Nature is such a beautiful gift by god. There are several beautiful creatures inland, and also in the sea and ocean. You all must have heard about Dolphin fish. It is also known as mahi-mahi that literally means strong-strong in Polynesian. They are also known by their Spanish name, dorado fish. And, it is a constant in tropical waters, and you must have also seen it on the seafood menu.
Dolphin fish/ Mahi-mahi
It is known by two species of mahi-mahi fish: the common mahi-mahi; the scientific name is Coryphaena hippurus and the other is the0 pounds. Pompano mahi-mahi fish, Coryphaena equiselis.
They can be distinguished by the location of a tooth patch and a bit of size difference. Actually, the two species are very similar, but the pompano mahi-mahi fish is a bit smaller.
For this article, let’s just focus on the common mahi-mahi fish.
Let’s talk about their physical appearance
● They have a single dorsal fin, and are of large species.
● The heads of male dolphin fish are round to the point where they can protrude out. And, the heads of females are round and smooth.
● They are also vibrant, brightly colored fish, the sides are golden and brightly colored of blue and green on the sides and back.
● The growth of mahi-mahi fish is about 2.5- 4.5 feet long, and the catches recorded from 15 pounds to over 40 pounds.
We can find the dolphin fish in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian, Pacific and, Atlantic Oceans. They dwell in temperature of at least 90 degrees, but they commonly prefer tropical waters. They usually stay near the water surface, and close to the shore. Also, they can be found in cooler water as far as Massachusetts.
Their Life cycle
Mahi-mahi fish usually reproduces at a rapid rate. Also, they are known as “rabbits of the ocean” sometimes jokingly. It usually takes 4-5 months for them to reach maturity and by the time they’re a year older, they definitely are fully matured.
The dolphin fish can live up to five years, but they rarely can be seen exceeding four as, by then they get caught by the fishermen or predators, and their estimated lifespan is to be 2-3 years. Their main predators are sharks, swordfish marlins, birds, and of course humans. Their migratory patterns are not strict and can lay eggs 2-3 times a year.
Fishing and a few more facts about them
They live near the coast, close to the surface, and easily get caught by the fishermen, also the fish yields a lot of meat that’s why they are sometimes called “a gift to the fishermen”. The dolphin fish are not considered endangered as they can reproduce rapidly and replaces their population quickly.
● They usually eat crabs, squid, and other crustaceans as well as other fish, like mackerel found in the oceans, and rely on their keen eyesight and lateral line sensory system to find prey.
● It is said that they lose their beautiful golden hues once they leave the water, and eventually, it turns to a silvery color.
● They do not raise their young. The young mahi-mahi quickly bands together in schools, once the egg hatches to help ensure survival.
● The young mahi-mahi fish travel in schools of anywhere from a handful of fish to up to fifty. Large mahi-mahi fish usually travels alone or sometimes in pairs.
● They are known for being difficult to catch on fishing lines as they are very strong.
● The largest mahi-mahi ever seen and recorded was about 87 pounds and was found on 25th September 1976.
Dolphin fish is not a Dolphin
Most people mistook dolphin fish as dolphin mammals, but both have a different life history. Dolphins are more closely related to humans and aren’t fished commercially while dolphin fish are fished extensively and are one of the important food sources in several parts of the world. Mahi-mahi is actually known for its colorful blue, yellow and green scales, but the dolphins typically have dull shades of grey.
Lastly, the dolphin fish is a large, strong, fish that has a dorsal fin and is not actually a dolphin. Also, mahi-mahi fish are members of the class of bony fishes.