, migrating to cooler waters to feed in the summer.

These oceanic fish chase herring and mackerel and are among the fastest fish reaching 56 mph. This is in part due to their being warm-blooded, which allows not only their muscles but also their brain and eyes to work more efficiently.

Swordfish distribution around the UK

Swordfish do occur as far north as Sweden, and there are scattered records of swordfish around Britain since the first one at Margate in 1841. There are few Scottish records with only four or five in the twentieth century. They are probably commonest on the south and west coasts, but do turn up in the North Sea. Records held by the National Marine Aquarium show that in 2006 one was photographed near Teignmouth, in Devon and another seen leaping off Dorset, while a small (26 kg) one was caught off the Northumberland [coast]; while in August 2007 an even smaller one was caught south of the Lizard.

The first swordfish in Wales was off Newport back in 1905; while in 2003 one was stranded at Rhossili on the Gower, despite efforts to rescue it, it died an hour later.

Population down by 65%

By 1998 the swordfish population of the North Atlantic was thought to have declined, due to overfishing, to only 35% of its original size. Once mature a female can produce 30 million eggs each year, giving the stock the capability of rapid recovery. However the females do not mature until they reach 70 kg, and the average size now landed is a mere 40 kg. When the population was first commercially targeted in the early nineteenth century the average fish landed weighed over 200 kg. Such a decline is a classic feature of overfishing.

Drastic fisheries control measures are now in force for swordfish in the North West Atlantic, but [it] is disputed as to how effective these have been and it is claimed that the stock is still at only half the level of a sustainable population.

Report unusual fish

The UK Marine Fish Recording Scheme welcomes reports of any unusual marine or estuarine fish seen around the British Isles; ‘phone 01752 275216 or email fishreports@national-aquarium.co.uk.

2 thoughts on “Swordfish on English beach

  1. Pingback: Swordfish victims of overfishing | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: First silky sharks seen off Saba, Caribbean | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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