The Billfish Story
Swordfish, Sailfish, Marlin, and Other Gladiators of the Sea

Stan Ulanski

A natural and cultural history of an iconic Atlantic fish


“Stan Ulanski, himself a scientist and angler, uses his talents in both arenas to blend the facts of science with the practical aspects of fishing. The result is a readable and informative account of the billfish fishery. There is something for everyone with an interest in billfish.”
—Ron Presley, author of Fishing Secrets from Florida’s East Coast

“Ulanski’s book provides the most comprehensive, easy-to-read text I have seen on the evolution of billfish, their oceanic habitat, and the sport of billfishing. Nothing escapes his notice. This is an excellent read for anyone truly interested in billfish.”
—Ellen M. Peel, President, The Billfish Foundation

More / Hide


The billfish is fixed at the apex of the oceanic food chain. Composed of sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and swordfish, they roam the pelagic waters of the Atlantic and are easily recognized by their long, spear-like beaks. Noted for their speed, size, and acrobatic jumps, billfish have for centuries inspired a broad spectrum of society. Even in antiquity, Aristotle, who assiduously studied the swordfish, named this gladiator of the sea xiphias—the sword.

The Billfish Story tells the saga of this unique group of fish and those who have formed bonds with them—relationships forged by anglers, biologists, charter-boat captains, and conservationists through their pursuit, study, and protection of these species. More than simply reciting important discoveries, Stan Ulanski argues passionately that billfish occupy a position of unique importance in our culture as a nexus linking natural and human history. Ulanski, both a scientist and an angler, brings a rich background to the subject in a multifaceted approach that will enrich not only readers’ appreciation of billfish but the whole of the natural world.

A Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book

Page count: 232 pp.
20 b&w photos, 1 table, 3 maps, 11 figures, 5 color paintings
Trim size: 6 X 9


List price: $22.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

List price: $26.95
Check ebook availability

Stan Ulanski is a professor of meteorology, oceanography, and marine resources in the Geology and Environmental Science Department at James Madison University. He is the author of The California Current: A Pacific Ecosystem and Its Fliers, Divers, and Swimmers and The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic.