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Posted on Aug 6, 2013 in Short Strikes
Fleetest of Fin
by Dr. Todd Kuhn

Cheetahs are really fast. So fast in fact, they can reach top speeds approaching 75 mph. Evidently, after watching plenty of those National Geographic's specials growing up, African gazelles aren't nearly as fleet of foot.

On a recent offshore trip, two buddies got into a debate (aka heated argument) over which fish is the fastest. One buddy adamantly insisted the mighty tuna was capable of making wake in excess of 80 miles an hour. The other fellow insisted the mako shark was indeed faster. Admittedly, the argument piqued my interest, so once back on dry land I Googled it while working aloe into my fresh sunburn.

At the top of the speed-demon list is the Indo-Pacific sailfish, or istiophorus platypterus (for the science-types in the crowd). It seems this top-fueler fish has been clocked in excess of 68 mph over short distances.

The mako shark, on the other hand, running wide open with its tongue hanging out, achieves a top speed of 46 mph. Other notable speed merchants include the marlin at 50 mph; the wahoo at 48 mph; the bonefish at 40 mph; and the tarpon at 35 mph. Oh, and the mighty tuna? The bluefin tuna hustles along at about 44 mph.