How fast would you say a fish could swim? 5, maybe 10MPH? The answer might well surprise you because of these fish on this list go faster than some family cars! While the names on this light might not surprise you, the speeds they can travel at will…
Ten of the Fastest Species of Fish Currently Alive in Our Waters
10 – Four-winged flying fish – Average Recorded Speed: 56 km/h (35 mph)
The Exocoetidae are a family of marine fishes in the order Beloniformes class Actinopterygii. Fish of this family are known as flying fish. About 64 species are grouped in seven to nine genera. Flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water into air, where their long, wing-like fins enable gliding flight for considerable distances above the water’s surface. This uncommon ability is a natural defence mechanism to evade predators.
9 – Tarpon – Average Recorded Speed: 56 km/h (35 mph)
The two species of tarpons are Megalops atlanticus and the Megalops cyprinoides. M. atlanticus is found on the western Atlantic coast from Virginia to Brazil, throughout the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean. Tarpons are also found along the eastern Atlantic coast from Senegal to South Angola. Both species are found in both saltwater and freshwater habitats, usually ascending rivers to access freshwater marshes.
8 – Bonefish – Average Recorded Speed: 64 km/h (40 mph)
The bonefish weighs up to 19 lb (8.6 kg) and measures up to 90 cm (35 in) long. The colour of bonefish can range from very silver sides and slight darker backs to olive green backs that blend to the silver side. The slight shading on the scales often leads to very soft subtle lines that run the flank of the fish from the gills to the tail. The bases of the pectoral fins are sometimes yellow.
7 – Blue shark – Average Recorded Speed: 69 km/h (43 mph)
The blue shark is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, that inhabits deep waters in the world‘s temperate and tropical oceans. Preferring cooler waters, blue sharks migrate long distances, such as from New England to South America.
6 – Shortfin mako shark – Average Recorded Speed: 72 km/h (45 mph)
Shortfin mako shark (also known as the blue pointer or bonito shark) is a large mackerel shark. It is commonly referred to as the mako shark, as is the longfin mako shark. The shortfin mako is on record as the fastest-swimming shark, capable of bursts of speed up to 18.8 metres per second (72 km/h; 45 mph).
5 – Tunny – Average Recorded Speed: 74 km/h (46 mph)
The Atlantic bluefin tuna is a species of tuna in the family Scombridae. It is variously known as the northern bluefin tuna (mainly when including Pacific bluefin as a subspecies), giant bluefin tuna for individuals exceeding 150 kilograms (330 lb) and formerly as the tunny.
4 – Yellowfin tuna – Average Recorded Speed: 76 km/h (47 mph)
Yellowfin is often marketed as ahi, from the Hawaiian ʻahi, a name also used there for the closely related bigeye tuna. The species name, albacares which means “white meat” and this can also lead to confusion: in English, the albacore tuna is a different species, while yellowfin is officially designated albacore in French and referred to as albacora by Portuguese fishermen.
3 – Swordfish – Average Recorded Speed: 97 km/h (60 mph)
Swordfish are large, highly migratory, predatory fish characterized by a long, flat bill. They are a popular “sport fish” of the billfish category, though elusive. Swordfish are elongated, round-bodied, and lose all teeth and scales by adulthood. These fish are found widely in tropical and temperate parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and can typically be found from near the surface to a depth of 550 m (1,800 ft).
2 – Sailfish – Average Recorded Speed: 109.19 km/h (67.85 mph)
A sailfish is a fish of the genus Istiophorus of billfish living in colder areas of all the seas of the earth. They are predominantly blue to grey in colour and have a characteristic erectile dorsal fin known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of the swordfish and other marlins. They are, therefore, described as billfish in sport-fishing circles.
1 – Black marlin – Average Recorded Speed: 129 km/h (80 mph)
The black marlin is a species of marlin found in tropical and subtropical areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. With a maximum published length of 4.65 m (15.3 ft) and weight of 750 kg (1,650 lb), it is one of the largest marlins and also one of the largest bony fish. Its speed is what makes this such a prized catch and it takes a professional angler several hours to reel in.