Sea Fishing

Flying fish

Our brief, plain speaking guide to the flying fish



There are about 50 different species of flying fish worldwide.

Flying fish actually glide rather than truly fly. Their torpedo-shaped body enables them to leap out of the water into air, where their long, wing-like fins enable gliding flight for considerable distances above the water's surface.
This uncommon ability is a natural defence mechanism to evade predators. Their pursuers include mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and other larger fish.

According to National Geographic, the process of taking flight, or gliding, begins by gaining great velocity underwater, about 37 miles (60 kilometres) per hour. Angling upward, the four-winged flying fish breaks the surface and begins to taxi by rapidly beating its tail while it is still beneath the surface. It then takes to the air, sometimes reaching heights over 1.2 metres (4 feet) and gliding long distances, up to 200 metres (655 feet). Once it nears the surface again, it can flap its tail and taxi without fully returning to the water. Capable of continuing its flight in such a manner, flying fish have been recorded stretching out their flights with consecutive glides spanning distances up to 400 metres (1,312 feet).

Flying fish live in tropical and warm subtropical ocean waters worldwide. Barbados is known as the land of the flying fish, and the fish is one of the national symbols.

They are commercially fished in Japan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. In the Solomon Islands, the fish are caught while they are flying, using nets held from outrigger canoes. They are attracted to the light of torches. Fishing is done only when no moonlight is available.
 
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