Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus)
In Hawaii, “Ahi” refers to two species, the Bigeye Tuna and the Yellowfin Tuna. Similar in general appearance, the Bigeye may be recognized by its plump body, its larger head and its unusually large eyes. Caught in deeper, cooler water, Bigeye Tuna typically has a higher fat content than Yellowfin and is preferred by sashimi lovers. The majority of Hawaiʻi’s bigeye tuna are caught by deep-set longline fishing gear off shore of Hawaiʻi. The remainder of Hawaiian Bigeye Tuna landings come from handliners and trollers. Peak Bigeye landings occur from October through April. Learn More
Opah (Lampris regius; Moonfish)
Opah or moonfish is one of the most colorful of the commercial fish species available in Hawaii. A silvery-grey upper body color shades to a rose red dotted with white spots toward the belly. Its fins are crimson, and its large eyes are encircled with gold. The moonfish’s large, round profile may be the origin of its name. Opah have three types of flesh, each a different color. Behind the head and along the backbone is an attractive orange colored flesh. Toward the belly, the flesh pales to a pink color. The fish’s cheeks yield dark red flesh. These types of flesh all cook to a white color. Opah landed in Hawaii range from 60 to over 200 pounds in weight. A pelagic wandering species, it is often found in the company of tunas and billfish. All of the opah landed in Hawaii are caught by longlining. Almost all opah sold in the U.S. market are from Hawaii. Opah are caught year-round in Hawaiʻi, but landings seem to peak in April-August. Learn More.
Kajiki (Makaira nigricans; Blue Marlin, Aʻu)
Kajiki is commonly known as Pacific blue marlin, or a`u, the Hawaiian name applied to all marlin species. It is distinguishable by its larger size, heavier bill, and rougher, dark/black skin. It lacks the obvious stripes of the nairagi. Kajiki caught around the Hawaiian Islands can get as large as 1,600 pounds in round weight, but the usual size of fish marketed is between 80 and 300 pounds in round weight. All Hawaii blue marlin are line-caught. Trolling boats using lures and baits, and longliners fishing off shore land Hawaii’s blue marlin. The heaviest landings of Kajiki are June through October. Learn More.
Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares)
In Hawaii, “Ahi” refers to two species, the Bigeye Tuna and the Yellowfin Tuna. Yellowfin Tuna are caught year-round in Hawaiʻi’s waters but are most abundant during the summer season (May-September). Yellowfin have a slimmer profile than the bigeye tuna and have distinctive bright yellow finlets and soft dorsal and anal fins that tend to lengthen with age. Large fish (over 100 pounds) are usually caught in deep open ocean waters and are preferred for their typically higher fat content and greater yields. Most of Hawaiʻi’s Yellowfin Tuna are caught by deep-set longline fishing gear off shore of Hawaiʻi. The remainder of Hawaiʻi landings come from trollers, handliners and pole & line boats (aku boats). Learn More
This October, join the Hawaii Seafood Council and Conservation International in celebrating Hawaiʻi Seafood Month, a month long event highlighting Hawai'i seafood and the fishers, restaurants, retailers, and seafood businesses committed to sustainable, local seafood and vibrant fishing communities across our paeʻaina.