Mahi Mahi

Coryphaena Hippurus

Mahi-mahi's compressed body is beautifully colored with golden sides and brilliant blues, greens and silver on the sides and back. Their anal fins are sharply concave and their dorsal fins extend almost the length of their body

Illustration of mahi-mahi, or common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus).

© Sonia Schadwinkel / Greenpeac

Mahi-mahi means ‘strong-strong’ in Hawaiian.

Biology

Mahi-mahi thrive in the waters around the Hawaiian, Japanese and Indonesian archipelgos, in addition to the coasts of Central and South America, the Red Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.

Mahi-mahi feed on flying fish, crabs, squid, crustaceans, mackerel, and other fish.

Mahi-mahi are fast swimmers with an estimated top swimming speed of 50 knots (57.5 mph).

This fish may contain ciguatoxin, which causes illness.

When removed from the water, this species changes color and fades to a light yellow-gray upon death.

This species spawns very frequently and is one of the fastest-growing fish, but has a short life-span not exceeding 5 years of age.

Threats

Mahi-mahi are highly sought game fish due to both their beauty and fighting ability.

Mahi-mahi are caught commercially using troll lines and longlines, but their fast-growth make them able to withstand fairly high levels of harvest. Tens of thousands of tons of mahi-mahi are delivered into the global market each year.

The harvesting techniques pose more of a risk to other species such as marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, and other fish species due to fishery bycatch.

Mahi-mahi are also caught as bycatch in other fisheries such as marlin, tuna, sharks and swordfish.

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