The maximum size for sailfish in waters of the Pacific Ocean is recorded at 3.4 meters (134 inches) in length, and 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in weight (Gardieff 2008).
Both species of sailfishes grow quickly, reaching 1.2 to 1.5 meters (four to five feet) in length in a single year.
The three genera placed in Istiophoridae are Istiophorus (sailfishes), Tetrapturus (spearfishes), and Makaira (marlins) (Nelson 1994; ITIS 2004).
Utilized below are I. albicans for the Atlantic sailfish and I. platypterus for the Indo-Pacific sailfish.
Sailfish play an important role in marine food chains, largely as apex predators consuming and helping to balance populations of squid, octopuses, and bony fish such as sardines, anchovies, dolphins, mackerel, and tuna.
Sailfish commonly are placed as are part of the suborder Scombroidei.
The Indo-Pacific sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus, is native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
What distinguishes the sailfish from other members of the family (subfamily in case of Nelson 1994) is the shape of its dorsal fin and pelvic fin.
The suborder includes species that likely are the fastest swimming fish in the world, including bluefin tuna, swordfish, and sailfish (Nelson 1994, 424).