Richard Ellis will discuss the broadbill swordfish, whose scientific name Xiphias gladius means “gladiator.” It gets its common name from the smooth, flattened sword that is much longer and wider than that of any other billfish. The bill is used for defense and also to slash and debilitate its prey. Swordfish have also been known to attack boats, submersibles, whales, sharks, and people, but the reason for these attacks is unknown.
Among the world’s premier game fishes, swordfish are eagerly sought as trophies and as seafood. A drastic reduction in swordfish populations as a result of longline fishing practices engendered swordfish boycott by American restaurants. The population is once again on the rise.
Marine life artist and ocean conservationist Richard Ellis will be signing copies of his latest book, Swordfish: A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator.
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