The Billfish Story: Swordfish, Sailfish, Marlin, and Other Gladiators of the Sea

Overview


The billfish is fixed at the apex of the oceanic food chain. Composed of sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and swordfish, they roam the pelagic waters of the Atlantic and are easily recognized by their long, spear-like beaks. Noted for their speed, size, and acrobatic jumps, billfish have for centuries inspired a broad spectrum of society. Even in antiquity, Aristotle, who assiduously studied the swordfish, named this gladiator of the sea xiphias—the sword.

The Billfish Story tells ...

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Overview


The billfish is fixed at the apex of the oceanic food chain. Composed of sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and swordfish, they roam the pelagic waters of the Atlantic and are easily recognized by their long, spear-like beaks. Noted for their speed, size, and acrobatic jumps, billfish have for centuries inspired a broad spectrum of society. Even in antiquity, Aristotle, who assiduously studied the swordfish, named this gladiator of the sea xiphias—the sword.

The Billfish Story tells the saga of this unique group of fish and those who have formed bonds with them—relationships forged by anglers, biologists, charter-boat captains, and conservationists through their pursuit, study, and protection of these species. More than simply reciting important discoveries, Stan Ulanski argues passionately that billfish occupy a position of unique importance in our culture as a nexus linking natural and human history. Ulanski, both a scientist and an angler, brings a rich background to the subject in a multifaceted approach that will enrich not only readers’ appreciation of billfish but the whole of the natural world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Stan Ulanski, himself a scientist and angler, uses his talents in both arenas to blend the facts of science with the practical aspects of fishing. The result is a readable and informative account of the billfish fishery. There is something for everyone with an interest in billfish.”—Ron Presley, author of Fishing Secrets from Florida’s East Coast

“Ulanski’s book provides the most comprehensive, easy-to-read text I have seen on the evolution of billfish, their oceanic habitat, and the sport of billfishing. Nothing escapes his notice. This is an excellent read for anyone truly interested in billfish.”—Ellen M. Peel, President, The Billfish Foundation

“Ulanski writes with both a scientific and an angler’s perspective. . . . A worthwhile choice for both anglers and students of these majestic fish.”—Diana Hartle, Library Journal

“This attractive book is written by a college professor who is also an enthusiastic big-game fisherman. . . .[Ulanski] reviews the biological and literary history of the billfishes, a group that includes the swordfish, sailfish, white marlin, blue marlin, and spearfish. Along with providing a well-written biological history, the book contains a good description of ocean currents and their relationship to fish behavior. . . .Each species is illustrated by a beautiful color plate, and the book also includes good black-and-white photographs and drawings. The Billfish Story will interest a wide audience of fishing enthusiasts and students as well as ichthyologists and fishery biologists.” —Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820341910
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 660,609
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Stan Ulanski is a professor of meteorology, oceanography, and marine resources in the Geology and Environmental Science Department at James Madison University. He is the author of The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic and The Science of Fly-Fishing.
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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction
Chapter 1 The Rise of Billfish
Chapter 2 The Interlocking Web of Ocean Life: From Plankton to Billfish
Chapter 3 Billfish through the Ages
Chapter 4 Anatomy of Tournaments
Chapter 5 The Ultimate Billfish: Blue Marlin
Chapter 6 Night Stalkers: Swordfish
Chapter 7 Billfish Bantamweights: Spearfish, White Marlin, and Sailfish
Chapter 8 The Fate of Billfish

Bibliography
Index

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