Can You Eat Marlin?

Can You Eat Marlin

YES, you can most certainly eat Marlin, and what most people don’t realize is that it is actually quite a good fish to eat!  In addition to the taste, Marlin Meat is also full of nutrients and vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Calcium
  • Protein
  • Selenium
  • and more…

That being said, Marlin does have somewhat of a stronger flavor than you’re used to, although not as fishy as Eating Sailfish, which can turn some people off, but depending on the type of marlin it is and from which ocean it was harvested, the flavor can vary.  

Do People Really Eat Marlin?

do people eat marlin 1

Yes, people actually do eat marlin. In fact, people eat all species of Marlin! Although it’s not a very common choice for dining, Marlin can be found on the menu at some seafood restaurants and is enjoyed by those who appreciate its unique flavor and texture.

It’s worth mentioning that Marlin is not as widely available as other types of seafood. This is partly due to the fact that Marlin is a slow-growing species and is also highly prized for sport fishing. So, if you do come across Marlin on a menu, be sure to give it a try and see if it’s to your taste!

Why Do Some People Not Eat Marlin?

Marlin, like other large predatory fish, contains high levels of mercury. Because of this, many people choose not to eat marlin or eat marlin on moderation. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, adults should only consume one serving of predatory fish such as marlin, tuna, and swordfish a week. Additionally, pregnant women and children should consume even less than that.

Is Eating Marlin Illegal?

Is eating marlin illegal

No, eating marlin is not illegal. However, some people think it is because in some places, it’s against the law or not acceptable to kill a marlin while fishing. This is because marlins, especially Blue Marlin, are very valuable for sport fishing and people want to protect them from becoming extinct.

It’s important to understand that even though killing a marlin may not be legal everywhere, marlin can usually still be caught and sold for people to eat (Commercially). This is just usually done in a way that ensures the population of the species isn’t harmed and follows the strict guidelines set by the local authorities.

In short, eating marlin is not illegal, but there might be laws about catching and killing marlins in some places.

What Does Marlin Taste Like?

What does marlin taste like
What does marlin taste like

Overall, people report that Marlin has a taste somewhere between Swordfish and Tuna, while a few people have told me it tastes like a shark, which tends to be a bit more robust. 

So, if you are going to eat Marlin, what would the best marlin to eat actually be:

Eating Blue Marlin:

Can you eat blue marlin

The Blue Marlin, a highly prized game fish in the world of saltwater fishing, is not a fish commonly eaten due to its distinctive taste and texture. However, of all the Marlins consumed, the Blue Marlin is considered by many anglers and seafood enthusiasts to be the tastiest you can eat.

This is largely due to the high-fat content of its flesh, which gives it a rich flavor that sets it apart from other species of Marlins that are typically caught for sport. Despite its unpopularity as a food source, the Blue Marlin remains one of the most sought-after game fish in the world of saltwater fishing due to its size, strength, and beauty.

Eating White Marlin:

eating white marlin

White Marlin is really the only Marlin most might consider a delicacy to consume, and that is due in large part to its light-colored and firm flesh that offers a slightly mild flavor. White Marlin is also considered the best type of Marlin if you are going to eat it raw.

Eating Black Marlin:

There are varying opinions on if Black Marlin is good to eat, and that is because of the fish’s darker flesh.  The taste has been said to be similar but a bit sweeter than eating Tuna or Swordfish with a Firm/Meaty texture.

Eating Striped Marlin:

Some people have reported that Striped Marlin might be one of the best Marlin to eat because of its tender flesh.  There is a specific type of striped marlin with a higher fat count that is in high demand as Sashimi, and it is differentiated by its intense orange flesh.

How much is Marlin Meat Worth?

As of January 2023, I was able to find some prices for Marlin Meat out of china, and here are those prices:

Black Marlin: $7.14 per kg

Blue Marlin: $5.19 per kg

Striped Marlin: $2.28 per kg

Can you Eat Marlin Rare?

Can you eat marlin rare

Yes, you can eat Marlin Rare and Raw, as is common in Japanese cuisine when prepared as Sushi or Sashimi; however, remember that you are eating a predatory fish, which means there are likely to be more contaminants you might want to cook off.  

What Do Marlin Eat?

Marlin are predatory fish, so they feed on a variety of smaller fish like:

  • Tuna
  • Mackeral
  • Herring
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines

Marlin also feed on a variety of squid species, including flying squid and lantern squid. In addition to these prey items, marlin have also been known to feed on small crustaceans, such as shrimp and krill.

What To Do With A Marlin After You Catch It:

Can You Keep A Marlin

There are two things you can do with a Marlin after catching them:

  • Release them back into the ocean (Alive)
  • Boat them and bring them back to land to eat

There are countries where you can keep a Marlin catch and others where you are required to keep the fish alive and release it back into the ocean, so know the local laws wherever you plan to fish!

Important Note: Even in those locations where not releasing a marlin is legal, it is typically frowned upon because that is one less fish for the next fisherman to catch.

And because Marlin is largely considered a Game Fish, the entire goal is for there to be more Marlin in the sea to actually catch.

If you do decide to bring home a Billfish in a country where it is illegal, the penalties can be severe, up to and including jail time, steep fines, and expulsion from the country.

How To Clean and Prepare Marlin Fish For Eating

If you are planning on cooking the entire blue marlin, it is important to know how to clean and fillet the fish, because if you don’t, you will just end up wasting meat. There are several ways to skin a blue marlin and one of these involves cutting off the head and gut. Once the head and guts are removed, you can begin to properly fillet the fish.

To start, remove all of the fins.  Next, you will want to cut closely around the gills of the fish so you can remove the head and guts. Now that the head and guts are gone, you can begin to separate the meat from the bones very much like you would do with any other large fish.

Once you have separated the meat from the bone, you will want to cut the loins of the fish so that they make thick fillets.  Remember to slice the loin muscle across the grain because this makes the meat easier to eat.

TIP:  Cutting deep down the side of the fish will maximize the amount of meat in your fillets.

When you have finished filleting the fish, you will want to rinse off any salt water, pat them dry, and quickly put on Ice to keep everything as fresh as possible. 

Cooking Marlin Fish (Methods & Dishes)

How to prepare marlin for eating

Cooking Marlin (Methods):

  • Raw
  • Grilled
  • Fried
  • Sauteed
  • Broiling
  • Baking
  • Smoked

Cooking Marlin (Dishes):

  • Sushi
  • Ceviche
  • Tartare
  • Steaks

Marlin Fish Taco Recipe:

Just in case you were thinking of eating a Marlin discussed in this article, here is a simple Marlin Fish Taco Recipe you can try (A different recipe from the video above):


  • 1 lb marlin fish fillet
  • 1½ tbsp cooking oil
  • 12 small tortilla shells
  • ½ cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup green cabbage, chopped
  • ¼ cup pickled red onion
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • Rub…
  • 1 tbsp corse salt
  • ½ tbsp pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • Sauce…
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • ½ avocado, smashed
  • 1½ tbsp honey


  1. Mix rub spices together and rub evenly over the sides of the fish and set aside.
  2. In a skillet or grill pan, heat cooking oil on medium high heat. Place fish into hot pan and sear for 4 minutes one side, flip and sear for 6 minutes on the other side. Cover with the lid with the heat turned off for another 4 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your fish and the heat, you may need to reduce searing time and reduce stove temp to avoid burning. The fish should be cooked through, flaky and juicy, not dried out.
  3. In a small bowl, mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix coleslaw ingredients together and set aside.
  5. Using a fork, flake the fish into chunks for the tacos. Set tortilla’s, coleslaw, fish and sauce on the table for your dinner guests to make tacos with the ingredients and enjoy!

You can also try marinating the fish for an hour or so before grilling to add more flavor. Some good marinade options include a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and garlic; or a blend of olive oil, white wine, and herbs. Enjoy!

Can You Eat Marlin While Pregnant?

No, you should not eat Marlin while you are pregnant.  Marlin can and often do contain varying amounts of mercury, a toxic metal found naturally in the environment. 

Although a healthy adult can ingest small amounts of Mercury and be unaffected,  any mercury exposure during pregnancy can cause birth defects, neurological damage, and developmental delays in children. To make sure you don’t end up consuming too much mercury just avoid eating Marlin while pregnant (or while trying to become pregnant) altogether.


Yes, Marlin is certainly an edible fish!

However, while marlin can be a tasty and nutritious choice, it is important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with consuming large predatory fish like marlin, which can contain high levels of mercury.

Following guidelines for safe consumption and opting for sustainably caught options, you can enjoy marlin as a delicious and responsible part of your diet. So next time you’re wondering whether you can eat marlin, the answer is a resounding “yes”! Just be sure to do so in moderation and with an eye towards sustainability.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Marlin is an edible fish with a taste that falls between Swordfish and Tuna, and is full of nutrients like Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Protein, and Selenium.
  2. Marlin’s taste and texture varies depending on the species (Blue, White, Black, or Striped Marlin) and the ocean it was harvested from.
  3. Eating marlin is not illegal, but there may be regulations on catching and killing marlin in some places due to their value in sport fishing and efforts to protect their populations.
  4. Marlin can be eaten rare or cooked using methods like grilling, frying, sautéing, broiling, baking, or smoking.
  5. Pregnant women should not eat marlin due to potential mercury content, which can cause health risks to the developing fetus.
  6. Consume marlin in moderation, as it is a large predatory fish that may contain high levels of mercury.
  7. Opt for sustainably caught marlin to minimize environmental impact and support responsible fishing practices.


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Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.