Swordfish is one of the most prized fish due to its dense, meaty flavor. Swordfish from the North Atlantic, eastern Pacific, U.S., and Canadian fisheries is well maintained. California consumers are able to enjoy swordfish from Pacific populations right off the coast, where fishing is strictly regulated. Harpoon and handline are the most sustainable catch methods. However, global swordfish fishing uses the longline catch method, resulting in the bycatch of sea turtles, sharks, and seabirds. Since there are no international laws to reduce bycatch, longline fleets contribute heavily to the decline of some of these threatened or endangered species.

In addition to sustainability issues, the Environmental Defense Fund has issued a consumption advisory for swordfish due to its elevated levels of mercury. This fish should not be consumed regularly by adult men and women, and not at all by children and pregnant or nursing women.

Swordish is low in fat yet high in nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Its hearty taste and size is best prepared as a centerpiece (grilled, baked, broiled, or sautéed), rather than incorporated into a dish with many other flavors and ingredients.