Fooled by The Look-alike

Statistics on the white marlin populations are not as accurate because the fish has a look-alike—the roundscale spearfish. A new report says that the roundscale spearfish, discovered three years ago, actually makes up one-third of the fish caught as the white marlin. This calls for reassessment of the white marlin population sizes. An elongated, large-jawed fish, the white marlin is sought after by anglers in prize-winning tournaments worth millions of dollars. It is also caught as bycatch by commercial fisheries and its populations are declining. Two petitions were sent to the US Endangered Species Protection Act in 2002 and 2007 for the fish to get a conservation status. They are still pending.


Down to Earth, January 2010