Striped Marlin (Nairagi)
Nairagi is commonly known as striped marlin, or a`u, the Hawaiian name applied to all marlin species. It has the slenderest bill and the most visible “stripes” of all billfish and a high, pointed dorsal fin and more compressed sides.
The flesh color of striped marlin varies from fish to fish and varies from light pink to orange-red. Fish with orange-red flesh are particularly desired for the sashimi market. Nairagi with pink to light-colored flesh are bought for up-scale restaurants. It is considered the finest eating of all marlin species because of its tender flesh.
Nairagi caught around the Hawaiian Islands usually between 40 and 100 pounds in round weight and are rarely over 130 pounds.
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.
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
Mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus)
The Hawaiian name Mahimahi has become the common name for what is also referred to as the common dolphinfish in the U.S. Hawaiʻi’s Mahimahi is a highly-regarded product which is best eaten when fresh. Local Mahimahi is superior in quality to fresh substitutes from Latin America and imported frozen fillets from Taiwan and Latin America. The supply of locally caught Mahimahi is limited and seasonal considering the high demand for this species. Commercial Mahimahi landings in Hawaii are made by trollers and longliners. Although available most of the year, mahimahi catches in Hawaii usually peak in March-May and September-November. 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.