In 2007 and 2008, anglers in the Ocean City White Marlin Open –called "the largest billfish tournament in the world" –landed 26 white marlin in their quest for millions in prize money.
This 71.5-pound white marlin, caught during the 2008 White Marlin Open, sits on a dock in Ocean City. New DNA testing show a third of the fish caught during the tournament in 2007 and 2008 were a look-alike species called roundscale spearfish.
The only trouble was about a third of the fish weren’t white marlin. They were a look-alike species called the roundscale spearfish.
Scientists studying white marlin and this once largely unstudied species collected tissue samples from all but two of the 26 fish. They sent off cells for DNA testing and were surprised at the results.
The findings raise new questions about the health of the white marlin population, a fish that many consider to be at significant risk.