According to scientists, there are an estimated 32,000 fish species in the oceans across the world. It means the fish are only a smaller percentage of 230,000 different species that live in water. It’s incredibly difficult to measure the speed of the fish. Over the last thousands of years, they have evolved to move fast underwater. Here we take a look at the top 10 fastest fish in the world.
Most of the fish species are cold-blooded, though the Opah fish is warm-blooded. The fish are a rich source of protein and other nutrients. Aggressive fishing in the last few decades has led many species to the verge of extinction. According to the IUCN Red List, as many as 1,173 different fish species are endangered.
These are the fastest fish in the world:
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10- Four-winged flying fish
The four-winged flying fish aka Hirundichthys affinis is found primarily in the subtropical waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It is sometimes referred to as the Blue and Silver Atlantic Flying Fish. Both its pelvic and pectoral fins are enlarged. It can achieve maximum speed of 56 km/h. Its streamlined shape allows it to fly up to 400 meters. The species is easily attracted to light, so fishermen use light to hunt them.
The Xiphias gladius has maximum swimming speed of 64 km/h. It is found mostly in the temperate and tropical parts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Also called Broadbill, the swordfish is named after its sharp beak, which looks like a sword. Its unique anatomy allows it to cut through the water to achieve an incredible swimming speed.
The Bonefish aka Albula vulpes inhabits the warm, muddy, and tropical waters. Its silver body measures up to 35 inches in length. Its top speed is 69 km/h. The Bonefish feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and worms. Though it’s named after its many fin bones, the species is also known as banana-fish and ladyfish. The Bonefish lives up to 20 years. They travel in schools of up to 100 individuals, maintaining the same speed and a constant distance from one another.
7- Blue Shark
The Blue Shark’s maximum speed is roughly the same as that of Bonefish at 69 km/h. Its scientific name is Prionace glauca. The Blue Shark is found in the deep, tropical and temperate oceans. It’s an endangered species. They migrate for long distances, and move in schools based on sex or size. That’s why they are often referred to as the “wolves of the sea.”
6- Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna aka Thunnus thynnus is one of the favorite targets of fishermen. It measures up to 9 feet in length and could weigh up to 250kg. Despite its immense size and weight, the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is an incredibly fast swimmer. It attains maximum speed of 70 km/h. It inhabits the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
5- Mako Shark
The Mako Shark is also called the Bonito Shark in some parts of the world. It is the fastest shark in the world, achieving a top speed of up to 74 km/h. Its scientific name is Isurus oxyrinchus. It has a symmetrical tail fin and large gill slits, which help it move fast. The species measures up to four meters in length. The Mako Shark is famous for its out of water jumps, going up to 9 meters in the air. It inhabits the temperate and tropical waters around the world.
The Wahoo aka Acanthocybium solandri is found in the tropical and sub-tropical waters worldwide. It measures up to 8 feet in length and weighs up to 82kg. Its top speed has been recorded at 78 km/h in short bursts. The Wahoo live in schools of about 100 individuals. They have a lifespan of up to six years.
3- Stripped Marlin
The Stripped Marlin is a giant beast, measuring up to 4.2 meters in length and weighing up to 200kg. They inhabit the tropical and temperate regions of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. They are often confused with the Swordfish because of the long spur, which helps the fish stabilize its position while hunting. Their scientific name is Kajikia audax. They can achieve top speed of up to 80 km/h.
The Sailfish has been recorded moving at speeds of up to 110 km/h. Its scientific name is Istiophorus platypterus. The Sailfish fold their sail-like dorsal fin on the back while swimming fast and deep to reduce resistance. The species measures up to 3 meters in length and weighs up to 100kg. The Sailfish inhabit the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Their upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw, forming a bill that resembles a spear.
1- Black Marlin
The Black Marlin is by far the fastest fish in the world with maximum swimming speeds of 129 km/h, according to BBC. They are found in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and along the Australian coast. They weigh up to 750kg. You can easily recognize them by their tall dorsal fin and long, spear-like upper jaw.