Sustainability Species Identication Title
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Swordfish, Xiphias gladius

The broadbill swordfish is the only member of the genus Xiphiidae, a taxonomic rarity meaning it is very different from other fish. The species name, gladius, derives from the sword carried by Roman legionnaires, and this great animal uses its namesake with stunning effect. Swordfish have rammed their bills through the planking of many ships, and even the steel sheathing of the deep submersible Alvin. Swordfish inhabit tropic and temperate oceans around the world. The record for a swordfish caught on rod and reel is 1,182 pounds, off Iquiguq, Chile, on May 7, 1953. Although the north Atlantic swordfish stock declined dramatically through the 1980s, this has now become a success story for fishery managers. The United States actively pursued international cooperation in the recovery of North Atlantic swordfish. In 1999, a formal rebuilding program was adopted, building on a series of international quota reductions that were first begun in the early 1990s. Now, the North Atlantic swordfish stock is almost rebuilt, according to a stock assessment conducted in 2002. The recovery has surpassed expectation, with the stock biomass increasing from a level of 65 percent of its healthy stock size to 94 percent in only four years.

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