Blue Ocean Institute

Black and white fish

Species is relatively abundant, and fishing methods cause little damage to habitat and other wildlife.
Swordfish – Pacific Ocean (Shutome) These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Swordfish are a large, migratory fish found in temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. They grow reasonably fast and mature quickly, typically within six years.

Various regional fisheries management organizations manage Swordfish populations in the Pacific Ocean, recommending catch limits, fishing vessel limits and bycatch mitigation methods. Although Swordfish abundance varies between regions of the Pacific, no population is considered overfished and general abundance is at a medium level.

Pelagic longlines remain the main fishing method for catching Swordfish in the Pacific, while harpoons and drift gillnets are used off the U.S. West Coast. Pelagic longlines cause little habitat damage, but bycatch of sharks, endangered sea turtles and birds is high.

Full species report here.

This fish may have high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury in swordfish. Check out our mercury in seafood section.