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Do Swordfish Have Worms

do swordfish have worms

Swordfish are large, predatory fish that are popular to eat. But many people wonder – do swordfish have worms?

The short answer is yes, it’s common for swordfish to have worms. Here’s an overview:

Swordfish Commonly Have Worms Inside Their Flesh

  • Videos and first-hand accounts show large parasitic worms visibly emerging from the raw flesh of swordfish. These worms can often be seen moving when filleting freshly caught fish.
  • One scientific study found swordfish harbor several species of endoparasitic worms, particularly in their digestive tracts and muscle tissue.
  • The worms appear to be harmless if consumed. They may look unappealing but do not make the fish unsafe to eat.

You might also enjoy our article about the differences between Swordfish and Marlin.

Here are some common worm species found in swordfish:

Worm SpeciesDescription
AnisakisThick, white nematode worms
HysterothylaciumThin, threadlike nematodes

Spotting and Removing Worms in Swordfish

  • Check for worms when filleting raw swordfish. They may be noticed crawling on the surface of the meat.
  • Discard any sections of the fish where worms are visible. The worms tend to stay within a localized area.
  • Removing the worms by hand is possible if they are large and noticeable.
  • Thorough cooking kills any worms present in the fish. Frying, grilling, or broiling swordfish should eliminate risks.

Health and Consumption Concerns

  • Eating worms from undercooked fish may cause minor stomach discomfort. Thorough cooking mitigates risks.
  • Parasitic infections from eating raw fish are very rare. The FDA approves swordfish as safe when properly handled.
  • Mercury contamination is a greater concern with swordfish consumption than worms. Pregnant women should limit intake.
  • Swordfish remains a healthy source of lean protein, omega-3s and nutrients despite the natural presence of worms.


In conclusion, worms are commonly found in raw swordfish but do not make the fish unsafe if thoroughly cooked. Limiting intake due to mercury levels is advised over worm concerns. With proper preparation, swordfish can still be enjoyed as a nutritious fish.

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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.

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