Story: Oceanic fish

Short-billed spearfish

Short-billed spearfish

This rare fish was caught off White Island in the Bay of Plenty in 1974. It is held by Barry Russell (left) of the Australian Museum, and Alan Baker of New Zealand’s national museum. Weighing just over 20 kilograms, it has a distinctive short spear and a very long and high dorsal fin. The fish are rarely seen in New Zealand waters, but are occasionally caught in the Bay of Islands. During the 1990s tuna boats fishing off New Zealand took only 46 specimens as by-catch.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1974/0120a/10

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Oceanic fish - Billfish – marlin and swordfish', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 June 2023)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006