Striped Marlin

Tetrapturus audax

Other names: Barred marlin (USA), makajiki (Japanese), New Zealand marlin, spearfish, spikefish, striped swordfish.

Family: Istiophoridae (marlins).


This large fish with a long, rounded, spear-like upper jaw is available wild-caught. It is a nomadic marine fish found in the open ocean right around the Australian coast; it hunts near the surface, mainly at night. It is caught only as bycatch, mainly by tuna longliners off the east and west coasts. Though similar in appearance to swordfish it is easily distinguished by its shorter, rounded ‘spear’ and scaled skin.

Season: Available year round, though supply is limited, with peaks from October to April.

Size and Weight: Average 30-120kg and 1.6-2.5 metres (measured from tip of lower jaw to tail fin), but can grow to at least 260kg and 420cm.

Price: Medium priced.


Blue and black marlins (which are not commercially landed), bonito, mackerels, sailfish, spearfish, tunas.

To Buy:

Usually sold as steaks. Look for reddish-pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Lay in a single layer on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 60% from trunks. Has a medium flavour, medium-high oiliness and dry, firm flesh with large flakes. Overcooked it quickly becomes dry. The thick skin should be removed. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity.

Cooking Methods:

Pan-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (sashimi). It is best wrapped in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing, to prevent it drying out. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.

Goes well with:

Anchovies, capsicum, chilli, citrus, garlic, ginger, green onions, mirin, olives, olive oil, onion, sesame oil, tomato, soy sauce, vinegar, wasabi.


Albacore, bonito, swordfish, tuna.




Barbecued Marlin Steaks with Teriyaki Eggplant & Mushrooms >