Fishermen Catch Giant 1,000-Pound Marlin—That's As Heavy As a Horse

A team of fishermen from Faratea in French Polynesia, who were fishing for tuna, found themselves instead battling to get hold of a black marlin weighing around half a ton—about the average weight of a horse—on Tuesday.

According to Horse & Country, an equestrian sports channel, a horse can weigh anywhere from around 661 to 2,204 pounds (300 to 1,000 kg).

French Polynesia's TNTV television channel reported it took four men and nine hours to get the black marlin, which are normally found in the tropical regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, out of the water.

TNTV reported Captain Stephen Pua and another fisherman had just finished casting their buoys in Hitia'a on the island of Tahiti at about 9 a.m. local time when an albacore tuna bit their hook before it was swallowed by a black marlin.

Pua told TNTV: "We thought we would get it quickly but we only got it at 6 p.m. [local time]. It took 9 hours of fighting with the fish.

Pua recalled: "The fish had gone down to 700 meters [2,296 feet] and I had to call my brother to come with his fisherman to help us pull it up."

Polynésie la 1ère, a French television channel based in French Polynesia, reported the black marlin was caught by three fishermen—Matahi Pua, Stephen Pua and Giovanni Tautu.

According to TNTV, it required the strength of four men at the scene to get the black marlin out of the sea. Captain Pua said the fish had died at the bottom of the water.

Upon arrival at the wharf, a dredge had to be used to remove the giant fish from the boat, according to the captain, TNTV reported.

"It's the first time I've caught such a big fish," Pua told TNTV. "Most of the time, it's more like 70 or 80 kg [around 154 or 176 pounds]. In addition to a black marlin, it is rare in our waters.

"And the [fishing] line was made for tuna fishing, so I don't know how it held up all day," he noted.

Images of their catch, shared on Facebook by user Tiffany Miliani Aimeo, showed the giant fish spanning the length of the boat.

"Congratulations on your beautiful catch cousins Stephen Pua and Matahi Pua team Faratea. About 480 kg [1,058 pounds] if not more," the user wrote in the post sharing the images.

TNTV reported the captain said the black marlin has already found a taker.

According to a February 2012 study published by PLOS One, a peer-reviewed journal, the black marlin is a "highly migratory predator" found in the tropical regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

It is "one of the largest bony fishes in the world with females capable of reaching a mass of over 700 kg [around 1,543 pounds]," according to the study.

The report also said "the relatively high seasonal abundance of black marlin off the Great Barrier Reef is, in fact, a spawning aggregation."

According to Australia's New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, black marlin can grow to a length of up to nearly 16.4 feet (five meters) and weigh over 1,543 pounds. Males are smaller than female black marlin.

The department explains they are "occasionally found in waters off Australia's southern areas during the summer months" and are "a highly mobile, pelagic fish that inhabit almost any depth in the ocean, but usually prefer areas well offshore."

They are "not normally dangerous, but have been known to attack boats and floating objects by impaling them with their bill," the department says.

Fishermen in French Polynesia.
Fishermen at sea in Toau, in French Polynesia, seen in October 2015. Fishermen in Tahiti were reported to have caught a black marlin weighing around half a ton on Tuesday. Gregory Boissy/AFP via Getty Images