This fish has iconic, blade-like bills that are flat and edged, as opposed to the smoother, rounded bils seen on marlin. 
Swordfish was historically fished by the Chumash indigenous peoples of modern-day Santa Barbara area. 
- Distinguishing features include its sword-like bill, no teeth, crescent-shaped dorsal fins, large eys, crescent-shaped tails, and lack of pelvic fins. 
- Has a dark-colored back that fades to a light underbelly, and has no scales as an adult. 
- Can grow to a maximum length of 4.55 m (14.75 ft) and can weigh a maximum of 650 kg (1,400 lbs). 
- Highly migratory, and its distribution ranges along the tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters of the globe. 
- Particularly abundant along the North Pacific transition zone near Hawaii, along the western coasts of the U.S. and Mexico, and in the Western Pacific, East of Japan. 
- Males live between 9-14 years, and females live for 15-32 years. 
- Males reach sexual maturity at 3-4 years old, females mature at 4-5 years old. Spawning occurs throughout the year in equatorial waters and in spring through summer elsewhere. 
- Females will release batches of near 16 million eggs that can hatch in 2.5 days if fertilized. The larvae will reach juvenile status at 1 year old. 
- Pelagic, usually swims alone and inhabits mixed-surface waters with temperatures greater than 15°C (59°F), and can reside shortly in waters as cool as 5°C (41°F). 
- Has few predators besides large sharks and large toothed whales, and has historically been used by humans as a food source. [1,3]
- Available year-round, but is highly regulated and subject to fishery closures. [4,5]
Regulatory and managing authority
Ranges across international boundaries, and is managed internationally by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) collects data on this fishery. 
Along the Pacific West Coast, this fish is managed by NOAA fisheries and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (established by the Magnuson-Stevens Act) through the West Coast Highly Migratory Species Fisheries Management Plan. 
As established by the Marine Life Management Act, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife collects helps manage this fishery through the Pelagic Fisheries and Ecosystems Program. [16,17]
- Caught commercially by drift gillnet, harpoon, and longline. 
- Currently, a new type of gear known as deep-set buoy gear is being explored as an alternative to drift gillnets. 
Status of the fishery
- The fishery status in the Pacific is uncertain, but Pacific stocks are currently assumed to be healthy and are being fished at levels below maximum sustained yield. 
- Longline fishing is prohibited within 200 miles of the west coast and certain areas alogn the Pacific Islands where Hawaiian monk seals reside. 
- Drift gillnets are allowed in federal waters but not state waters. In 2020, a hard cap rule for bycatch was passed for drift gillnet fisheries in California and Oregon. [4,5]
- Circle hooks and fin-fish bait is required to minimize catching sea turtles in Hawaiian longline operations. 
Potential ecosystem impacts
- Gillnets and pelagic longlines have high levels of bycatch with sea turtles, sharks, seabirds, and marine mammals. Bycatch is strictly regulated in the U.S., but bycatch may be a greater problem in countries without bycatch mitigation laws. 
- Harpoon and hook and line fisheries have low bycatch and almost no impact on the ecosystem. 
- Typically only the meat is consumed. 
Description of meat
- When raw, the meat ranges in color from white and ivory to pink and orange, and turns beige when cooked. It is firm and has a high oil content. 
- Swordfish is typially baked, broiled, grilled, sautéed, or smoked. 
- For a grilled swordfish recipe, visit The Mediterranean Fish. 
- For a pan roasted swordfish recipe, visit MasterClass. 
- Nutritional information for 100g of cooked swordfish can be found on the table to the right. 
- Swordfish has higher levels of methyl-mercury, so it is not recommended for pregnant women and young children. 
- Available year-round. 
 Gardieff, S. n.d. Discover fishes: Xiphias gladius. Florida Museum. Web. https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/xiphias.... Accessed 14 July 2020.
 NOAA Fisheries. n.d. Swordfish Research. Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Web. https://swfsc.noaa.gov/textblock.aspx?Division=FRD&ParentMenuId=141&id=1127. Accessed 14 July 2020.
 Ocean Protection Council. n.d. Swordfish (Xiphias gladius). Web. http://opc.ca.gov/webmaster/ftp/project_pages/Rapid%20Assessments/Swordf.... Accessed 14 July 2020.
 NOAA Fisheries. n.d. North Pacific Swordfish. Web. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/north-pacific-swordfish#:~:text=N..... Accesed 15 July 2020.
 NOAA. 2020. Fisheries off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; California Drift Gillnet Fishery; Protected Species Hard Caps for the California/Oregon Large-Mesh Drift Gillnet Fishery. Web. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/07/2020-02458/fisherie.... Accessed 15 July 2020.
 Roth, A. 2018. Reinventing California's swordfish fishery. UC Santa Cruz science notes. Web. https://ucscsciencenotes.com/feature/reinventing-californias-swordfish-f.... Accessed 15 July 2020.
 Rick, T., Harvey, V.L., Buckley, M. 2019. Collagen fingerprinting and the Chumash billfish fishery, Santa Barbara Channel, California, USA. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11. pp. 6639-6648. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00930-4
 Self. n.d. Fish, swordfish, cooked, dry heat. NutritionData. Web. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4137/2. Accessed 20 July 2020.
 Fishwatch. 2019. North Pacific Swordfish. Web. https://www.fishwatch.gov/profiles/north-pacific-swordfish. Accessed 24 July 2020.
 Chef's Resources. n.d. Swordfish Flavor Profile. Web. https://www.chefs-resources.com/seafood/finfish/swordfish/#:~:text=Sword.... Accessed 24 July 2020.
 Suzy. 2020. Grilled Swordfish Recipe with a Mediterranean Twist. The Mediterranean Dish. Web. https://www.themediterraneandish.com/grilled-swordfish-recipe/. Accessed 24 July 2020.
 Joe Fish Flynn. n.d. Catching a Swordfish. Digital image. Web. https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/catching-swordfish-464482394. Accessed 23 December 2020.
 Delgadillo Resendiz, H. iNaturalist. 2016. Digital image. Web. https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/60905949. Accessed 24 February 2021.
 Snodgrass, D. 2010. Photo of fisherman posing with swordfish. Wikipedia. Digital image. Web. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Xiphias_gladius.jpg. Accessed 24 July 2020.
 Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. Facebook. 2018. Digital image. Web. https://www.facebook.com/thdocksidemarket/photos/2333452533350683. Accessed 23 February 2021.
 Marine Life Management Act. n.d. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Web. https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/MLMA. Accessed 24 August 2020.
 Overview of the Pelagic Fisheries and Ecosystems Program. n.d. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Web. https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Pelagic#52132542-overview. Accessed 9 December 2020.
 MasterClass. 2020. How to Cook Swordfish: Quick and Easy Pan-Roasted Swordfish Recipe. Web. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-cook-swordfish-quick-and-eas.... Accessed 29 January 2021.