This is the common big-game fish of New Zealand waters, but the species ranges over much of the warmer water areas of the Pacific. It grows to about 9 ft in length with a weight of up to 380 lb, but the average is about 250 lb. It differs from the black marlin in having less depth to the body, more conspicuous vertical stripes, and is considerably smaller. Both species visit northern New Zealand waters from December to about April. Marlins differ from the broadbill in having a retractive sail-like dorsal fin, paired flanges on each side near the tail, and curious bony extensions of the vertebrae which interlock and give both strength and flexibility to the backbone. The vertebrae in the broadbill lack these interlocking structures. Marlins fight magnificently and frequently leap clean out of the water. The flesh is good eating, having a distinctive and very palatable flavour.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.