Length - Maximum of approx. 2 – 5 feet Weight - Maximum of approx. 20 – 80 lbs.
Abundant throughout the World’s subtropical oceanic waters, the mahi-mahi is commonly found in the U.S. waters ranging from Massachusetts to Florida, and throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
These brightly colored fish are often found near the surface throughout their range in clean offshore waters. Recreational fishermen often find them along rips of floating brown algae and flotsam.
These pelagic carnivores often prey on juvenile tuna, jacks, and billfish, and will often consume the larvae of other species while they are larvae themselves. Mahi-mahi will also feed opportunistically on squid, octopus, and shrimp.
Mahi-mahi grow rapidly and only live for 5 years. They are able to begin reproducing within the first 6 months of life. These short-lived fish will spawn at a high frequency throughout there spawning season. Females will release over 50,000 eggs every 2 to 3 days during the spring and summer. In the Atlantic Ocean most of this spawning activity occurs beneath patches of sargassum.
Importance to Fisheries and Aquaculture:
Commercial fishermen employing long lines and hand lines target mahi-mahi throughout their range. The majority of the U.S. annual harvest comes from Hawaii, but a sizeable portion of the 3 million pound harvest comes from North Carolina and Florida. Additionally a great deal of recreational fishermen target this specie in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. With its bright colors, strength, and great taste the mahi-mahi brings a lot to the table for the recreational fishing industry.
Male mahi-mahi develop a prominent forehead, which they use to drive off other males during the spawning season.
The largest mahi-mahi recorded was caught in Costa Rica in 1976. This fish weighed in at 87 lb. 0 oz.