Tetrapturus georgii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Istiophoridae

Scientific Name: Tetrapturus georgii Lowe, 1841
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Roundscale Spearfish
French Makaire Épée
Spanish Marlin Peto
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2015. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 7 January 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 7 January 2015).
Taxonomic Notes: Although the most distinct genetically of the four species of spearfishes (Hanner et al. 2011), this species was only recently confirmed as a valid species (Shivji et al. 2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-15
Assessor(s): Collette, B., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Teixeira Lessa, R.P. & Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B., Elfes, C. & Polidoro, B.
This species has only recently been recognized as distinct (Shivji et al. 2006), and there is very little information available for it. In addition, landings data for this species have been misclassified as Longbill Spearfish and White Marlin (Beerkircher et al. 2009), confounding an evaluation of its status. Therefore this species is listed as Data Deficient.
For further information about this species, see TUNAS_SkiJumpEffect.pdf.
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Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the entire tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Originally described from Madeira and reported from several other eastern Atlantic localities but only recently known with certainty from the western Atlantic (Shivji et al. 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Angola; Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Benin; Bermuda; Brazil; Canada; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Equatorial Guinea; French Guiana; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Italy; Jamaica; Liberia; Mauritania; Mexico; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Panama; Portugal (Azores); Puerto Rico; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sao Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Spain (Canary Is.); Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no catch data available for this species (Nakamura 1985).

This species is easily misidentified in the field and it is likely that most captures of this species have been classified as white marlin or long bill spearfish  until only recently (Beerkircher et al. 2009, Beerkircher and Serafy 2011).  The proportion of this species in landings classified as long bill spearfish or marlin is temporally unstable (White Marlin Biological Review Team 2007).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is pelagic and oceanodromous; found in subtropical waters. Very little is known on  its reproductive biology (Collette 2010).

Maximum size for this species is at least 160 cm body length (Robins 1974). Maximum weight is 180 kg. In Brazil, maximum size recorded is 180 cm lower jaw FL (Piva-Silva et al. 2009). The all-tackle game fish record is of a 31.75 kg fish caught in Baltimore Canyon off Maryland (IGFA 2011).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Not targeted commercially as a food fish.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is primarily taken as bycatch by longline fisheries (including various EU longline fisheries), but also by purse seines (including EU purse seiners), by some artisanal gears (including EU ones in the Antilles) and also by various sport fisheries located on both sides of the Atlantic. The increasing use of anchored fish aggregating devices (FADs) by various artisanal and sport fisheries is possibly increasing the vulnerability of these stocks (STECF 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This is a highly migratory species listed in Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Size limitations, encouragement of catch-and-release sport fishing, and recommendations for using circle hooks instead of J-hooks are measures designed to increase survival in catch-and-release sport fishing (Serafy et al. 2009).

The EU's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) is concerned about the lack of attention to this species, because it might be affected by the same problems of other billfish species. STECF recommends that this species should be accurately monitored (STECF 2009).

Citation: Collette, B., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Teixeira Lessa, R.P. & Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E. 2011. Tetrapturus georgii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170333A6752763. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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