I am proud to be a fisherman, bringing food to the table and providing a service for my community - Tafu Sulunga, Captain of the Miss Emma
Name: Tafu Sulunga, Captain
Vessel: Miss Emma
Home Port: Honolulu
Years Fishing: Since 1985
"I am originally from Tonga, where I used to have my own boat, but there was more opportunity for me in Hawaiʻi. When I came here though, I did not understand all of the superstitions surrounding the fishing: you can’t leave port on a Friday, no bananas onboard, no whistling onboard… In Tonga, we do not have these types of superstitions so it was something I had to get used to."
What do you love about fishing?
I feel like it is my whole life. I am proud to be a fisherman, bringing food to the table and providing a service for my community. When I am not fishing, I am farming my land in Kahuku. I produce taro that I sell in the community and in markets. My farming is like my fishing, it is serving the same purpose- bringing food to the table. I have a wife and two daughters living in Australia and fishing allows me to send my children to good schools so they can have a better life.
Best Fishing Tale
There are so many. There are always big storms, rough seas… it’s exciting and you learn to deal with it. Really, I just love the challenge of it and being able to serve the community, it makes me feel like I have a purpose.
I love fishing!
Tafu Sulunga in front of the fishing vessel Miss Emma. Photo by Ali Bayless.