Wildlife Fact Sheets

White Marlin


White Marlin

Kajikia albida

  • Life Span
    25-30 years
  • Habitat
    I like offshore waters about 40-100 feet deep.
  • Range
    The Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and western Mediterranean Sea
  • Preferred Food
    I like small fish (well, smaller than me at least) like mackerel, flying fish and more. I also like crabs and squid.


I’m one of the flashier predators in the sea! My distinctive-looking upper jaw is known as a bill. It’s pretty long and sharp, and I use it to injure or kill my prey.

You can typically find me in offshore waters about 40-100 feet deep, but during daylight hours I hang out closer to the surface looking for baitfish to snack on. I especially like areas where there is a mixing of temperatures, currents or salinities—these tend to be very nutrient-rich and therefore are attractive to my prey.

Did You Know?

I’m part of a group called “billfishes,” a term which refers to predatory fish in the family Isotiophoridae. As you can guess, we all have bills that we use to attack prey. But that’s not the only thing we have in common! We’re all very migratory and are often found in tropical or sub-tropical waters. Other members of the billfish squad include black marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, swordfish and spearfish (just to name a few).

Status and Conservation

I’m a bit of a show-off, especially when it comes to fishermen. You can typically spot me cruising around with my fins just visible over the water, a behavior known as “tailing.” I also don’t like to go down without a fight, and am known to leap into the air and whip my tail around if hooked. If you’re lucky enough to catch me, be careful—I can cause some serious damage with this sharp bill of mine. My flashiness and size (combined with how difficult I am to catch) makes me a favorite of game fishermen, especially in the summertime from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

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